It is getting harder and harder to keep informed about really good music and the latest releases thereof. Reviewers used to be in the lucky position that record companies would send them either a release list or even hot-off-the-plant pressings. These times are over. Now and then, a release list does get in the mail but when a requested CD arrives, it is often a crippled version in the form of a cheap copy containing only partial tracks and hardly any artist credits and info.
We have to find different ways to satisfy our musical lust. One option is the friends' network where musical treasures are exchanged. Another is web radio. The convenience of simultaneously working on the computer and listening to music is great. There are many web-based radio stations that broad(band)cast interesting music. Alas, most employ DJs with some sort of personality problem. On top of these vocal diarrhea victims, web radio stations like to broadcast commercials to throw a second monkey wrench into the fun.
Luckily, there are exceptions. One of them is www.omroep.nl/nps/output from the Netherlands. Think DJ and commercial-free 24/7 broadcasting of jazz, blues and world music. The only problem of the site? It's in Dutch. For all you Dutch-challenged music lovers out there, here's what to do:
Go to www.omroep.nl/nps/output. In the bar at the bottom of the screen, a so-called marquee announces which artist is currently performing which song. Adjacent to this bar are three icons representing three different Internet players. Choose the one you have installed -- or the one you prefer -- and enjoy what's coming. When you choose Webradio in the bar at the top of the screen, a page opens in Dutch with the day's play list .Output radio is programmed thematically. That means each day has a musical genre as a theme:
Mondays: Funk, Soul and Blues
This web radio station is an absolute gem. If there are more of this type of DJ & commercial-free quality stations, let us know.