Czeching 2015 – Third year on our mission as apostles of Czech music
And this time everyone will hear us! The first edition of the project (originally called Shootout – Special Edition) ventured into unknown territory – supporting Czech music talents on their journey towards an international audience. Last year’s edition of Czeching proved to be a great success, and all the more needed considering the absence of any national music export office in the Czech Republic – a common service that successfully functions in many European countries – and a situation which has impeded Czech artists getting established on the international scene. And yet in spite of all that, current Czech music production is in a healthy state, giving birth to innovative and interesting bands as well as solo projects that deserve to get the chance to resonate abroad.
The six-member jury composed of Czech music experts (promoters, label representatives, music publicists and experts, organizers of music series and festivals, heads of programmes at music clubs and music talent seekers) nominates six contemporary songs by Czech bands that are considered to have the best chance of making it abroad. During the Czeching live session, the jury members choose the winning song. The nominated songs are also reviewed by an international jury consisting of music experts, mainly representatives of European radio stations. Our listeners also get the chance to support their favourite band on their journey to an international audience by casting their votes in the chart,Vote for Your Favourite Czech Song.
Our focus is on alternative music and on artists that don’t try to please the masses, although this definition is pretty broad since its boundaries are constantly shifting. In 2013, the female duo Never Sol enchanted listeners on radio stations in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, France and Sweden with their combination of folk, chanson and electronic experiments, and last year we helped surfpunk trio Wild Tides and shoegaze discovery Manon Meurt branch out.
Those of you who have been following us know that Czeching is a format that showcases what’s happening in the contemporary Czech music scene. It features a radio show, a competition between our most exciting new talents, offers a helping hand to all nominated artists and, last but not least, also serves as a calling card abroad for the Czech non-mainstream scene. We provide the winning project with the opportunity to release a professional recording, get introduced to the European on-air media and catapult the winner onto international stages. This year, we celebrate our third birthday and we are putting together a host of new additions.
- We have launched the project’s own website www.rozhlas.cz/czeching which will keep you up to date on all current news regarding the project, its recent exploits and achievements, and also let you know what happened during previous editions of Czeching.
- You can expect many new visual elements and you will also get the chance to try out your own musical skills on our interactive instruments
- We want to find ways of furthering promotion of Czeching among the public at large – so stay tuned for upcoming coordinates where you can download music at various locations throughout Prague
- Unlike in the two previous editions when the winners were selected by Czech music experts, this time we want to complement our expert panel with international members
- We will also voice our listeners’ opinions when we announce the official winner of the Vote For Your Favourite Czech Song survey, in which you will be able to vote for the nominated bands using our special app
- This year, we want to give you, our listeners, more of a say too – and to let us know what you think. That way we all get to compare the tastes of both Czech and foreign music fans. And if you have creative ambitions yourself, you too can contribute!
- The recording session of the winning band will be officially released by Czech Radio
- We will send the winner of this year’s edition to the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival, which takes place in mid-January 2016 in Groning in the Netherlands. The 2016 festival will heavily feature the Central and Eastern European music scene – so let’s rise to the challenge!
Czeching 2015 will go on air in September on Czech Radio’s Radio Wave and for the first time also on Vltava – the station that targets fans of alternative music. Since the start of the year, the Czeching team has been busy with its preparations – starting with the selection of the Czech and international jury, through the production of audio and video profiles of the individual jury members as well as the nominated bands, setting up the project’s website and SoundCloud profile to our media support and marketing activities. Tune in to Czeching now!
When will Czeching go on air this year?
1. On 2 September 2015 we will announce the jury, who will compare the Czech music scene with that of other European countries. Together we will try to identify the opportunities and obstacles that come the way of Czech artists on the road to international success. Finally, we will announce this year’s nominations and launch our listener survey – Vote For Your Favourite Czech Song.
2. All six nominated songs will be presented on air on 7 October 2015 – each with a commentary from its “sponsor”, as well as two opponents from among the Czech jury members and one member of the foreign jury. All jury members will award the individual song nominations with points. Based on the total score, we will announce the winner of Czeching 2015 and give them the opportunity to use Czech Radio’s recording studio to produce a professional music release.
3. On 4 November 2015, we will turn our attention to the opinions and voices of our listeners – we will announce the winners of the listener survey, Vote For Your Favourite Czech Song – and listen to the voices of fans who attend this year’s Czeching winners’ concert and who get to hear part of the concert’s audio recording. Together with the two invited Czech jury members, we will evaluate the contestants and listen to the selected comments of international experts.
4. On 2 December 2015, you will finally have the opportunity to listen to the entire EP recorded by the winner in Czech Radio’s studio. In an interview with the winner, we will discuss what it’s like to be involved in a studio recording session and their ambitions for the international scene. Plus, space will also be given to reviews of their new EP.
5. On 12 February 2016, we will broadcast a two-hour selection of music from the best of Czeching 2015 accompanied by a report from the winner’s international gig.
All Czeching sessions will be broadcast in Czech and all recordings will be available from Czeching’s audio archive and on our SoundCloud profile.
We thank you for your interest in Czech alternative music! We invite you to follow the 3rd edition of our musical adventure, so please voice your opinion by completing the Vote For Your Favourite Czech Song survey. (link) And who knows? You may even get your favourite artist onto your favourite radio station’s playlist or get them played at your favourite club. Stay tuned!
International jury members:
- Tijs van Liemt, Netherlands, music scheduler on 3FM
- Christoph Lindemann, Germany, Head of music at BR PULS
- Lörinc Bubnó, Hungary, Radio Petőfi
- Stefan Trischler, Austria, host of weekly HipHop show “Tribe Vibes” on Radio FM4
- Bethan Elfyn, United Kingdom, BBC, based in Wales but hosting shows on BBC Radio One, and BBC 6 Music
- Marta Blumi Tripodi, Italy, editor and producer on Rai Radio2
- Laurent Marceau, Switzerland, EBU, manager of the Eurosonic platform
- Robert Meijerink, Netherlands, the main booker for Eurosonic Noorderslag, the annual showcase-platform and conference
- Hervé Riesen, France, Radio France, deputy director of International Affairs
- Jan Sneum, Denmark, DR P3 Live, former chairman of the EBU expert group Eurosonic
Czech jury members:
- Jana Grygarová, founder, editor and publisher of Full Moon music magazine. She organised concerts under the k.y.e.o. label and presented programmes for Radio 1 and StreetCulture.
- Karel Veselý, renowned independent music journalist
- Pavel Turek, music journalist, editor at Respekt weekly
- Marie Čtveráčková (“Mary C”), producer, presenter and cultural activist
- Petra Ludvíková, producer and music programmer
- Jiří Špičák, music editor on Radio Wave
Czeching – team members:
Team management, producer: Iva Jonášová
Project creators, presenters: Iva Jonášová, Stanislav Zima
Damian Machaj (video)
Ondřej Tylčer (photography)
Jakub Šolín (visual arts)
Jonáš Zbořil (interviews)
Karel Fisl (sound)
Jiří Šimek (music director)
Martin Vejvoda (international relations)
Jan Hladonik, Jiří Jeřábek, Jan Kistanov (marketing)
Barbora Šímové (PR, média)
Marie Němcová (web)
Barbora Rozkošná (translations)