When playlists on commercial radio and streaming services can be more like record label advertising than the community sharing of the music they promise, where do you go to find new sounds?
Some of us are fortunate enough to have found gurus-like characters lurking in our local record stores, but what happens after hours? And isn’t it nice to sometimes be the one to recommend a new tune to your pals, then bask in the complacency of being like a low-rent John Peel?
While their prevalence makes it difficult to find the few that work for you, internet radio stations may hold the key. This isn’t always the case, but when a DJ is given autonomy from playlists and pressure from advertisers, a utopia can be found where music is played purely for the sake of its sounds.
These are ten of our favorite stations, most of them boasting an eclectic regular guest and DJ roster and spanning all genres, with most of the past shows archived for your reading as well. We strongly recommend that you bookmark this page and keep it safe as you browse their wares over the next few weeks.
We hate to blame it, but if you can’t find a show for you on the SNRC timetable or in its archives, you really haven’t looked enough. Founded by Femi Adeyemi in 2011, NTS now broadcasts from cities around the world on its two main channels – although the main studio is based in Hackney – broadcasting everything from disco to classical, techno to experimental and recordings. ground. Every morning in the What Hi-Fi? the office starts with that of Charlie Bones Make!! You!!! Breakfast show.
Eclecticism isn’t purely East London, of course, as the Los Angeles-based station proves. Dublab. Funded by member donations, its five-day-a-week broadcasts allow DJs to freely play the music they are passionate about, with a special emphasis on supporting emerging creative artists, especially those testing the limits in more obscure genres. and micro-genres.
French readers will probably know FIP (or France Inter Paris) well, its broadcast since 1971 follows pretty much the same rules of largely uninterrupted and carefully organized music. For those of us based elsewhere, however, this is an internet station, distributed from Paris with regional locations in Bordeaux, Nantes and Strasbourg. You will be treated to song followed by Afrobeat, then perhaps a little baroque or blues, with daily shows repeated between 11pm and 7am.
Although still based primarily in Peckham, South East London, Balamii just started broadcasting from New York on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings as well, also sharing its community radio with the United States. It’s another station with a diverse production in terms of genre, but the emphasis here is more on electronics, dance, and hip-hop than the more sprawling look of NTS.
Created by acclaimed crate digger and sound explorer Giles Peterson alongside Boiler Room co-founder Thris Tian, Global FM is not particularly difficult to understand. As the name suggests, it strives to bring together sounds from all over the world, providing a good entry level for those interested in world music and a connoisseur’s paradise.
Few genres divide as much as jazz: you’ll find few who think it’s just right. But you’ll be hard pressed to find a resort that’s more painfully cool than the one in Paris. TSF Jazz. You’ll find a mix of those classics you’ve grown to love or despise, and almost more importantly, a finger on the pulse of the newest and most exciting beat-drummers out there right now.
The definition of a community radio station, Radio Netil broadcasts from Netil Market and is managed by the people of the Netil House creative space. Don’t worry if that sounds too pretentious, in practice it tends to be successful in its attempts to mirror the vibrant and diverse culture of its East London surroundings. This is another place where you can expect to hear South American boogie collide with African jazz.
Radio Soho is another that prides itself on having no playlists or ads, allowing its DJs – a number that has included slots from dub icon Denis Bovell, Primal Scream bassist Simone Marie and Legend by HaÃ§ienda Mike Pickering – to play what they feel. Departing from central London’s Soho, you won’t be lacking in diversity here either.
We have said before that our opinion of the greatest film scores is that the story would be more fundamentally changed by their removal than any other modification of the script. But what if you take the photo off and just play the music? Cinemix is a station, funded by its listeners, that does just that. You might come away from this one with a list of new movies to watch as much as anything else.
Seattle’s influence KEXP has become so gargantuan that securing a seat on one of its live sessions has become a sort of right of passage, especially for independent and alternative musicians. Its services, she says, are designed to benefit three distinct groups: music lovers, artists and the arts. Tick, tick, tick.