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

100 Songs with One Word Titles (90 – 86)

Some of the members of the musical jury put notes next to some of the songs, to try and explain why they had chosen certain songs and not others as shown in two of the five songs on display today, which are all songs that when I ordered them originally were all roughly in the places that jury voted them in.  Apart from the first one, which was a bit higher.

90. Toxygene (7” Mix) – The Orb (1997, Island Records, Taken from ‘Orblivion’)

‘Toxygene’ was never supposed to have been released as a single.  It started out life as a remix of a Jean Michael Jarre track.  The Orb not sticking to the script, ‘Orbliterated’ it, and removed almost all trace of the original from it, causing Jarre to have a hissy fit and subsequently refusing to release it.  So The Orb took it back, changed it again and it went into the Top Five in the UK. 

89. Dare – Gorillaz featuring Shaun Ryder (2005, Parlophone Records, Taken from ‘Demon Days’)

The legend of course goes that Ryder was too drunk to say the word ‘There’ whilst recording this and “Dare” was as close as he could get and even then it was to do with a noise he kept hearing in his headphones rather than the actual lyrics that he should have been singing.  Regardless of whether this is true or not (Ryder says it is), ‘Dare’ is tremendous and Ryder’s half-drunk Mancunian drawl is addictively perfect.

88. Today – Smashing Pumpkins (1993, Virgin Records, Taken from ‘Siamese Dreams’)

I’ll hand you over to musical jury member number 7 here, who told me “Oh, god I feel so dirty giving ‘Today’ so many points.  Billy Corgan is a dick and the majority of his songs are over bearing smugathons but ‘Today’ is just so damn good, that riff, the chorus, everything.  Damn you Billy Corgan”.

I can’t really argue with astute reasoning like that.  Damn you indeed Billy Corgan.

87.Krupa – Apollo 440 (1996, Virgin Records, Taken from ‘Electro Glide in Blue’)

An absolute monster of a record.  One that essentially contains a sample from the film ‘Taxi Driver’ and another one from ‘The Ballroom Blitz’ by Sweet.  Apollo 440 then added some beats and some other drumming noise and mashed the lot together to give it a club feel and sat back and waited for the money to roll in.  A few years it was used to advertise two awful things, Sunburst – a disgusting fruity drink and Budwesier Beer, another disgusting fruity drink.

86. Intervention – Arcade Fire (2007, Rough Trade Records, Taken from ‘Neon Bible’)

I once compiled a list of my favourite songs of all time and this featured very highly indeed.  In the Top 20 I think.  So I really like it….but musical jury member number 4 did not agree….”Thank God there is more than 30 songs to vote for, I couldn’t bring myself to give ‘Intervention’ one point.  It would be very begrudgingly.  It’s awful, atrocious.” 

You can really go off people you know.

The Sunday Shuffle #10

In A State (DFA Mix)- UNKLE (2003, Mo’ Wax Records, Taken from ‘The DFA Remixes, Chapter 2’)

I find the supermarket quite a challenge. Not the shopping bit, but the people bit. You see whenever I turn up at the supermarket, it seems to be full of really stupid people. People who can’t walk and clap at the same time, or people who struggle, really struggle with the concept of a how a trolley works and think that just randomly stopping in the middle of the tinned vegetable area is sensible.

So these days when I go to the supermarket, I try and listen to something to drown out the inane chatter between Sandra and Alan about the price of ‘canned hotdogs’ or whether Bernice from the fish counter has fixed her microwave.

Today’s Sunday Shuffle was decided by whatever track was playing when the first item from my trolley was scanned through the checkout, as it happens it was four minutes into the rather glorious DFA Mix of UNKLE’s ‘In A State’.

The mix is kind of wonderful, where the DFA take a section of 10cc’s ‘I’m Not In Love’ and building it ever so gently into a breathlessly dramatic masterpiece.

Of course the DFA have form for this kind of thing (remixes of epic proportions).

Slide In (DFA Mix) – Goldfrapp (2005, Mute Records)

Dare (DFA Mix) – Gorillaz (2005, Parlophone Records)