Brilliant Radio Stations From Around The World – #1

Fanatica INDIE – Based in Santiago, Chile (link opens a web radio player)

I said on here a while ago about an App called ‘Radio Garden’ which allows you to listen to any radio station in the world (nearly).   One of the joys of Radio Garden is that you can lose hours just wandering down radio rabbit holes listening to offbeat stations playing weird and wonderful music that you may never hear anywhere else if it wasn’t for the power of the Internet. We will explore some of those stations in this series – mainly because there appears to be a radio station in Hungary that appears to only play incredible gypsy punk (or at least it does when ever I tune in).  Anyway, these rabbit hole radio stations planted a seed of an idea in the back of my mind.

That seed has now sprouted into this series.  A series in which I will choose a radio station from somewhere in the world and listen to it for one hour so that you don’t have to.  I will then post the best tracks that it plays.  I may tell you something about the place where it is based as well. 

First up Fanatica INDIE, an English language (apart from the adverts, which are in Spanish) station based in Santiago Chile. 

Santiago for those who didn’t listen in geography is the capital city of Chile and is one of the biggest cities in South America, some six and a half million people call it home, which is more than half of the entire population of Chile.  The fact that it has a radio station that plays mainly indie pop fills me with joy for some reason.  The fact it appears to have no actual DJs either is in this case a blessing.

It has just gone noon (in Santiago that is) on a Wednesday when I tune in for the purposes of this piece and the first track I hear Fanatica playing is this

Aries – Gorillaz (featuring Peter Hook and Georgia) (2020, Parlophone Records, Taken from ‘Song Machine, Season One, Strange Timez’)

Which is not a bad start of an hour at all, ‘Aries’ is an incredible track, full of that trademark Hooky bass, which sounds like he has just simply given Damon Albarn an entire bassline from something from ‘Low Life’ to sing over.  Which he does very well indeed.

Twenty minutes or so later after some crazy adverts which feature people speaking very fast about I think, ‘toilet paper’ and ‘donkeys’ – (my Spanish isn’t great), this brass blessed blast of brilliance fills the room.

Nobody – Mac Demarco (2019, Macs Record Label, Taken from ‘Here Comes the Cowboy’) but that segues marvellously and almost seamlessly into this

Oh Baby – LCD Soundsystem (2017, DFA Records, Taken from ‘American Dream’)

Which may just be the greatest thing I have listened to all bloody month.

I think that this is the point of this series.  I know that I can listen to each of these tracks at home just by asking Alexa but I would never listen to them in the same hour, and that is the joy of the radio and the added thrill of simply not knowing what is coming next. 

I haven’t listened to ‘Oh Baby’ is such a long time and it such a wonderful song.  I also know that it is likely that I have peaked early in this series because right now Fanatica INDIE is the best radio station in the world and it will probably take a radio station broadcasting out of the back of bombed out milk float in Srebrenica that plays a Galaxie 500 7” back to back with a Bob Tilton flexidisc to top it. 

If you need more evidence of the absolute brilliance of Fanatica INDIE in Santiago, the last song played in my allocated hour was this

Can’t Do Much – Waxahatchee (2020, Merge Records, Taken from ‘Saint Cloud’)

Three hours later, I’m still tuned in

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3 Comments

  1. Martin says:

    Read this post a couple of hours ago and have been listening ever since – very good indeed.

    Like

  2. JC says:

    Genius of an idea.

    I’ve struggled in recent years to listen much to any radio stations, for the simple reason that I reckon I’ve reached my limit for taking in and absorbing new music. The NBR recommendations tend to be all that I listen to…..

    Wasn’t all that excited when Damon/Gorillaz talked up that album a couple of years back, so quietly ignored it.

    Stupid Me going by how utterly brilliant ‘Aries’ is.

    Like

    1. barrystubbs says:

      Aries is close to being the greatest thing Peter Hook has done away from New Order.

      Like

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