Fresh from booting both Dave Pearce and Eddie Halliwell from the station, the bods at Radio 1 have drafted in some fresh talent to inject a new lease of life into their dance music schedule.
As one of the founders of London record shop Phonica Records, Heidi Van den Amstel has had her finger on the pulse of the electronic music scene for quite a while now. After acquiring residencies in both Berlin and Ibiza (and releasing the first mix compilation for the Monza night that took her on), she went on to produce a couple of records for the Get Physical label in collaboration with Riton. Now she's been signed up to do a monthly show of 'stripped down techno and bass jackin' house' for their relatively new In New Music We Trust show, joining DJs such as Dave Spoon and Kissy Sell Out on their roster.
She took time out to speak exclusively to RA about what she's got in store for us.
What can listeners expect from your first show?
You can expect to hear music that I play out in the clubs and generally tracks that are making me bounce around. Lots of house and techno, whether it be minimal, deep, jackin, old school.... too many labels for me to describe! I'll just keep it simple and let the listeners decide which sub category they go into. I'll also be doing a few label showcases, devoting maybe an hour of the show to producers and DJs from labels that I love. Claude VonStroke is going to do the November show for me—I'm a big fan of the Dirtybird stuff. As for my first show.... Well, I'm going to have a man who I respect very much and who turned me on to electronic music and this crazy scene: Richie Hawtin. We're going to talk about all sorts of stuff and hopefully let the listeners inside as well as play a selection of music that had me dancing like a mad woman all summer. I'm really excited and nervous! There's lots of crazy energy kicking around in my body at the moment and I can't wait to let some of it out.
How did the Radio 1 thing come about? Did Tongy check you out while you were spinning?
I did a demo at the end of July. My agent in New York hooked it up, and I asked Claude Vonstroke to be my guest on the demo. We did a little phone interview and had a giggle—he's a great guy. I played some exclusive music from his label and other tracks that I really like. I winged it, really. I had nothing to lose so I just did what I do best and that's being enthusiastic about what I was playing.
Have you done any radio stuff before?
No, never. It's really exciting though. I feel like the new kid on the first day of school. Walking into the Radio 1 studios is quite intimidating. It's just fantastic to be given this opportunity though. I'm looking forward to meeting the other guys on the team. We're doing a show all together at the end of the month which should be a laugh. It's a good cross section of DJ's. It's super nice to be able to play what I want and have great guests. I want to inspire the public to embrace this music more.
Any pre-show nerves or worries?
Lots and lots of nerves! It's easier DJing in front of thousands of people than it is speaking into a mic in a room by yourself. I hope the listeners will go easy on me! I'll be learning as I go along and I hope the people will enjoy the selection of music. Lots of hoping going on in my world right now.
Heidi will be taking over the airwaves from 2 to 4 AM every fourth Thursday of the month, starting on October 23rd with a guest appearance from M_nus mastermind Richie Hawtin. Non-UK residents will be able to check the show live on the BBC Radio 1 website, or access it up to a week from transmission on the site's archive.