We caught up with SAE Liverpool alumnus Nathan Davies who told us about Astral Transmissions, an electronic music production showcase. The project was developed over the course of his time at SAE - so we caught up to hear more about the local talent that he works with and to learn more about how he’s found ways to stay creative over lockdown.
What is Astral Transmissions and what is your involvement with the podcast project?
Astral Transmissions is one of the latest outputs of Liverpool based electronic music night Astral Music. The shows feature an hour from Astrals residents (Chilly Woods, Olly151, Wilko, Grimes) followed by an hour showcasing both local and international guests.
I had wanted to start my own platform for a couple of years, to be able to curate and showcase some local artists I enjoyed listening to in Liverpool's small but vibrant scene, as well as giving myself a regular slot to play. In 2019 I became a resident and co-owner of Astral Music which gave me a solid crew and a solid foundation to start a radio and so we all collaborated and started Astral Transmissions. My role is varied in creating Transmissions, I am a host on the show, as well as editing/recording the audio, scouting new potential guests and contacting current ones.
Why did you want to focus on electronic music in particular?
Producing, playing and DJing Electronic music is my passion and what I like to make, especially Techno and Breakbeat - we are an electronic music night so we wanted the platform to represent Astral as a whole however we are open to all kinds of music as our tastes are varied.
Which artists have you showcased so far?
We have showcased a variety of local talent such as Ollie Cash playing as his alias Sound of Drowning, producer and Pinnacles of Garage owner Tron, as well as SAE graduate Luke Wiseguy. We have also been lucky enough to have recently hosted Australian garage producer/DJ Burna. This month (February) we have one half of DFM (Dance floor Mechanics), Paddy Hooley has done an hours mix as well as an hour from our residents and then in march we have NTS resident Giovanna playing a two hour special.
How is Liverpool graphic artist Neil Keating involved with the project?
We’ve been in with Neil for a while now and are huge fans of his work, he designs our promotional artwork and event posters for Astral. He is the creator of our little spacemen characters! We have recently been working on a really exciting project through lockdown and can’t wait to reveal it - so keep an eye on the socials for it!
How can people get involved with the project, e.g. if they want to submit work for inclusion?
At Astral we are always on the hunt for new talent to share and promote - so if if you would like to feature on one of our shows just send us your mix to AstralTransmissions@gmail.com or give us a DM @astral_uk, there is no limit to genres or sounds, and we take time to listen to every mix sent in.
How does this podcast build on the skillset you’ve developed over the course of your studies at SAE?
While at SAE I improved my networking skills which are pretty vital to this line of work when it comes to contacting artists and organising the schedule for the shows. The audio editing skills learnt while on the course have also proved to be very useful in both my own productions and the podcasts. I also found the branding/ business modules to be very useful as I was able to plan out a fair bit of Transmissions using it as the subject of my modules.
How have you found ways to be creative over lockdown?
It’s been challenging at times to stay motivated but I’ve been going to the studio regularly throughout the week working on new tracks and fine tuning my liveset for when we can start throwing events again. We’ve been looking into alternative ways of being able to connect with our audience by working with Neil Keating on the collaboration project and remotely playing various radio stations in different cities. Until clubs open back up everything has stopped but that doesn’t stop us preparing ourselves and bookings to getting ready for when they do.
Where are you hoping Astral Transmissions will go in 2021?
We hope to continue producing content for our listeners and giving more artists a platform to express themselves. We are also in talks with a live radio station at the moment about a residency so again, stay tuned through socials to find out about that.
Where can people find the podcast?
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