The Olympics are good for radio. At least, for new stations. There’s 5 live Olympics Extra. There’s the bizarre Boat Radio, brilliantly reviewed by Steve Martin here: http://earshot.tvi.gg/2012/07/boat-radio-is-all-at-sea/. And now there’s International Radio Festival, the official radio station of the House of Switzerland during the Olympics. Snappy. And a little niche.

Listened In is 2ZY’s air-check blog. Every week, we listen to a random 20 minute sample of a station or programme in the news.

WHO DANILO, SAMUEL and CHRIS (according to the website)

WHAT LIVE@HOS

WHEN 24 July 2012

Danilo Bavier, getting into the mood for London 2012 in an England shirt.

2015 I’m a little hamstrung here in that I have no Swiss or German and only a little French. But hopefully something of a grasp of English. And of the international language of radio; that thing we all share where you can identify passion, pace, the magic of the medium – even if the words mean nothing to you. It starts, I think, with something in Swiss.

The second presenter – Chris I assume –  says in English, “I have to read this in actual German.” And does. Then goes back to English again for this promo line: “Mr Mossiman and the chef of the Queen is serving food throughout the three weeks. We went to see his son who’s head of the kitchen at the House of Switzerland and that’s on our morning show starting at what? 8 o’clock? Yeah, 8 o’clock.”

Lazy Boy/The Bianca Story

(The band website describes them: Try imagining Heaven 17, the B-52’s and Talking Heads at a Fleetwood Mac reunion gig and you’re probably nowhere near. Through this vibrant 5-piece, the 80s get a slacker, soulful feel, courtesy of a beardy bloke (Elia Rediger) with a lazy Phil Oakey drawl) O … K.

Segue, no ID into something unidentified, all soulful and chillout in French.

ID: “Welcome to International Radio Festival, the official radio of the House of Switzerland in London during the Olympics. For full details visit internationalradiofestival.com”

All Around/Monophon

“This is International Radio Festival of London”, says one of the presenters, then some German.

Then, a benchmark. Chris: “Now it’s time for the Wisdom of the Day. Sorry for all you English Listeners The Wisdom of the Day is Swiss Wisdom – It’s …” then something in Swiss which triggers much hilarity in the studio.

Mozaic/Michael Calfan

Mic Howl into the next link.

SUMMARY

On paper, this looks like a glorious attempt at European union, in the spirit of the games. “Don’t be alarmed about the Swinglish nature of their chat!”, says the website. “Danilo will speak in Swiss German, Samuel in French, and Chris in return in English.”

From an organisation that describes itself as ‘a must attend for all music radio professionals, radio jockeys and DJs alike’ you might be expecting something different and interesting, with real pace and style.

The music was certainly eclectic, and surprisingly listenable, like when you stumble into a cooler bar than usual, and want to Shazam everything they play.

But the imaging was confused, and did nothing to lead this listener into the rest of the schedule or even promote the station’s aims – a real shame for a temporary station like this. The links over-modded a bit, and there was a bit of mic howl at one point. It sounded like an averagely engineered RSL.

So who is this for? From this example, there was no real effort to translate for or welcome the non-Swiss listener.

If you’re a hipster from Basel, there’s finally a radio station in London for you.

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