Musoplex studios - now defunct - were based in Oldbury, almost underneath the elevated section of the M5, in a solidly workaday industrial estate.
Glamorous was is not; functional and flexible it certainly is. Besides rehearsal spaces, a record label, and a fully featured and very capable recording studio, with a squadron of associated enterprises, they also boast a large performance stage, suited to live performance photo and video shoots, along with a smaller space, used for meetings and interviews
I was an interview subject in 2012. It was a lot of fun. The video covers local music issues, and especially the continued deterioration of exposure for local music on local radio. The video, and links to some of Musoplex's previous productions follow...
While we're on the subject of the deterioration of exposure of local music on local radio, I am explicitly NOT talking down those few stations who make a point of supporting local music, of course. Credit where credit is due.
It's simply that - certainly to me, and to many of my colleagues at radio and in the local music scene - the continued growth of nationally programmed brand radio means yet more distance is placed between the national programmers and their regional audiences. This has developed into an increasingly significant issue at local and regional radio, and now it looks like we've got to the point where savvy local programmers could reap serious rewards by counter-programming against this trend. Certainly, commercial radio's policy of the past five years - merging stations out of existence to create national brands to better compete against BBC Radios 2 and 1 - has failed miserably. Total commercial audience figures have not improved one jot against BBC numbers in that time, and the BBC still leads the commercial sector by a country mile.
But it's not, and never has been, in my book, a case of overthrowing the existing status quo with cries of revolutionary glee, much as a lot of musicians I know might wish to see this. It's more a case of simply wanting to see radio programmers take a good hard long look at the world they're part of outside their studios, to try and see where there is common, mutually beneficial ground.
It's interesting to note just how many studios across the West Midlands see it as part of their duty to engage with their markets in different ways. Musoplex is one such, and there are at least half a dozen more, helmed by decent, responsible, principled professionals who want to see their sector and their clients prosper. It's a question of enlightened engagement and collaboration to everyone's benefit, celebrating the creative forces in the region.
I just wish there was more of this at radio.
Musoplex industry videos
Clare Edwards (Flyover show, Simmer Down, Gigbeth, Notorious Choir, and lots more)
Mark Badger (Iron Man Records, Birmingham Music Network)