The new hits by George Vasilev The Bad Radio, Got the Secret, Knowledge, Room to Breathe, and More Sugar, have energized my summer workout playlist and boosted my mood during long-distance jogging.  The Bad Radio’s experimental projects are at the crossroads of popular and progressive musical cultures, so it’s not easy to attribute them to certain genres. The post is a must-read for those who love great music and new discoveries!

‘Your stuff is so refreshingly good! How do you achieve those sounds?’

George Vasilev is a Bulgarian DJ, music producer, performer, and 3D graphic artist. He runs his own project, The Bad Radio, as well as works with different cultural organizations. 

As a musician, 3D designer, and virtual reality developer he regularly produces projects for the Plovdiv Regional History Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Sofia), and Bulgarian National Television BNT 2. 

George began his musical experiments in the 90s with tape mixes. He created his compositions mixing Nirvana, Prodigy, Metallica, and Chilly Peppers. His selections very soon became part of private parties.

Recently, his tracks have featured prestigious international festivals and collaborative events. This year he released his first album The Works with 9 songs. Below, is a 2-minute preview, and the whole album can be found on Spotify

There’re dozens of articles and interviews with George in the media where he tells about his experiments and different applications of music. The most exhaustive information in Bulgarian (with English subtitles) is the recent press video. The most interesting disclosure in English is an interview on Punky’s MIXTAPE (in English). 

Punky’s MixTape is an American Underground Multi-Genre Music and art Show on Twitch. The informal friendly chart with Punky Bruiser is, in essence, a cultural exchange. It’s very interesting to see how using the same categories (inspiration, working process, music genres, etc.) the interlocutors share their experiences and gradually uncover the situation with modern music in such different countries as America and Bulgaria.

‘Your stuff is so refreshingly good! How do you achieve those sounds?’, – exclaims Punky Bruiser. The artists are genuinely curious about each other’s achievements, and the interview turns into a lively conversation. The video is a must-watch for a wide range of audiences!

A glimpse of The Bad Radio working process  

I happen to watch George’s work in action. Together with George and Suzy Hakobyan, Armenian art curator, we spent over an hour wandering around Plovdiv streets and recording sounds of everyday life: dry leaf rustles, traffic noise, and even cats meowing. Then we recorded interviews with Plovdiv’s residents. 

That mix was used by George for music composition by Walk the Plank (the UK) for the outdoor performance created by the EU Plovdiv School of Participation that brought together people from 7 countries in the framework of Plovdiv 2019, the European Capital of Culture.

An aerial panoramic image by The Bad Radio.
An aerial panoramic image by © George The Bad Radio of the outdoor performance created at the EU School of Participation (Plovdiv 2019)

That unusual experiment with sounds has made me reconsider my attitude toward sounds and enrich my workout playlist with tracks from The Bad Radio. What I like most about George’s music is that it inspires and motivates but, at the same time, it harmonizes with other music on my playlist. Such a high degree of freedom allows me to match and mix them with different things and always have a fresh mix. 

More insights into…

Following his recent album release, I asked George to share more insights on what inspires great ideas for The Bad Radio.  

Mixing sounds

I don’t like using pretty obvious borrowed samples. If I do, I try to make them as unrecognizable as possible, but just as appealing. It should appeal to you subconsciously. I love rock and electronic music. But I don’t just lock myself down in one style. I love recording sounds from real life. I am currently working on a soundtrack for a street performance for which I’ve recorded the sounds of falling match sticks and a coin in a tin can. Such sounds are unusual for a dance track, but this is a different kind of music piece where I can experiment more.

Exploring new places 

I always try new things which I am curious about and I always try to combine work, ambition, and leisure. I enjoy getting away from it all and going into nature. Where it is quiet. I love our seaside and especially the south part where I can enjoy both, forests and the sea. People should explore. I would go anywhere really, not because I know the place, but because I don`t. And I’ve recently started to go fishing again. And this is something that gives me peace and time to think at the same time while doing something relaxing….and I always release the fish 😉

Connecting with the audience

I play clubs and festivals as well as collaborate with different people. And I enjoy sharing all the results of those multifaceted collaborations that are always available on my channels where you can select, make your selection, and become a Dj: Spotify,  Soundcloud,  Instagram,  Facebook,   Twitter, YouTube, and Behance.

Stay tuned!

Find more ‘Cultural Insights’ in the section Travel Time of this blog.