specialized streaming music stations
July 29, 2023 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Please tell me about streaming music stations that specialize in a specific kind of music that you would hear only rarely or not at all on more general radio or streaming stations. Ideally those that can be heard through Apple Music rather than only through their own app or website. Any genre or subgenre or style of tight curation that's not widely represented elsewhere!

A few examples that I listen to frequently:

YourClassical Choral Stream - classical and contemporary choral music
Hawaiian Rainbow Radio - mostly traditional Hawaiian music
New Sounds Radio - contemporary classical, mostly. This one is really probably too broad to qualify as what I'm looking for!

It seem like 99.5% of all independent streaming channels play EDM or related genres, so I will gently discourage those recommendations unless there's something particularly interesting about 'em (like, only EDM with ukuleles in it or something like that).
posted by moonmilk to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: To clarify "can be heard through Apple Music": if it's syndicated on TuneIn or iHeart or another one of those, then it can almost certainly be played on my smart speaker thingy without opening another web page or app. If it's not, then - maybe? I still want to hear about it, though!
posted by moonmilk at 7:13 AM on July 29, 2023

SomaFM has a bunch of cool stations. The stations are on TuneIn.
posted by edencosmic at 7:28 AM on July 29, 2023 [9 favorites]

There is a super cool (still) free website called Radio Garden that will let you pick radio stations all over the planet, as well as an app (IOS for sure) : )

The app has periodic visual ads that appear, but you can remove them if you pay for the app (currently 'one time charge $2.99' which seems like a steal to me).

The audio ads that will appear in the stream are the same ads you'd hear, if any, from the stations that broadcast to you from everywhere, so Radio Garden doesn't eliminate those.

info from the Radio Garden website:

"Radio Garden started out in 2016 as an exhibition project commissioned by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in the context of the research project Transnational Radio Encounters. It was created, designed and developed by Studio Puckey & Moniker.

After taking care of the project in the following years, Jonathan Puckey turned Radio Garden into a small independent company in 2019."
posted by bitterkitten at 8:17 AM on July 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

France’s FIP has been doing this very well since 1971. You are going to be listening to a hand-picked material, commercial free, largely without commentary and with heavy emphasis on new artists. Courtesy of the French tax payer. (There are also official and unofficially derived FIP derived playlists on Spotify and the like).
posted by rongorongo at 8:27 AM on July 29, 2023 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: These general resources are great and I will be checking them out, but I am requesting recommendations of specific stations that you like that play a single narrow genre or type of music that is not often heard on generalist stations.
posted by moonmilk at 8:32 AM on July 29, 2023

I’m confused about how specific you want your answers, I have a station I get out of Austria in my car and it’s half presented in English in the afternoons and probably other parts of the day it plays shows with alternative songs I NEVER hear otherwise and I plan to stream it when I leave shortly, are you interested in hearing about that? Or no?
posted by flink at 8:55 AM on July 29, 2023

Best answer: For Soma FM specifically, I really like the Underground 80s, Lush, Seven Inch Soul & Secret Agent
posted by edencosmic at 9:12 AM on July 29, 2023

Best answer: Hearts of Space : "the world's most lovingly curated collection of Ambient, Space, and Contemplative music from around the world and across the centuries"

As a kid, this was a radio show we tuned into once a week on public radio (and still do sometimes) but now it's a full-fledged streaming station.
posted by niicholas at 9:32 AM on July 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

Best answer: WWOZ from New Orleans has the best jazz, zydeco, and all things Louisiana. Truly a blessing that it can be streamed. (I use TuneIn for it.)
posted by knile at 9:42 AM on July 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

There’s WKHR out of Cleveland (big band music), but I think they only stream via their own site.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:35 AM on July 29, 2023

Best answer: I am requesting recommendations of specific stations that you like that play a single narrow genre or type of music that is not often heard on generalist stations.
Defunct now as a live stream - but Radio SoundsFamiliar lives on as selectable shows. Description: "the home of Nostalgic Television , Film , Radio, Cues and Curios, Library Music"
posted by rongorongo at 11:20 AM on July 29, 2023

I think it's only on Mixcloud (and on SoundArtRadio FM in the UK) but one of my favourites is Muhmur - really eclectic mix of abstract/experimental sounds, obscure punk and post-punk rarities and much else besides.

Website with detailed information about each show here.

Lost of good programs at Resonance FM - would particularly recommend A Duck in a Tree (more generally experimental sounds), curated by Zoviet-France (archived on PodBean so probably accessible via Apple Podcasts), and Ed Pinsent's long-running show The Sound Projector which is all over the place... free jazz, improvised music, modern composition, prog rock, a lot of things that there aren't neat categories for.
posted by remembrancer at 11:53 AM on July 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

Also in archive status now - but still accessible The Conet Project is an archive of numbers stations recording from round the world. Cannot be listened to with the sense that somebody might be about to knock down your down and grab you for interrogation.
posted by rongorongo at 12:06 PM on July 29, 2023

Best answer: KVVL (Cave Evil Radio) might not exactly be a 'streaming radio station' per se, but it is a place you can go specifically and only to hear a variety of black ambient and dungeon synth, best for the background sound of a grim and haunted evening.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:56 PM on July 29, 2023

Classical KING is a user-supported (no ads) classical FM station out of Seattle that streams two channels, both of which are available through Apple Music. They broadcast a wide range of Western classical music from Baroque (and sometimes earlier) all the way up to modern composers, and over the last couple of years have put an emphasis on exposing female composers and BIPOC composers and performers. They also do the Metropolitan Opera live broadcasts during the season and broadcast Pacific Northwest regional live music such as the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Chamber Music Society, etc. Occasionally they even toss in something from a movie score, and have two hours of film score coverage each weekend.
posted by lhauser at 7:44 PM on July 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lots of good suggestions here. I'll add in a plug for the streaming service SiriusXM (which is the same one you have in your late-model car). They have far more stations online than they do in your car. Once you've set up the "skill" on your smart speaker (here's how to do it on Alexa), you just tell your smart speaker to "play The Pulse [or whatever channel you'd like] on SiriusXM".

Some of my favorite channels that play unusual music: "The Village" (blues and folk music), "The Indigiverse" (native/first-nation music, which I have on right now and it's some pretty soulful and kick-ass music, not at all what you might expect), "40's Junction" (swing and big-band), "Influence Franco" (French Hip-Hop), and "Korea Today" (both news and music).

The complete channel guide, as a pdf file, can be downloaded here.

Yes, you have to pay for it. I've been paying for years, and it's completely ruined my ability to tolerate ads on "regular" radio whenever I'm in an old car that doesn't have SiriusXM. Seriously.
posted by fuzzy.little.sock at 6:34 PM on July 30, 2023

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! I have a ton of great listening ahead of me!
posted by moonmilk at 5:43 AM on July 31, 2023

i don't listen to it myself, but a Facebook group I belong to has some sort of stream for shoegaze and dreampop. They're called DKFM, and this seems to be their TuneIn link.
posted by troywestfield at 8:29 AM on August 4, 2023

Response by poster: Thanks again for all the recommendations! They're all great, but I've been particularly enjoying SomaFM lately - so many different stations but each one is quite focused, which is what I was looking for. Some of my recent favorite SomaFM stations have been Bossa Beyond and The Dark Zone.
posted by moonmilk at 9:38 AM on November 26, 2023

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