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Have A Cigar: Doffing a cap to Progulus Radio's Mike Klemmer

A portrait of Mike Klemmer

When Progged Radio bade farewell to the virtual airwaves in 2005, it left a void in the hearts of many. But one listener decided to take matters into his own hands and create an online station that would outlast it.

Flower Kings fan Mike Klemmer founded Progulus Radio 11 years ago in Colorado and it’s still going strong, boasting a playlist of around 6,000 albums for listeners to request from 247. Unlike some of its peers, Progulus has no presenters but, says Klemmer, it’s not another streaming site. “You’ll find a lot more progressive bands on Progulus [compared to the likes of Spotify] and I think the huge variety of music we play is our niche. It’s nice to have the listeners make requests and be their own DJs – they can rate songs in real time, which provides me with valuable feedback on what should stay and what should go. I want listeners to have an enjoyable musical experience, to hear the best music that this genre has to offer, and maybe discover a few great new bands along the way.”

Among the station’s most requested artists are Rush, Riverside, Dream Theater and Opeth, but there’s a wide range of styles on offer, covering just about every progressive subgenre imaginable, including djent and Zeuhl.

Although the world of online broadcasting has changed since the mid-2000s, Progulus has held its ground, despite competition. Listeners can still join in real-time chat, but they now have the choice of being able to tune in via their mobile phone and tablet, as well as their desktop computer. For an even more targeted service, Progulus was recently separated into two channels: one for prog rock and the other for prog metal.

“The last three years have just been brilliant with the number and quality of albums that have been coming out. Progressive metal has changed a lot and there are bands like Haken, Headspace and Leprous leading the new sound. It’s amazing and I’m pretty excited for the future of progressive rock and metal.”

And Klemmer hopes Progulus Radio will remain a part of that.

Tune in at progulus.com.

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Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.