Genre MD of the Month:

Brazos Ebner

WFCS 107.7 The Edge

Tell us about WFCS.  How it got started and how you first heard about it.

WFCS first aired in 1972. We’ve been around for a while! The most important thing about our station is diversity. We’ve got metal, country, rock, pop, hip hop, house, EDM, and gamewave (me) shows. We’re one of the few college radio stations out there with multiple music directors! I’m in charge of the “RPM” or electronic department. (I think the term “RPM” is confusing and we should just go with “electronic” tbh!)

How long have you been at WFCS? What is your history there?

I’ve been at WFCS since my freshman year, in 2014.  I was so nervous during my first on-air training session… but I passed!  After a year, I became the appointed director of our RPM/electronic department, and have held that position for 3 years.  I’m running for director of development for next year (I’ll be a super-senior cuz I changed majors 3 times) so wish me luck!

What are you most proud of accomplishing/changing at WFCS?

Here at WFCS, I’m most proud of helping the station move to a digital based system.  We still get a lot of CD’s that our older community volunteers prefer, but there are many more possibilities for playback and organization with cloud based storage.  I also expanded upon a color-coded Google Drive list for subgenres within our music departments, so I’m able to identify the styles that my DJs/hosts prefer at a quick glance.

What artist/band are you most excited about who is supposed to release new music in 2018?

For 2018, I’m mostly looking forward to new music from Galen Tipton. They (singular) put out super experimental queer music, and have been working on an album called “nightbath” set to drop by the summer.  I’m always impressed by Tipton’s sound design, as they’re always managing to fit some incredibly curious textures on top of dance floor beats & distorted vocal chops without compromising the mix or the energy.

Do you have a favorite artist or album you never get tired of listening to?

I go through music soooooo fast, so it’s really hard to pick something I’m regularly playing!  If I had to narrow it down to someone, I would say George Clanton (aka ESPRIT 空想) manages to keep me in a trance with his music.  I’m really impressed with his ability to create a sense of nostalgia while remaining original.  He regularly samples himself for both of his music projects, creating tracks like Cassette Mix that are so dang catchy and hazy feeling.  His last album 100% Electronica is a Bandcamp staple for lowfi pop fans.

What excites you most about electronic music?  Are there any trends you are happiest about with the music that is out right now?

What excites me most about electronic music lately is the whole trend of “mutant pop” music, which is essentially taking a basic pop formula, injecting some very contemporary electronic instruments, many chords with unique progression, and extremely processed vocals.  The record label PC Music is known for this style, best expressed by Danny L Harle & A.G. Cook.  Now the trend is expanding beyond that label, seen on the dancefloor in Moon Bounce‘s wild tunes, in cute compilations like Drive45‘s Artificial Sweetener, and across Soundcloud in Maxo‘s complex remixes.

What would be your dream concert to attend? (Venue and artist)

I’ve been to loads of amazing ones in NYC, so I have a soft spot for the small intimate venues hidden in the city.  However, if I can use my imagination a little here, I’d love to see a performance in VR.  That medium is just begging for some crazy interactive live music experience.  If I could wear something like the HoloLens during an Arca concert to see Jesse Kanda’s revolutionary 3D visuals floating around the audience… wow that would be wild.

Who is an artist or band outside the realm of college radio/electronic music that people might be surprised to know you love?

I think people would be surprised to know I also like a little bit of math rock!  “Composite” by Palm is actually one of my favorite songs this semester.  The way the verse transitions into the hook that’s in 5/4, then slides into a super slowed down 4/4, only to speed back up into 3/4 with jarring polyrhythms… it takes many listens to figure out what’s going on, but wow it’s amazing this band can play the whole thing live without electronics.  I’m still shocked every time I hear the lead singer land perfectly on chords that I could not have predicted the timing on, even after multiple listens.

What is your best childhood memory?

Traveling far to see family, climbing trees, playing video games with friends… no one specific thing, but always experiences I had with people I care about 🙂

What event in your life would you say shaped you the most as a person?

An event that shaped me the most as a person would be when I had the choice to switch from my engineering high school with friends I dearly loved to an arts high school.  I was given 3 days to make a decision, and it was in September after the semester had already started because a spot on the waiting list was available.  I didn’t even know my mother had signed me up for it, but I knew at the arts academy I could learn graphic design and music production.  It was the first time I had to make a life changing decision, but I don’t regret it.  I’m constantly writing music and creating graphic art now, having a blast!  Since that week of stressfulness, I’ve had a better time making decisions on the fly & assessing benefits or conflicts of situations.

If you could choose, what time period in the past would you most want to travel back to and visit and why?

I would probably go to an early era to fix the misconceptions about minorities (LGBT, POC, etc) so that our society never has to go through a civil rights movement in the first place.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in New Britain/Hartford you always make sure to take guests/visitors to?

My favorite restaurant in Hartford would be the Tangiers international market.  It’s a grocery store with all kinds of middle eastern and mediterranean food, but they have this killer kitchen in the back where they make falafels & gyros right in front of you.  Mouthwatering…..

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

The best advice anyone has ever given me would be from my dad: smart people learn from their mistakes, and smarter people learn from other people’s mistakes.  Basically it boils down to doing research before taking a risk to see if anyone else has taken a similar leap to an opportunity you have.

Do you have any current favorite TV show obsessions?   What is the best movie you’ve seen so far in 2018?

TV show obsession: an anime called Made In Abyss!  It’s full of adventure & progresses very nicely from a borderline kids show into a thrilling odyssey with reasonable plot twists.  Beautiful animation & music as well.  Favorite movie so far in 2018 is probably Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson.  Another very fun one to watch 🙂

Lightning Round:

Dog or Cat?  Dogs AND cats.
Coffee or Tea?  Coffee.
Morning Person or Night Owl?  Night owl.
City or Country?  City.
Watch TV or Read A Book?  Watch TV.
Sunny or Rainy?  Sunny… but we do need that rain every once in a while.
Dine or Delivery?  Dine-in tastes better than delivery.
Beard or Clean Shaven?  Beard cuz I hate when I clean shave and get all red….
Pants or Shorts?  Shorts cuz they look better on me!