Once a genre sets its foot off of its domestic platform and traverses international boundaries, the sky is the limit. Prevailing genre platforms settled in receiving regions allow them to critique and shape them to their own understanding and niche. This type of cultural manifestation occurring in the modern age of the internet has been accelerating and shining from not only different regions in the U.S. but also regions in Europe and East Asia. Ever since the commercial innovation of Hip Hop allowed the international populace to see what raw power can be made of it, most regions were susceptible to the evolving culture and contorted the genre with their own texture and colors. In 2012, a small German music label did just that.
Radio Juicy is the abode holding a plethora of home-making beat producers and bedroom lyricists. The sound they elude compared to the Hip Hop movements around them are esoteric, lighting their own candle and enjoying their own tribal affairs. 2012 and beyond were the years of exploding commercial regality for Hip Hop and Rap music to relinquish the technical limits, giving homes to now to a neighborhood of different sounding and presenting subgenres, and the endless artists filling up the gated community. Where can a striving artist make a name for himself or herself in the saturated enclave of ideas?
Radio Juicy established a sound that wasn’t viable within popular media or wasn’t transmutable in the front pages of every major music platform. This is an enclave for those who miraculously discovered a Wun Two or 2LATE track from a Youtube or SoundCloud recommendation. There are a variety of sounds and artists that make up Radio Juicy’s Bandcamp and SoundCloud page, but once you go through their catalog, they all exhume a single aesthetic and immediately establishes their recognizability. Jazzy samples diluted and accreted by snare drums, voice-overs, drum pads, and soulful interludes.
I discovered Radio Juicy back in the Winter season of 2014 during my later high school years. My first transference to their discography was through the works one of their former beat martyrs, Wun Two. It was in time for the holiday season to commence, and our Thanksgiving holiday break ensued. It had oddly snowed heavy for one of the nights, and there was nothing else to do around the area. Unfortunately, I had a temporary but excruciating ear infection, and I had fallen sick in bed throughout the whole week. My time was open and I had room to do whatever that wasn’t academically related for once. Through the long nocturnal periods of stand-up comedy specials and sodium-enriched cup noodles, I had unintentionally stumbled upon his earlier and silence-enforcing projects, wait for silence.EP. Once my ear infection had faded away and I was able to listen to the crisp tone of his music once more, I was subdued by how convenient the time was for his music to be played.
The snowstorm was quietly pelting its force down but was bombarding out parking lots nonetheless. The night was meekly illuminated by the indecisive sun and the lamp posts covered and frosted by the sub-zero temperatures. I was not able to fall asleep for some reason, so I had decided to finally plug in my earphones and allow the slow and dreary take in music drift me into attempted slumber. This was the first time listening to the wait for silence.EP. I don’t remember if this was the successful attempt I was trying out, but instead, it sensationalized the moment and oddly gave me a memorized blip during that week. The slow and jazzy interludes fit proportionally with the leveling snowfall and the luminescent night shining around 3:00 am in the night.
That’s the feeling most of Radio Juicy’s music gives you. The work of the involved beat producers gives off a feeling of submitting to the moment. They’re short delicacies of ear-pleasing vibrations and head-nodding resonance. These types of interludes won’t see radio play for a while. They tend to lean more towards the lo-fi and old-school spectrum of Hip Hop but have a more soulful quality squelching throughout the beat sessions. Through the aural and visual lens of a graduate student of musical theory, these may seem redundant and lazy attempts at using concise and complex Jazz sounds. This would be beside the point of this type of music.
Radio Juicy’s music is meant for the meditative and concentrated. They rely more on moments such as night gazing, pot smoking, studying, and video gaming. The music relies on the listener itself to position himself or herself in a comfortable position and stay under a relaxing roof, whether with close friends or just isolated. The music itself serves as background enhancements towards those idle moments of physiological laziness and total escapism. With much of music today, many high charting and breakthrough artists tend to expel much of the political or social dismay that barge into your conscious, reminding you that you still live in a turbulent world.
Radio Juicy is the humble reservoir of easing tension and releasing endorphins. Their music defines escapism in the sense that all the old school and lo-fi music allows you to simmer within your couch or bed, and reflect upon the natural moments of a snowy night or cloudy day.
In the past couple of years, compilations of music have been exploding on Youtube. Mainly hour-long sessions of music related to, or sometimes even from Radio Juicy, have been targeting the young audience that may just want harmonic melodies to add on to their homework completion or Halo sessions. Many of these compilations would usually entitle themselves as “study or gaming beats,” which perfectly characterizes the intention behind them. These compilations are only the pinnacle in an otherwise submerging lake of dedicated and sentient musicians.
Radio Juicy employs musicians to meticulously craft their beats in such a way where the listener can reflect on their own lifestyles, rather than the disturbance ringing in their vicinity. In the beginning stages of cinema, booming during the Great Depression, the main objective of film screening was the assuage the rising tensions in the disparaging world the people were submitted to. Now that art and culture have endless room to experiment with and discover new pieces of abstraction, music has the ability to follow the same route. With much music stating what side to be on or where to transmit your boisterous tensity towards, labels like Radio Juicy serve as provocateurs on letting you know that it’s okay to lay back and chill once in a while.