When it comes to its underground music scene, Kiev never disappoints. It’s all about reclaiming former industrial spaces and turning them into unforgettable venues for local DJs to play in. It’s a trend that started with the now iconic night Схема, but is not limited to raves and clubs alone. Situated in a 20ft shipping container in the city centre, a stone’s throw away from Kiev’s cultural hub Closer, is 20ft Radio. The project was started in December 2016 by Serge Taranovskiy and Dima Isaenko, and has since become one of the most sought after places to play in the city. Taranovskiy had been a graphic designer, and after discovering Amsterdam-based Red Light Radio, he’d reached out to his friend to create something similar. The shipping container was Isaenko’s idea, who had been using it to sell his own brand of rucksacks.
“The first DJs invited to play were all local names, with an amazing musical taste. These were: Oleg Zabava, Dima Prutkin, Olga Bekenshtein, and the guys from Krossfingers. The very first set was played by Stanislav Tolkachev,” Taranovskiy continues.
Shows run daily and the schedule is packed with emerging local producers and artists, as well as visiting DJs like Buttechno and Sariin. You’ll be hard pressed to find something you’ve heard before. “I’d recommend tuning in to a show from our team, Alienation, dedicated to synth music, or Music for Murder for all things noir, from dark jazz to horror soundtracks. Just go on our site, hit the “shows” tab, and pick something that suits your mood.”
The 20ft Radio team has grown since its inception. “Misha Bondariev is our programme director and star of the morning show; Vitaliy Nemchenko is our musical expert and guide to English grammar; Kyrylo Nechyporuk is our digital genius and the whole reason we were recently nominated for the Webby Awards; meanwhile Ihor Kryvoruchko is the guys who taught us how to connect wires to iron,” explains Taranovskiy.
They recently swapped the shipping container for a stage at 86 festival in Slavutych, and are preparing a line-up for Kiev’s Strichka festival, with plans for more festivals this season. “The festival in Slavutych went really well. We were really impressed with the whole organisation of it. Next year you’ll have the chance to find us at Amsterdam’s Online Radio Festival.” The team hopes to invite internationally renowned names onto their radio station. Among some of their dream guests are Norwegian producer Lindstrom and German band Bohren & der Club of Gore. For now, they’re bringing a taste of Ukraine’s thriving club scene to social media feeds around the world.