Red Light Radio Staff Picks

Of the countless tracks that make it to the airwaves each week at Red Light Radio, some leave a more lasting impression than others. From month to month, enjoy a sampling of favorite tracks heard on air, courtesy of the team at RLR. Today’s selection features picks from both March and April, including music by Spectre, Masabumi Kikuchi and De Ontkoppeling.

Alyssa: Newclear Waves – “Storm Tree” (2013)

I came across “Storm Tree” by Newclear Waves on isa’s RLR debut (which also happened to be my favorite show from that week). If I had to describe this track in two words, it would be acid “didgeridoo”. Technically speaking, I doubt the terminology is even close to accurate, but it’s a sound that caught my attention and has been looping in my mind ever since. A must-listen for those who like it dark and groovy! And didgeridoos of course.

Boris: De Ontkoppeling – De Ontkoppeling (2018) 

A couple of years ago I discovered the magical sounds of Turia from the Nijmegen area played by the Void. And when they played this industrial sludgy banger last week I was SIKED! Guess what… same dudes! Twenty-three minutes of mechanical dark ambient, guitar drones and industrial electronics. Sounds that come and go, fantastic.

It’s an ideal mix between the more recent material by Kevin Drumm and the longer songs by Canada’s Akitsa (Check out the song “Forêt disparue”). De Ontkoppeling is released on 150 professionally produced cassette tapes featuring artwork on risograph-printed heavy stock inserts by Haeresis Noviomagi and Levertraan.

Lorenzo: V.I.V.E.K – “Sirens” (Original Mix) (2011)

While at work at the office I always listen to the RLR live broadcast, sometimes attentively, most of the time with half an ear. My ear somehow continues to be attracted by bass-heavy music, in this case I believe this track could be filed under the Dubstep category, a genre I’m not particularly familiar with even though it has very thick ties to my big musical passion, Reggae music.

When Berlin DJ Sarah Farina played this, it really woke me up and I dashed downstairs to ask what it was, she was so nice to give me all the info and better yet copied it along with a selection of other music she thought I would like to a memory stick for me.

It’s a fairly straightforward banger; what I really dug about this track is the heavy use of a dub siren, hence the tile “Sirens”, just like a regular instrument, I own a dub siren myself and I’m constantly experimenting. I really like the warm analog sound of this relatively lo-tech musical tool.

Camille : Masabumi Kikuchi – “New Native” (1981)

“New Native” is one of those tracks that got me from the first bar. Starting out quite minimalistic and mysterious, it soon reveals its real psychedelic and funky essence. The track moves and evolves across the 15 minutes long arrangement, with elements of free and spiritual jazz, rock, and funk. Kikuchi’s subtle work on the keyboards creates the perfect fertile subsoil for the improvisations of James Mason on guitar and Terumasa Hino on the cornet.

“New Native” is the last track extracted from the album Susto, a must-have killer jazz-funk fusion record for every fan of Miles Davis’s electric period. Check!

Orpheu: Sneaker – “Disco Sidekick” (2015)

Maybe it is because there is so much incredible music from all over the world coming from the RLR studio, but I think it’s really funny how such a stripped-down drumtrack caught my attention the most this month. “Disco Sidekick” by Sneaker (2015) was played by Moody Mehran April 24th and is a proper drumtrack workout.

Kat: Spectre – “Bandar” (1998)

This month I would like to pick Spectre’s “Bandar”. I heard it on Post Ave’s show with Merel. I love how smooth and rough it is at the same time, and how it gradually builds up whilst remaining pretty constant throughout. It is an electronic, grungy, hip-hop beat and is quite industrial sounding. The track is on Spectre’s 1998 album, The Second Coming, and is one of the tracks without vocals. I do recommend listening to the whole album!

Boris: DJ Melissa – Game Soundtracks (2018)

In 1989 I’d saved enough money to buy the NES. Still remember buying it at Bart Smit clearly. The whole family was hyped! D-pad, start, select, A & B, no 3D: limited options, 150 euros for a new game, waiting in line to buy Mario Bros 3. Also calling the NES help-line when stuff got hectic at certain levels. Eventually we also got the classic Game Boy and after that we got a PC at home. I fucked around with Sim City and DOOM a bit but got into skateboarding and started spending most of my time outside.  I’ve never touched a playstation or Xbox so also have never heard the sounds of those games. DJ Melissa is a buddy from Den Haag and he was so hyped to do this show that I even watched the livestream where he was wearing his North Face puffy jacket the whole hour. I gotta say that I enjoyed this game-soundtracks-only set a lot. It’s all over the place and I like the idea of playing music out of its original context.

Alyssa: Shunaji – “Red Honey” (2018)

Since recently re-entering a Bahamadia phase, I’ve barely been listening to anything that doesn’t feature a female rapper. So when Carista dropped Shunaji’s “Red Honey” during her show, I knew I had to have it.  Normally I’d just Shazam or hope I’d remember to email the DJ afterwards, but before I knew it I was sprinting down the stairs like a madwoman. I’m pretty sure I bruised my ankle, but it was worth it. I’m gonna let the music do the talking, but all you need to know is that it’s smooth, catchy, jazzy and includes Italian rapping… what’s not to love?