This announcer spotlight was produced by  DJ Ides of Electric Sunset and first published in our biannual member magazine, Easey Mag, December 2017 edition. We hope you enjoy reading DJ Ides' story.

PBS has very much been the backdrop of my life for the past few years. It represents electronic sounds of all varieties, especially the underground, little heard electronic music that’s been such a huge influence on the live, experimental music being made in Melbourne. 

I started DJing on PBS in 2013 as one of the B.P.M DJs (a show that features rotating electro DJs – Saturdays from 12 to 2am). After about a year of presenting B.P.M, Ghetto Disco (with Gary Laidlaw), which played everything from disco to abstract and obscure electro, was finishing and I was asked if I wanted to put together an electronic/dance show. I was really excited! 

I’d been DJing in clubs for over a decade and I wanted to be on radio as a contrast to that. In putting together Electric Sunset, I took inspiration from overseas DJs doing their thing like Maryanne Hobbs, best known for their experimental electronic show on BBC Radio 6, and Alexander Nut from London-based Eglo Records who plays broken beat, soul and whatever else happens to take his fancy on NTS internet radio, two DJs that I really love. 

I wanted to create a show that could get the listener on their feet and ready for a night out, or settle them into the groove and relaxed with electro music not heard elsewhere. It was important to me that electronic music from around the world was represented as well as artists and DJs from Melbourne. Playing records that show the raw techno electro music that’s emerged since the 80s, and giving listeners an opportunity to hear the really amazing house music, techno, ambient, dub and electronica that’s out there is what it’s all about. 

To find the tracks I play on Electric Sunset, I need to listen to a lot of music. That’s the key to finding such a wide selection of music, and having an open mind while listening. The advice I was given when I was very young and collecting music, was to just listen to everything; move to a different shelf in the record store instead of only listening to 4x4 techno, which can become a little bit repetitive if you’re listening to hundreds of records a week! 

I also follow labels and artists that I know have released music in the past that I like and listen to their new releases. One of the people who’s really important to me is Juan Atkins, who is widely credited as the pioneer of techno, specifically Detroit techno. 

Having guest DJs and producers from Melbourne and around the world come in and perform a live set is an occasional feature of the show and one of my favourite parts. A memorable live-to-air was The Messy Mammals, a duo of local producers who cross over from hip-hop to electronic music. They came in and created something really special for radio which sounded so different to their EP, Rewind Zodiac.

Getting to experience local Melbourne acts doing such high-quality work is something so positive that comes from being a part of PBS. I wouldn’t get the opportunity to make contact with these artists if it wasn’t for Electric Sunset and PBS.  

As for the future of Electric Sunset, I want to represent electronic music artists from around Melbourne and encourage artists to come in and create a live set for radio listeners. I know that’s a different experience for a lot of DJs and producers so I want to make room for more of them on the show. 

DJ Ides presents 'Electric Sunset' on Saturdays from 10pm-12am on PBS.