Site Recommendation: Radiooooo.com
I’m not the biggest fan of the commercial genre of “world” music. Though I appreciate the work of people like David Byrne and many, many luminaries of British rock bringing music from the global peripheries to my attention, the fact is that it’s still selecting the most marketable and easily categorized music from a given country or––worse––continent and putting it up for sale to a hip crowd of Western consumers.
Still! I occasionally hanker for a 1970s Soviet cover of “So Happy Together” called “Vsegda Budem Vmeste.” Or maybe I feel a potato chip craving for the decadent yacht-pop of 1980s bubble-era Japan. Or, hell, 1970s East German funk rock. Radiooooo is a music streaming service that represents a seemingly infinite well of hilarity and genuine discovery. You click on a decade tab at the bottom, pick a country on the attractively old-school map, and let the site bring you to audio heaven. You can also adjust the mood to make it “slow,” “fast,” or (the only really valid option) “weird.” I’ve already spent a few hours browsing around and am impressed with both the interface and the selection of songs––there’s much more kitschy pop from 1960s China than one would expect! If you feel charitable or especially impressed, you can even buy the song straight from the site, though I have not yet been so moved.
Most importantly, the interface gives you a relatively decent map projection of the world to click around in, which means you’re just as likely to venture way out and find something unexpected as to stay on familiar shores. You can get at least a vague idea of global trends in (mainly) popular styles of music, which is attractive to an eclectic discovery-oriented listener like me. If you’re looking for something a bit quirkier and more specific than Pandora or Spotify or feel like your musical tastes are stuck in a box, Radiooooo might be the site to set it free. At least you’ll have a few laughs at how much of the music from the “good old days” was absolute tripe.