Sunday, March 15, 2015

Radio Enciclopedia

Of late I've been fascinated with this oddball little radio station from Cuba - 530 on the AM dial - that often plays some truly wacked-out cheese: easy listening, muzak, swing, jazz, antiquated afro-cuban, 1940s-1970s pop, light instrumental disco, lounge, exotica, "Space Age Pop" and generally uncategorizable stuff like eerie, trippy organ versions of classic rock songs. Everything from Benny Goodman to Mantovani to Esquivel to Celia Cruz to Vangelis. In short, damn close to what I consider Pulcova Club material.

I originally thought getting to hear this Cuban station was one of the happy little perks of living in Naples, but after doing some googling, I find that DX'ers with average equipment can, when the skies are clear on a late moonlit night, pick this station up as far away as New Mexico and Missouri.

Though in many ways, Cuba is gloriously in a time warp by American standards (just look at their wonderful old cars and buildings) the station actually has a website and a live-stream. You can listen by visiting mms:// - type it directly into your browser if clicking the link doesn't work, and it should bring up Windows Media Player or whatever your device uses as its default. I love it, but I actually find it more fun to listen to on a terrestrial radio with the added spooky romantic effect of all the static and other broadcasts gently echoing in the background and occasionally bleeding through.

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