Friday, 9 November 2007

Radio Websites (Published November 2007 in Radio User, PWP)

Have your mouse at the ready, the speakers turned up, and join me for a Brazilian blend of bossa novas and berimbaus (the latter is a musical instrument). Afterwards we chill out with a tour of space- My Space that is, and some of the thousands of radio profiles set up on the ever-expanding social interaction site.

Tropical bands on Tropical bands
Hearing music from exotic countries is one of the many areas where the Internet excels. With the decline in numbers of shortwave Tropical Band stations, there is a growing need for listeners outside of the tropics to turn to Internet radio for fixes of funk or tastes of tango.

Internet radio is undoubtedly ‘the future today’ and a way into radio listening for many young people, most of whom wouldn’t know their squelch from their elco (capacitor). But in all honesty, why should they? It is a shame that low powered domestic radio stations are leaving the tropical bands for FM transmitters, but technology evolves, and we should all embrace the opportunity to effortlessly tune into radio from any country on the planet.

If however you would like to read up on the latest information on radio on the tropical bands, try the Danish Shortwave Club International: and
Also are specialist knowledge is at ‘DXing Info’: and Willi Passmann’s Radio Portal:

Favela funk flavours
On to online radio to concentrate on some Brazilian beats. Along with traditional sounds such as samba and bossa nova, a more recent style of music to come from the boys (and girls) of Brazil is labelled favela funk. Favela being the name for the shanty towns that sprawl the outskirts of far too many Brazilian cities.

There are thousands of Live 365 stations and it’s always difficult to choose the better ones, but here are two for starters. From Lisbon in Portugal comes ‘Broadcastor’ which plays a great selection include Bossa Nova, Jazz-Samba and MPB (Brazilian Popular Music). “All the classics and many lesser known gems, not forgetting the more recent breed of Brazilian artists.” A good thing about this station is that the playlist is changed at least twice a month.

Radio Electric Brazil is based in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Salvador and offers ‘electro, Brazilian and tropicalia’. I am not sure which is which but most of what I have heard sounds pretty good to me:

The very stylish Radio Cubik Network website has online radio stations including Radio Tango (‘experience the passion of Buenos Aires’); Radio Salsa, with of course salsa, Latin jazz and meringue; Bossa Brazil with bossa nova, samba and the soothing sounds of Brazil. There are other sounds too, such as Poetry Mission, which is for ‘romantics entrapped in the digital age’:

‘Brazil Drums’ is a USA based commercial company selling Brazilian instruments, but a fascinating website whether you are browsing or buying:

My Space Radio
Unsurprisingly, the Facebook, Bibo and My Space phenomena has led to many profiles of radio stations and presenters appearing. Of these three social interaction networks, I have only really explored My Space so far, which itself is a major undertaking. Here are some of my recommendations.

Some of the many fan sites that I enjoy or have linked with include the BBC Radiophonic Workshop: This goes back to the famous day in 1963 when the Workshop came up with the original theme tune for Dr Who. It is also a tribute to others who passed through over the past four decades, including Delia Derbyshire, who has even had a BBC play based on her life broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC 7.

Evergreen Radio Caroline has several different profiles set up by fans. These include Radio Caroline ‘The Independent Spirit of British Radio Since 1964’ at:
and Caroline Classics at:

On My Space it is often hard to tell apart the pages set up by the real person and those purporting to be the profile of somebody famous. It can be a case of viewer beware! Russell Walker hosts BBC Radio Leeds’ late night show. A brick wall is the backdrop to his page and there is a nice set of You Tube links, a potted biography and a good slide presentation of him in the studio:

Dotun Adebayo, outspoken columnist and one of the presenters of Radio 5’s Up all Night show. Catch up with his views through his blog and his latest projects, all set to music that he sings himself:

DJ Marc Riley is at: presenting music he likes and a link to his BBC 6 web pages. American radio legend Wolfman Jack can be seen at two sites: and An example of a affectionate spoof site is of Radio 4 and Mastermind’s John Humphreys:

Bill Buckley is a broadcaster and journalist with, amongst others, LBC and BBC local radio. He has a bright, breezy and informative website at: As well as reviewing the newspapers and issues, he is a bit of a culinary master on the side, a member of the Guild of Food writers and even a winner on the excellent Channel 4 programme ‘Come Dine with Me’.

Finally this month a lesser known author of an interesting blog who goes under the name of Madrid Kid. Lots of information about shortwave radio, television and radio in Spain and some very well written pieces: My only gripe is that the blog hasn’t been added to for 18 months! But the archive is still good quality journalism, just like the magazine that you have in your hands is! Happy browsing until next month.

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