An Interview with DJ Omnious of Infused Radio
Today we honor one of the electronic music scene's greatest advocates.
Oscar Bravo known by most as DJ Omnious; has been introducing us to electropop/EBM acts from around the world. His radio program and website offer so much more than any of the others out there by far. With DJ Mixes, free downloads, Artist Spotlights, and interviews; Infused Radio sets the standard and raises the bar for all the radio programs out there. DJ Omnious's contributions to the have earned him the respect of bands, artists, DJ's, and electropop purists everywhere. Perhaps his greatest attribute is that he invests his own funds into keeping the program up and running and rarely ever recouping his financial investments. He does this simply out of love for the music and artists. With Omni at the helm, the electronic music scene will never be dead!
GC) Tell us about yourself. Explain your affinity for electronic music. How did the love for the music prompt you to begin Infused Radio?
I “try” to run Infused Radio, I work for the world’s 3rd largest oil company as a graphics artist, I’m addicted to electronic music with emotion and I can’t stand people who don’t use their signal while changing lanes. I also need to get married soon.
Let’s see, my love for electronic music really started around 95 I believe. My first club experience was in Houston on the north side at a teen club called Shelter. Back then the music pumping from that club was what a lot of clubbers were listening to at the time. That was around the time Nightcrawler’s “Push the Feeling on” was very popular and Reel 2 Reels “I like to Move it” was an anthem. I had already been listening to other forms of electronic music in the early years. I remember owning an Acid House compilation, a tape set of 2, from XYZ Records. A little after that era I was listening to bands such as Depeche Mode, Erasure, When In Rome, Red Flag, Information Society and many more on 104 KRBE during the early 90s. Some of these bands I had been listening to since 5th grade. My addiction for modern synthpop didn’t start until I became connected to the World Wide Web around 2000. I went 7 years not knowing anything about Electro/Synth & Futurepop.
I began Infused Radio in 2003 to help spread this new music to a different audience. We’re trying to get listeners that have never heard this style of music before into it. As of this past week we’re mixing the station up some to attract other listeners that wouldn’t normally listen to just electro/synthpop. Not sure how it’s going to work out but we’re experimenting with old and new dance tunes. But our specialty remains and will always remain with what we started with. There isn't much to know about me except that I spend too much time with Infused Radio (more than with my girlfriend), I’m addicted to electronic music with emotion, love sushi, work for a Fortune500 company as a graphic artist and I’ve lived in Houston all my life. Oh, and I once was an alter boy back in my innocent days back when I used to listen to Erasure.
GC) You used to be called "New Wave Radio... What prompted the name change to "Infused Radio"?
The name change was prompted because the station’s style of music was shifting very quickly. As I began to discover these new bands I quickly started uploading them to the station. New Wave Radio wasn’t just playing New Wave anymore. We began to infuse the station with the newer sounds of electro/synth & futurepop. That was around the time when Megan Pokora was part of our crew. She helped me to discover even more bands.
While we were under the name NWR, I was hosting a weekly in the Montrose area of Houston. It was a live broadcast we did I believe every Thursday night. I didn’t know what to call it at the time so I asked someone to help me come up with some names. Infused was one of the ones I felt was a good one to go with and that’s been the name of this very addicting project. Infused Radio’s play-list is infused with different styles of electronic music. Slowly I’m diggin’ back to the early 90’s and even go far back as the 80’s and bring you back to the mid 90’s and lead you into today. Overbyte who’s been with us since the beginning of Infused Radio thought it would be a good idea to infuse Indie Rock music. And just as of a few days ago I began to add some early techno music. A good example would be the track by Messiah called “A Temple of Dreams”. That song brings back good memories. It has samples all over the place. You can hear the sample from the movie “Who loves you and who do you love?” And the crowd shouts “The messiah”. The preacher then says ”It’s time to start running!!”. That was taken from the movie The Running Man if you haven’t seen it. So as you can see we’re becoming more and more of an infused radio station. I think we’ll stop there for now. We don’t want to expand too much with different styles of music. This is sort of an experiment for now to see what the listeners think. It’s not yet concrete if we’ll keep this way.
GC) What bands/artists have influenced you in the past? What bands/artists are currently catching your attention?
Bands that got me back into the newer electro/synthpop sounds were B!Machine, Wolfsheim, The Echoing Green, Echo Image and De/Vision. They were very common when I use to download music from Audio Galaxy. At the time I had a very slow connection so I would leave the computer downloading the music every night. The more music I heard the more I wanted to find. I couldn’t believe there was this sort of music out there. It reminded me a lot of the early 90s synth music they played on the radio, bands like Red Flag, Channel 69, Machine in Motion and Anything Box. I miss those days.
Stuff that I’ve discovered in the past year has been Lords Assistants, Klockwork, Midnight Resistance, Disreflect, Zedna, Decades, Lakeside X, Destroid and Absorber.
Bands that influence me the most are the ones with emotion, good hooks, choruses and use the guitar properly. It doesn’t matter to me if there is another band that sounds the same. As long as it sounds good I’ll keep searching for similar artists. My favorite tune at the moment is by Destroid, and the track is called “Forever”. It’s a good dark track, not too dark, with a good beat for the dance floor and incredible emotion. Music like that keeps me hungry for more and it boosts my addiction even more. I’m an addict with no cure!
GC) An excerpt from the Infused Radio bio reads "Taking the lead in this movement is a collective not found in Berlin, London or New York. Deep in the heart of Texas, Infused Radio brings the world of modern electronic music to you." Many people may not be aware of the great electronic music movement in the early 90's with bands to come out of Texas such as Machine in Motion, The Hunger, and Channel 69. Also, with the more modern electro bands to come out of the region such as Provision, CTRL, Iris, and Asmodeus X to name a few....
Can you explain the current scene in Texas from your perspective? In your opinion, what is the connection that people seem to have here with the music?
I really like the early days of music coming out of Texas. Today the only band that really draws my attention is Iris. I just can’t believe their music hasn’t hit the mainstream. You would think that with the latest release they would’ve been picked up by a major. I think it’ll happen soon. They need to do more shows in the USA. Iris is also a good band to watch “live”. I’d book Iris, Cause & Effect and Lakeside X at the same time if I could. That would be a good show.
Its definitely true, Texas has had a good amount of synth bands.
Machine in Motion’s studio from what I hear was down the street from the art school I attended in Houston. One of the members of Machine In Motion was also the art director for a company I use to work for. “World in Fascination” got major radio play in Houston.
I guess to me the connection would have to be from radio in the 80’s to early 90s. Believe it or not but Houston used to have a lot of good clubs that played New Wave, Old School Industrial and Acid House. One club I hear a lot of people talk about was the very popular Club 6400 which has become legendary. There were others like Red Square and Xcess to name a few. So I guess it was the support of local radio playing this sort of music on the weekend and broadcasting live on FM radio. A lot of people connected with it and wanted to do their own sound.
GC) What are some memorable moments in Infused Radio's history? Interviews??? Events???? Etc????
Everything that has been an Infused event has been memorable. From the first concert with Cause and Effect to the last event with Anything Box minus the complications that night. The one that really stands out the most was the Ming & Ping and B!Machine event and the after party we had. That party was a great one and it was an event I did with 2 friends at the time. Lots of money was poured into that event. Don’t ask me if we made back the money spent for that party. Let’s just say this was an excuse to throw a big party and a big party it was.
The first ever Infused Interview with Babylonia was very memorable. It was the first of its kind for us and being able to talk to the band was very cool. The final product was unbelievable and it still is. We provide the listeners with an audio interview that starts with an intro, goes into the interview, music from the band being interviewed is added to the background and we end with an outro. As a fan I what would get people’s attention and that was an interview they could hear instead of reading. It gets really boring, too me, to have to read it. Some of just don’t have the patience to do it. I would rather download the mp3.
GC) What keeps you going Infused Radio? Why is it so important for you to continue to advocate the electronic scene?
My addiction to the music fuels Infused Radio. The crew that works with me fuels Infused Radio. The listeners fuels Infused Radio. The bands that make the music fuels Infused Radio. Anyone that supports and believes what we’re trying to do fuels Infused Radio and last but not least Overbyte and Tecnoman SF have stuck with me until now.
I strongly believe the majority of the music we play can easily hook people. I feel very strong with the electropop stuff we play are what most listeners will be more curious with. It’s electronic, sounds pop and has a sound reminiscent from the 80s only better. I believe this music deservers to be on the radio once again as it did in the early 90s. Who cares if it’s been done before or it sounds like DM, if it sounds good, has a good hook and isn’t so repetitive like other forms of electronic music then why not. We’re here to spread word and infused you to the next wave in electronic music.
GC) What can we expect from Infused Radio in the future? Are there any upcoming Infused events?
I'm working on my next DJ Set which is going to be called "Advancement". This is going to be mixed with my new gear that I'm getting soon. I'm getting the Numark Total Control DJ. This is going to be my 3rd dj set.
No other events are planned at the moment but I can tell you that we’ll be back. We’re just taking a break and focusing more on promoting the station. I’d like to first work on marketing the station with flyers, ads and other forms to promote the station. Once we’ve somewhat established ourselves as a good source for this type of music we’ll come back with doing events. But I will tell you this; I’d like to first fly a few bands to Mexico and South America before I do anything In Houston again.
In more recent news, we’re releasing our first online compilation put together by myself and Tecnoman SF from Argentina and it’s going to be distributed by YAEW from France thanks to very talented producer and remixer Peter Rainman of People Theatre. This guy here is one of the few people in this scene that doesn’t have anything negative to say about anyone or anything. I need to learn from him. I seem to get carried away with my opinions. Much love and respect to everyone who takes part in spreading this music and to those that continue to believe that this music will one day become the mainstream and thank you Matt and Grave Concerns for giving me this interview.