©Willem de Ridder, Amsterdam

Tues 22:00 - 23:00 h (GMT) on Radio X Frankfurt GER 91,8 FM

Radio Show • Since 1997 • Livestream: www.radiox.de/live

news, talk: facebook.com/vanilleclub


In 1988 I made a short film about Kunst-Radio X, which broadcast from a trailer in front of Frankfurt's Portikus on the occasion of the art fair with the special permission of the Hessian government. For ten days I was not only able to watch and listen to a fascinatingly different, lively radio. But also take part and make your own show, which was the condition for the filming permit. The creators of Radio X, including Petra Klaus and Walter Baumann, also invited their anarchist friends from Radio Bellevue from Lyon and Radio Rabotnik from Amsterdam, who also offered radio workshops and seminars on media theory.

At that time, I met the Fluxus artist Willem de Ridder through Radio X, who performed spontaneous radio plays on Radio Rabotnik based on his happenings with Joseph Beuys, Nam Yun Paik and Wolf Vostell:

"A spontaneous radio play works like a ball game. You're in the studio, lying to yourself and passing this fantasy ball to each other. The craziest thing is the best. The only condition of the game is that you catch the ball and give it back. Radio is so beautiful because you can 'lie' so well in it."

Political blockades and a restrictive Hessian state media law forced the Radio X makers to move to Berlin in 1990, where non-commercial local radio was not prohibited. Starting in 1991, Radio X organized the 'Somnabulen Salon' with performance artist Mike Hentz for two years on Radio 100 there, a nighttime program in which listeners were expressly encouraged to fall asleep.

After the Hessian state media law was relaxed, Radio X returned to Frankfurt, became the association Radio X-Mix e.V. with other groups in 1994 and applied for a permanent VHF frequency as non-commercial local radio (NKL).

In May 1996, Radio X was broadcast for ten days from the basement cafe of the Schützenstraße theater with the special permission of the Hessian State Institute for Private Broadcasting (LPR). There was a studio room made of corrugated cardboard. The audience sat in the cafe and could watch the radio broadcast through a window.

Before Radio X finally went on air around the clock as Frankfurter NKL at the end of September 1997, a nine-day test radio station called "radioXperience" was launched in March of that year. This time, 52 groups from Frankfurt and Europe took part in the design of the full programme; Writers, gallery owners, furniture makers, children, school classes, Eintracht fans, artists like Achim Wollscheidt, Stefan Beck and Walter Baumann, designers, musicians like Alfred Hart, DJs, actors, gay and lesbian activists, feminists and, of course, interested listeners. There was media theory from Bart Schut from Radio Patapoe in Amsterdam, among others.

Many of these groups still do the Radio X program today. The vanilla club, initially as the 500 Billion Dots Club, has also been doing live radio every Tuesday from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. since Radio X began broadcasting.

At the beginning we mainly made spontaneous radio plays with some guests. Later there were also magazine-like programs, music and talk.

The first Tuesday of every month to date, the BEATNIKS, as a sub-group of the 500 Billion Dots Club/Vanilla Club, bring rare and quirky sixties beat music to the fore. On the second there was first GRAF DOUGLAS UND HIS VÖGELFREUNDE: ornthological simpleton as a spontaneous radio play with music. On the third, SPONTANEOUS AUDIO PLAY or LIVE MUSIC SESSION, and on the fourth of the month the RADIO LIVE SERMON with REVEREND HARALD BIEHL, the voice of the good word, with the battle cry: "God is not a pisser!!!"

Years later, the Count moved to Stockholm, and the reverend did his doctorate in democracy so that he could better denigrate the government on the RADIO STAMMTISCH. This became RENT YOUR DISCUSSION - the show for lazy mouths ('The big Harald Biehl and Max Schumacher show'). Listeners tired of discussion could call here and have a topic discussed.

From 2002 there was EIERUHRCOUNTRY ON CALL WITH A.M.V., THE BEGINNERS WITH PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE Kemal Wegda & Max Schumacher every 2nd Tuesday. During the broadcast, callers specified a theme, genre, or mood. AMV improvised a completely new, never-before-heard song live from it. Duration: 3 minutes until the egg timer rings (or longer if you forgot to wind it up). 2 voices and a studio full of instruments: accordion, violin, guitar, kalimba, marimba, xylophone, Casio pocket keyboard, rattles, tambourines, sandei, bongos, blues harp and flute. Later it became an improv trio with the charming Mary-Anne. If no one called, which was rare, there was a blackout (can't be heard).

"A.M.V. Eieruhr-Country auf Zuruf" ran from 2002 to 2009 in the vanilla club on Radio X Frankfurt and reached a large audience: "One really wished this show had received the Grimme Prize" (listener comment on facebook)

The double album "A.M.V. Eieruhrcountry - Best off!"reminds of the wild times: "A.M.V. Eieruhrcountry - Best off!" 

> mail to:  hallo(at)vanilleclub.de 

Also popular was SCHLAGER UND PUNKROCK with Harald Biehl and Max Schumacher. They alternately played 1 pop song and 1 punk rock and commented on this. Harald Biehl also listed German rap, hip-hop & German pop under “Schlager” (from around 2012 to 2018)

In 2018, Yoni and Lingam make love in Studio 1: “To talk about sex really honestly, openly and directly is rather uncomfortable for most. Shame and insecurity arise. But as soon as the topic pops up somewhere, everyone gets elephant ears. That's no wonder, after all we all do it sooner or later, rarely or often. And above all, we all came from it. Nevertheless, sex and love appear in the mass media, especially when something is to be sold, claims to power are asserted, or under purely scientific aspects. The rest is sin (church). In contrast, sex as a positive, individual and shared transcendent experience, as ecstasy, energy, as a path to liberation and spirituality is underexposed in the media. However, there are exercises and techniques, ancient traditions. Tantric sensualization. And the personal experiences in the here and now. We don't approach the topic in a chubby, obscene or ridiculous way, but simply radically naked. We're dropping our pants. Together with our listeners - let's make love! Studio phone 069-29971-211. Get involved."

Since about 2013 I've been doing the show MACHTS EUCHST SELF - TELEFONRADIO. I'm on the mic in Studio 1, listeners call in and play their favorite music via their phone or tablet to the vanilla club on Radio X, I broadcast it locally on 91.8 FM and livestream it worldwide. No matter what music genre, canned or live, modern, antique or world premiere, on the go or at home - it doesn't matter. After 3 minutes it's over and it's the next turn. The quality is great: whether it's the best-produced summer hit or a scrap recording from the rehearsal room - everything sounds equally good over the phone, gated and bit-crushed. And I'm always amazed at what our Radio X/Vanilleclub listeners can do musically. But also here: if no one calls - transmission hole. Or moderator babbles.

Not to forget, since 2019 every 4th Tuesday of the month:

VC SSSALSSA - MUSIC WITH HOT SAUCE. Hearable and danceable from the Latin world - Rhumba, Son, Afro-Cuba, Merengue, Caribbean music styles and much more. Vamos a la couple dance. Yes, I've been learning Salsa Cubana myself for 3 years now!

(To be continued - Eick Hoemann)

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