If you could take a global tour based on your musical tastes, where would you go? Most of you reading this will likely have a hot spot where your favorite genre reigns supreme, but what about the rest of the world? Trance in France? Grime in Anaheim? Swing in Beijing? Maybe that last one’s a stretch, but it’s all there somewhere, and it’s all at the click of a mouse with Radio Garden.
Essentially a streaming site that broadcasts radio stations from all over the world, this FREE service is loaded with what’s going on musically in some of the busiest cities and more desolate areas on the planet.
Although not every major city, or even some countries, show up on the map, it still provides a large enough sample of stations from all corners of the globe to give you a taste of what’s going on musically. And while not every station is available (Victoria has more than one for example), you can take it from someone who worked in radio for four years – some of them are better left hidden.
Before taking a spin around the globe to tune into a station, we thought about our own musical destinations and selected a top three – Bristol, Paris, and Moscow. With the click of a mouse we tuned into Pink Fish Radio out of Bristol and instantly found exactly what we wanted. Starting things off with Calippo’s Make It Through before transitioning to a surprisingly addictive vocal house remix of Daniel Bedingfield’s Gotta Get Thru This, our first few minutes with Radio Garden had already exceeded expectations.
After losing track of time due to dancing around the room, we started to scan towards Paris, but got distracted by Ye Olde London Towne along the way. Obviously we had to make a stop in one of the most historic musical destinations in the world, and it definitely did not disappoint. We scanned the available stations and found our target; none other than the legendary Rinse FM! The dial stayed locked for quite a while, before completely losing track of our itinerary and making the switch to Electro Swing Revolution Radio based out of Berlin.
There’s an adage about radio that’s as old as the invention itself, and that is – it generally isn’t very good. Sure, there are some lucky cities with a station or two which throws that whole theory out the window, but as far as rating all the content that’s played throughout the 44,000+ stations worldwide, it definitely ‘leaves room for improvement’. But unlike the comment section of my grade school report card, radio has a much broader audience.
Regardless of how fun it is to play around with Radio Garden, in the end it still holds true to that age old adage. Yes there’s better stuff out there than the radio, and given the option, 99% of the time we’re going to listen to that over something on the airwaves. But that’s not always an option, and sometimes it’s kind of nice to get an earful of what’s happening on the other side of the world. Even if you can’t understand what they’re saying, music is still a language. And when you think about it…if a station like Rinse FM is playing some heat on the radio, then what the hell is going on in those underground spots?!?
Which stations have you tuned in to? Share your favorite ones with us below or on social media and help spread the world’s best music around the PNW!