For all the advances in how, and where, we consume music, there’s still no substitute in our book for the regular radio show – that intimate, authoritative portal into unfamiliar music old or new. With podcasting and online streaming creating a global platform for local stations, there are a wealth of essential shows that should be in any adventurous listener’s diary. In this new occasional FACT series, we’ll be profiling our favourite shows from across the globe.
Show: WTBS Radio
Station: Newtown Radio, Brooklyn
Host: DJ Speculator
When: Monday, 12:00-14:00 EDT
What: William Burnett grafts. Under his Willie Burns alias, the Brookylnite has put out stranger-than-your-average house 12″s on The Trilogy Tapes, L.I.E.S and Creme Organization imprints. Then there are the releases as Black Deer (psychedelic, tape-saturated), Grackle (dubby, disco-leaning), and a smattering of other aliases. And then there’s his ever-dependable WT Records imprint, whose Tagwell Woods and Sabre releases needled our pleasure points with acupuncturist efficiency. The man, we can all agree, is busy.
In our books, Burnett’s recorded output goes hand-in-hand with his WTBS radio show, broadcast weekly on indie-leaning Brooklyn station Newtown Radio. Burnett trades as DJ Speculator for the purpose, and it’s a well-chosen alias: Burnett’s selections map out a prospective musical landscape, imaginary topographies where Front 242 share the same soil as Svengalisghost, where twisted house borders thrift store dub. Chronology is sidelined in favour of eclecticism, albeit one that traces unseen links and hidden correspondences. Although key listening for trainspotters – a lot of music on the L.I.E.S/Future Times/Sex Tags Mania axis gets its first play here – there’s a languid, all-comers-welcome feel throughout: indeed, Burnett’s low-key, mildly cantankerous tone helps matters enormously.
Playlist: Frazzled experimental house (Torn Hawk, Greg Beato, Stellar OM Source), crowd pleasers (Inner City, Romanthony), weirdo exotica (Lena Platanos’), and “lots of rare unreleased stuff I shouldn’t even play”.