Playlist revives forgotten tunes
By CJ Sommerfeld, Staff Writer
LA-based pseudo-radio station Reverberation Radio has released a new eight-song podcast via their website. It archives a politically infused collection of late ’70s funk, current funk, early ’70s world, Swedish disco, a French electro-pop love song, and more. This assortment of genres is typical for the radio, it is what defines them as well as what had simultaneously created banishment.
Reverberation Radio was not always a pseudo-radio station. In 2012, it operated as a radio show on KXLU, an LA-based college radio. According to KXLU, the radio show was too eclectic and not current enough. So, shortly after launching, it was cancelled. Instead of conforming to the station’s wants, Reverberation Radio instead transformed into an online podcast. Here it could continue to archive a wide range of genres. Miles Michaud describes his radio saying, “There’s not necessarily a guideline for what we play, but there’s an underlying theme.” After listening to the radio’s podcasts, that theme has unveiled itself as a showcase of diversity and artists who probably have vinyls with a thick coat of dust on them.
The masterminds behind Reverberation Radio—Robert Combs and Miles Michaud—are music-keeners; they both have multiple personal music projects and can appreciate tunes that skew from the norm. These guys aim to revive forgotten artists instead of letting them slip into the unknown. Michaud illustrates their reasoning for the songs they play by saying “There’s things that are timeless. There’s certain things that’ll affect people the same way no matter what the era […] That speaks towards our humanity and what makes us appreciate certain things in life.”
Eight years later that theme has stayed true. Their most recent podcast (their 403rd) showcases an eclectic mix of songs that had been released from the mid-seventies up until a few years back. They open the listener’s ears to eight songs that they most likely have not heard of before. The first, “The Rest of My Life” is a mid-’90s song by English alt band The Durutti Column. The seamless incorporation of string instruments into the track showcases the band’s jazz inspirations. Following this melody, the podcast swerves into An Luu’s breathy, 1988 synth-pop French melody “Pourquoi Tu Me Fous Plus Des Coups?” After which, a similarly breathy late ’70s soul tune, Parlet’s “Don’t Ever Stop (Lovin’ Me Needin’ Me)”appears. A late ’70s instrumental Swedish funk melody follows. Four more songs succeed this tune, which is eventually concluded by Bobby Wright’s politically relevant “Blood of an American.” This last song is immensely powerful.
Music is a powerful art medium. It can perpetuate political ideas, induce emotion, and at times it is great just as background music while studying. Often, the music that is presented to us on the radio and in public spaces is confined to popular hits; Reverberation Radio is a great listen to puncture what many of us have been listening to and introduce us to some oldies (but goodies).
As shorter and colder days dawn upon us, why not take advantage of this time spent inside and have a listen!