Unlog Radio was quite a ride.
Born during the confinment-gate, Unlog Radio was a great way for us to experiment and take the temperature on what can be done in 2020 to build your own music platform.
The webradio format was a deliberate choice, as it was a time-proof solution, accessible using open source tools, allowed 24/7 streaming through multiple platforms. There’s lots we haven’t had the resources to cover. But at times like these, when one can seriously question the streaming platforms’ growing hegemony and normalized music consumption habits, that experience comforted us in the idea that independent structures still have the means to stand their ground using efficient DIY techniques.
We’re hopeful, it just takes work.
A few highlights :
– 24/7 means 168 hours to fill with curated content. Each week Can your label handle it? For how long?
– Most of the content we’ve streamed came from friend labels, who granted us access to their catalogue. That not only added diversity, but that kind of stated the obvious : LABELS HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER.
– Radio vs playlist : Beyond curation, the model proposed by radio kind of pushed the algorithms away from the listener. Of course, we can’t stop algorithmic music selections from evolving, but there definitely needs to be an alternative around. Support your local radios.
– No data was needed from listeners. No Google account, no login, no tracker… That should be a standard.
– The tools : We’ve spent countless hours setting up servers, playing with scripts, testing designs, scheduling content… but none of that would have been possible had there not been open source tools accessible for us to use and build on. We really recommend checking Azuracast and the community around it.
– So much can be done to expand on the old-school radio format : themed selections, streaming from a studio, but also live-streaming field recording sessions (simple Zoom + Android phone), cine-concerts, live sessions between remote musicians…
All this requires time (a lot), and money, in amounts that could easily be met with the right team, the right ambitions, and the right project.
We’re still scratching the surface here.
We’re leaving it at that, as our resources are better allocated at being a music label for now. We’ll keep supporting innovations when we see it, whatever the shape. Funny how it took the form of a 20+ year broadcasting format, but were the best years of the internet don’t you think?We’ll probably document the process in-depth in the future for those interested, but for now we’d like to thank everyone involved who supported us : Chez Kito Kat Records, Yummy Beats, Shabu Recordings / Heard Island, La Boocle, Underdog Records, Tour De Manège, Cosmovision Records, Blackelk Recordings, Electro Made in QC, Silicon Beats, Beat4Battle, MART ONE, Hugo Selva, Dj Carie aka La Dame, The SharpShooterz, DJ NOYL – Unlog Records, InsideOut, Teddy Kitano, Render.Tex, TSF, Mole Machine, Viñu-vinu, Dj Don Mescal, V.ictor, Olvo, Set à la maison, Far Beats, all the gang on our Discord, all those I can’t tag, and all those who took the time to check it out, whatever the time zone.
Support your local independent radios, who have been keeping the fort for all those years, your local labels, and artists. Money or not, just talk to them.