Melodic Distraction Studio Liverpool

Meet Melodic Distraction - the Baltic homed radio station

If you've walked along Jamaica Street, had your photo taken with the famous Paul Curtis 'wings', or enjoyed a drink around the corner in Botanical Garden, the chances are you've probably gone past and maybe nosed through the window of the home of Melodic Distraction. 

We had a chat with Tom at MD Radio to find out more about how they started, what's good and what's coming up. 

What is Melodic Distraction and how did you get started?

"Melodic Distraction is an internet radio station, online magazine and events coordinator based in The Baltic Triangle. We began life three years ago, putting on parties at Constellations before focusing on music journalism and online streaming. "

"Back in January 2017, we started broadcasting our DJ mixes online and, before long, this developed into a fully-fledged internet radio station. Starting out with 12 shows per month, we have now grown to a roster of over 70, all with differing tastes and conversations. If you ever wander past our studio window, it’s likely that you’ll see one of us (Josh, James, Nina or Tom; hey!) joined by our wonderful radio show hosts. Be sure to say hello!"

Can you tell us about the space you have in the Baltic Triangle and how you ended up there?

"When we began streaming DJ mixes it felt sensible to have a physical space to broadcast from. As the crew at Melodic Distraction had finished university, we wanted to approach the project seriously, so we put in full time hours whilst juggling our other jobs to compensate. As chance would have it, we found the perfect spot and it was within our budget! It’s a historical red-brick building. We’re on the ground floor, with a perfect view looking out onto Jamaica Street - perfect for watching the Baltic world go by. Now we’ve got a comfy sofa (most importantly), the DJ decks, two microphones and LOADS of records. It wasn’t always like that though..."

"At the start, it was fascinating to see this dilapidated spot; a disused porcelain toilet sat proudly in the middle of the room. Nonetheless, we immediately envisioned a radio studio there, with a nifty window looking out onto the main street. After three months of dust masks, paint mishaps and dodgy DIY we had a functioning radio studio and we’ve been steadily improving it ever since. We might’ve accidentally killed a couple of our studio plants during the journey though."

What’s the most exciting part about having a radio station in the Baltic Triangle?

"The most exciting thing for us is the close proximity of everyone and everything in the area, with the station positioned in the midst of it all."

"Punters stroll past at the weekend on their way to one of many recently-opened bars and music venues in the area. It’s common to see people with a surprised look on their faces as they walk past us; they discover all the noise that we’re making and peek their head in the window. Some people stick around and have a dance, whilst others ask if we’re a bar!"

"Talking of The Baltic Triangle, there’s a definite community spirit around here. We know lots of bars and venues in the area and we all like to help each other out, whether it’s with promotion for events or borrowing equipment on the final hour. People like 24 Kitchen Street and Constellations have been really important friends to us, and it’s been great to see us all grow together. We broadcast music and host events in both venues, recently fundraising for International Women’s Day at 24 Kitchen Street with DJ workshops and an all-female lineup. We’re actually hosting an Independent Record Fair on July 22nd at Constellations."

"For a radio station, to be in the middle of such a creative and forwarding thinking area of town is great; it keeps us on our toes and ready for anything."

Where do you want to take the radio station/plans for the future?

"There’s so many different shows on the schedule now, but we want to showcase even more of the music scene that Liverpool has to offer. At the moment, we only broadcast 6 days a week during the evenings, with a slightly larger day schedule at the weekend. We’ll be launching a Crowdfunder in July so that the station can broadcast a whopping 24 hours a day!"

"The Crowdfunder Campaign will help raise funds for web development and studio equipment which will allow us to increase our capacity, whilst ensuring the Radio Production team get the right training and pay. It’s going to be a lot of work, but we know that it’ll be worthwhile. This will help us to strengthen the crew at Melodic Distraction, with more people getting involved; whether it be producing radio shows, writing articles for the website, or assisting with external events. You’ll have seen our faces at Africa Oyé, Positive Vibrations and The Baltic Weekender, with a smile (and a sweat) on!"

What type of music does the radio station play?

"All of the good stuff…

At least that’s what we like to think! We started out with club-focused radio shows and the music was very much in-line with Liverpool club culture. We’re talking house, techno and disco edits. From there, we’ve increased the breadth of radio shows on air. Now there’s everything from psych, soul, reggae and hip-hop, through to funk, disco and drum & bass. We host Sunday morning shows that ease you into the day with calm and comforting music, as well as experimental shows that highlight new and forthcoming releases."

"We like to keep the radio station alive with new music and our hosts are constantly digging for new tunes. Straying away from commercial chart music, we dig a little deeper and embrace the different tastes and experiences that people have. It helps that the folks at Jacaranda Records and 3Beat Records both have shows on the station, so that we can get first dibs on all the new music that is hitting their shelves."

Do you support emerging talent from Liverpool and if so how can people get involved?

"A radio station is a place for practise and experimentation. We all started from somewhere and it’s important to provide a place for people to do their own thing, wherever and whatever that might be. Emerging talent is so important for a radio station, and we realise that the station can’t function without the support of our show hosts and our audiences. New ideas, and the drive behind that emerging talent is what keeps us dynamic. We understand that music tastes differ and constantly change, and that this is something to be embraced and supported."

"Some show hosts and guests are only just starting out on their music careers as DJs or producers. We want to nurture people without judgement or condescension. You can see the confidence of hosts improve vastly as they begin to jump on the microphone and promote the music that they love and the new music they’ve only just found. Our radio shows are uploaded to listen back to at a convenient time. They act as an archive of various music tastes, seeking to highlight upcoming music from Liverpool and beyond. With full tracklists and information on the music getting played we want to see people buying the music that they love, going to parties in your local venues, and supporting each other along the way. It all makes sense!"

Melodic Distraction Studio showing decs, microphone and light box with the station name on

What are your thoughts on Liverpool as a music city?

"It’s an interesting one; Liverpool is undoubtedly a music city in some respects. The formation and evolution of contemporary music is clear to see around here. From the influx of soul and jazz via New York, to the establishment of Merseybeat; it’s a city steeped in musical history. Whether or not we’ve been jumping on The Beatles bandwagon for too long now is another issue. Regardless, it’s clear that music culture and education does not receive the same support that it once did. There are certain aspects of this that can be addressed."

"Less people are going to music venues regularly, or listening to upcoming bands. Why is that? How do we improve that? There are less resources available for music education in schools and community centres across the region. Why is that? How do we improve that? These are the questions we need to ask."

There’s so much potential for people to pursue music as a career and a passion in this city. We need to support the universities and colleges teaching music, sound engineering and entrepreneurship. We need to pressure the right people to make Liverpool the music city that it deserves to be; a city where live music and club nights are the bread and butter, where people dig through records at their local store and create fantastic new music with the support and influence of their peers. We need to kick on as a city, be proud of the music going on right now, and support the next generation of music makers. 

How can people tune in and follow you on Social Media?

"We’re in all the usual spots, with our radio shows broadcast and archived through the website. There are regular articles on local music happenings there, with event guides and interviews. We post live videos on Facebook, daily updates on Twitter, whilst Instagram is your chance to see our knackered faces as we go about our day-to-day business. We’ve got a radio studio based down in The Baltic Triangle, facing out on Jamaica Street. Feel free to swing by and if we’ve got the window open and a chair out front, take a minute to sit and listen to the latest live show taking place. It’s almost always pretty good music, though we would say that!"

Thanks to Tom and the team at Melodic Distraction for taking the time to speak to us. 


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This blog has been written by Jess Cavendish, Digital Marketing Manager for Marketing Liverpool. Jess looks after all things website and content related for VisitLiverpool/its liverpool, Marketing Liverpool and Liverpool Convention Bureau digital channels!

Jess loves and Aperol Spritz, her second favourite city (after Liverpool of course), is a toss up between Rome and Berlin  🤔