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Night recordings from the forests of old Borneo. Early synth cassettes from the Maghreb. Gypsy puppet theater orchestras from Azerbaijan. Electric thumb pianos blasting from homemade P.A. systems in the streets of Kinshasa. An obscure gong record from the mountains of Vietnam. A rare 1950s recording of catfish trumpets in the Amazonian Lowlands. A beggar lady’s song recorded in a desert oasis town somewhere in China. A Minangkabau shortwave broadcast from Sumatra. The sounds of taxi music and traffic jams in Cairo.​... 

RADIO IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit radio platform and mixtape series that exposes listeners to obscure regional folk and pop music from the global hinterlands. Our collections feature cut-ups of international radio broadcasts (AM, FM & shortwave), field recordings, ethnographic film, vintage records & cassettes, and digital ephemera from the far reaches of the internet. Our mission is to explore forgotten and new ways of making radio and to facilitate greater access and exposure to sounds and music not sufficiently documented by industrial music curation. 

Our approach to music curation and radio programming is grounded in a do-it-yourself ethos and an aesthetic inspired by ethnographic surrealism, which not only values fragments, curious collections, and unexpected juxtapositions but also seeks to bring out the revolutionary energies of strange and unfamiliar things, the lost and the forgotten, the unconventional and the obscure.    

 

RIAFC began life in 2018 as a homemade mixtape series. Since then, we have collaborated with private collectors, field recordists, ethnomusicologists, archives, and small, independent labels to produce over 90 curated mixtapes featuring rare ceremonial, folk, and pop music. In April 2021, we launched our 24/7 internet radio stream. RIAFC also broadcasts on terrestrial radio station WXDR 99.1 FM (New Orleans, LA) (2018 – Present) and, until recently, Resonance FM 104.4 FM (London, U.K.) (2018-2021). RIAFC has been featured by Attic Magazine (Bucharest, Romania), Radio Garden (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), the Shortwave Shindig, EastEast Radio (Moscow, Russia) Movement Radio (Athens, Greece), Landline Newsletter (Seattle, WA), Radio WORM (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Noods Radio (Bristol, UK) Aquarium Drunkard (Los Angeles), dublab (Los Angeles) and WIRED magazine's Gadget Lab Podcast (San Francisco).   

 

For inquiries and submissions, please contact us at: info@radioisaforeigncountry.org