Thursday, 10 July 2008

Internet radios for the discerning denpa listener

AnimeNfo Radio
This one is on top of the list and by far. They have a huge variety of songs, probably terabytes of MP3s at their disposal. MOSAIC.WAV frequently gets requested, although they mostly offer their anime songs. As for KOTOKO and the rest of the I've gang, while none of the SHORT CIRCUIT songs are up (for shame!), all of the compilation albums are. They have JPop and JRock blocks as well as a recent "happy hour" where only the most popular songs are played, as voted by the users. My favorite aspect of AnimeNfo Radio is that I frequently discover fascinating new anime series just because I like the theme song. For example, "2x2=shinobuden" has a furious opening theme and the series is just as upbeat with its ton of non sequitur moments. Of course I've discovered a ton of artists that aren't necessarily associated with anime, such as can-goo, Kimura Yuki and Yousei Teikoku. I have been known to donate once in a while, perhaps you will too once you discover the vast selection they have to offer.

There used to be a time when AnimeNfo, despite all of its greatness and our monetary contributions, was on very shaky grounds. The server would crash all the time and Doff (animenfo admin) was busy on service in Norway so that's where Kawaii Radio came in for most people. Although they started out very small and still pale in comparison to AnimeNfo to this day, their selection has vastly improved over the past couple of years. They even started including some Touhou-inspired artists such as IOSYS and Silver Forest, so clearly they know what they're doing. My biggest gripe is that their regular listeners enjoy requesting the same songs over and over, resulting in huge déja vu whenever I tune in. One thing I absolutely love about this radio is the sleek website interface that loads instantly, something AnimeNfo should look into.

Although I don't listen to Kohina as much as I used to, it is still a ton of fun to tune into every once in a while. The premise behind this unique internet radio is to feature nothing but remixed versions of classic 8/16 bit games or the occasional "demo" tune. Unfortunately the updates seem to have slowed down, with no new songs this far in 2008. This radio is clearly not for everyone as it is highly gamer-oriented, but I still think you should give it a try, especially if you're a fan of chiptune bands such as YMCK.

If Kohina was too rough around the edges for you, then perhaps ormgas is what you were looking for. Again, the same premise of user-remixed video game songs applies, but in this case there are no restrictions on what subset of instruments can be used. The quality is overall much sharper and possibly easier to listen to, depending on your preferences. The systems covered here are mostly the NES and SNES, but there is a lot of Genesis and even Dreamcast thrown in there for good measure. I love how users can vote on-the-fly which song should be played next, and considering the high number of listeners that log in recently, I'd say this new project is fairly successful in its execution.

Micro Music
So you like the idea behind Kohina, but would like to hear original tunes? Then look no further than Micro Music. Again, we're talking about 8/16 bit sounding songs, but taken to the extreme. What I like the most about the radio interface is that you can skip tracks as well as use one of ten filters, going from "lovely" all the way up to "fucky". Guess which one I always pick. This site is even nerdier than Kohina: with song titles such as "how to meet local hot women" and artist names such as STA$D400, you can practice your flirting techniques and assembler skills at the same time! While the radio service is prominently featured on Micro Music, the website also acts as a gateway of sorts to the electronic music community. Overall this is a great radio to tune into, but eventually you'll find that their selection is somewhat limited. At this point you could check out the 8bitcollective repository, which sorely lacks a player.

Currently, the VGamp website isn't much to look at as it's undergoing a facelift. But the Toronto-based station is still kicking it with the best video game music of the past 20 years, all styles included. No remixes here, unless they are official of course. From Akumajou Dracula X to Ikaruga, Jet Set/Grind Radio to Silent Hill, the gang's all here and just waiting for you to jump in. Alternately, you could download all these songs one by one from Galbadia Hotel, but that would be a pain in the ass, not to mention that the venerable Hotel is (once again) rumored to close its doors.

So what do you think? Any of these radios tickle your fancy? Feel free to share your favorite stations, too!

1 comment:

primulis said...

Kawaii! Thank you!