As doo-wop plays over the KUNV 91.5-FM airwaves on Saturday night, Chad Martinez gets ready to switch things up a bit. At the stroke of midnight, his Future Sound radio show takes over, satiating fans of electronic music for the next four hours.
“We hope to catch people on their way to the club, or on their way to or from a party,” says Martinez, who hosts the show alongside DJ Johnny Vibe. “We try to keep the format thumpin’,” he explains. “People seem to be becoming more and more aware of it,” Martinez says of the show, which gathers everything from Daft Punk and Tiësto to underground industrial and electronic acts. Vibe and Martinez also encourage local talent to submit their tracks.
Future Sound has existed in its current format for a little more than a year, occupying the time slot once inhabited by popular longtime electronic program Dimensional Dance. Though new Vegas station “The Vibe” (KVBE 94.5-FM) is trying to fill the electronic-music niche, its weak signal makes it difficult to receive. That leaves Future Sound with plenty of room to operate. “The end product touches base on the wide variety [of electronic music],” says Martinez. “You know you’re going to tune in and get a workout for your woofers.”
In the near future, KUNV will move from its current off-campus location to an on-site spot at UNLV. That, Martinez believes, will benefit weekend programming by promoting student involvement. It will also allow for the implementation of streaming and downloadable content.
That online element might have a downside for Future Sound, however, since the show often features DJs mixing live sets. “Licensing fees are going to be really tight,” Martinez says. “[But] we can still bring in the DJs and talk to them,” Vibe offers.
Since the show airs on public radio, funding is a constant issue. “We’d like to get more financial involvement from some of the people with deeper pockets, like promoters and the big casino clubs,” Martinez says. “It’s club culture we’re supporting and they’re supporting. We’d like to see some of the clubs step up maybe with some underwriting.”
Adds Vibe: “The whole world listens to dance music—techno, house, minimal, break beats, jungle. It’s very odd to me that Vegas doesn’t cater to that.”