As music consumption shifted from burning CDs to creating Spotify playlists, and from reading artist interviews in magazines to engaging with them live on Twitter Spaces, even video premieres moved from MTV to YouTube and now to platforms like Twitch.
The radio is no different, and the switch away from analogue brought about numerous online community radios all over the globe.
In times where a lot of our interactions with music are mediated through a screen, this new iteration of radio stations still have crucial physical components: they serve as gathering spots for local talent, provide them with gear to hone their skills and air time showcase the sound they are trying to push on dance floors and concerts IRL. And, as it usually goes when something hits the world wide web, they also serve as a bridge of connection between local scenes and a global audience.
Tuning in to the online radios can also be used as a tool for music discovery, gig opportunities outside artists’ home turf and - let’s not forget!, fostering new connections through music.
This is the beginning of a series of posts showcasing community radio stations from different places in the world. Today we start with Res Radio, which represents both a lifeline and an archive of Vienna's music selectors.
Res started activities from the desire to give the local scene an extra channel to its voice and bring music collectives together. They took it to the online waves in late 2019, shortly before the pandemic hit.
Like most projects, Res faced challenges when the world shut down but it turned out to be an opportunity as well. “People at home were seeking company and we provided that presence for them”, explains rreimundoo, member of the core organisation team behind Res. In a time when nightlife was put on hold, Res also served as a lifeline for DJs and creators to be able to keep sharing their music. “I’m proud that we are still here and we have managed to make it work.” rreimundoo shares.
We did it for the love of art, not chasing anything else. And it escalated quite quickly. - rreimundoo
Res continues to be a lifeline for local talent from music community in Vienna. “It's a great opportunity to push the sound you're trying to get the city to listen to a lot further”, explains dertinoises. They’re a DJ and member of Lovefi, a house music collective that hosts one of the longest-running shows on Res. For them, “it's good practice for DJs to have a fixture to have to find new tracks and play them every now and then”.
Being an experimentation ground for viennese selectors, Res is also a portrait of the diversity of sound that can be found in the city. “There are other online radios here that focus more on club-oriented music but none with as broad of a brush as Res”, dertinoises share.
“It's the radio that is most reflective of Vienna as a whole.” dertinoises
Res is not only a snapshot of who’s actively playing music in Vienna these days, but the platform also serves as a catalogue of DJs that no longer play. “I think it's just important to have an archive of the scene somewhere and Res is doing a really good job by maintaining the platform.” considers Miyra Lim, DJ and member of Lovefi.
Beyond past and present, Res also serves as a bridge of connection between Vienna and the rest of the world. “A lot of DJs come to play in the city and ask to play a show at the radio. They bring other perspectives, play different kinds of music", tells rreimundoo. He goes on, "You have the chance to connect there, and that makes the scene grow”. Res Radio currently has listeners in over 150 countries and counting.
In a world where music has become increasingly digitized, online community radios like Res Radio stand out as vital hubs for local talent and global connections. Through their lifeline to the Vienna music scene, Res Radio has not only weathered the challenges of the pandemic but thrived as a source of companionship for music enthusiasts worldwide.
Tune in to Res Radio here.
Lovefi’s show airs every first Tuesday of the month at 8pm, listen to their previous shows here.
You can support Res Radio by making a donation via this link.