What were people listening to in Turkey in the ’60s? Or Zambia in the ’80s? Radiooooo is your new musical time machine.
The interactive website lets you discover what might have been playing on the radio or in clubs in different countries across different decades, from 1900 to present. You can tailor your searches by mood (slow, fast, weird), and tracks are often user-sourced, adding a community feel to the act of discovery, free of algorithms and genre associations. The global map also has a few islands: Discovery Island for newly added tracks, and Lazy Island, which functions more like a shuffle mode for those who want a passive listening experience. You can also jump in a “taxi” and plan a musical trip across countries.
An Indiegogo campaign was launched for the site back in 2013 as a way to test the waters, according to CEO Anne-Claire Troubat.
“The Indiegogo campaign was launched at the very, very beginning of Radiooooo when the website did not exist yet, in order to test our idea,” she told the Daily Dot. “People’s reaction convinced us we had to go further and create our musical space-time machine for real.”
Radioooo’s president and cofounder, Benjamin Moreau, explained the genesis of the idea on the campaign’s page, and the goal:
The heart of this project resides thus in radically changing the way of searching for good music on the internet for a user who does not have the time to look for it, making this musical and cultural experience accessible to all.
Listening to music is always a journey, a teleportation, a trip. Including a map of the world was therefore obvious. It would allow you to wander through the globe and let yourself get carried away to new and different horizons by the music.
Each track lets you know who it was “discovered” by. Troubat says that two-thirds of the site is user-sourced, “which is a lot considering we keep only 8 to 10 percent of everything that is sent to us in order to keep a coherent editorial line.”
What was playing on radios in Thailand in the ’70s? “Ding Ding Dong,” of course.
And Mexico was apparently jamming to the obscure electronic pop of Anne Cessna in the ’80s. She’s an artist I’d never heard of but I was instantly compelled to find all her other songs after a listen.
Radiooooo’s more than just a vehicle for musical discovery. Troubat says she hopes it can become its own social network, “where music lovers from across the globe can share their passion,” and that it affects people on a more human level.
“We deeply hope that users, after visiting Radiooooo.com and discovering the beauty of foreign cultures and sometimes of their own, are loving a bit more of their neighbors and that it generates more respect.”