We debuted our custom Ace radios with Scotland-based Revo today when we swung the doors open at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch. Each radio in-room boasts a curated set of hot buttons that act as a portal to our favorite new discoveries and classic standbys, including independent radio, soundscapes and Monocle's round-the-clock coverage of everything on the planet. We want to treat your ears as well as we can, and the planet, too. These radios feature a digital amplifier that reduces power consumption but increases the amount of creative power in your own mind.
We’ll be changing stations and sounds on the hot buttons over time. You can keep track of them all hear, just kidding here, and we’ll be posting more about the waves in the air over time right here.
1 : KEXP
Born in Seattle, KEXP is our #1 homie. But we share so much beyond a hometown. Our love of music, discovery and community have made us steadfast friends and long-time collaborators. On the air for over four decades, this tiny radio-station-that-could started as a 10-watt transmitter is located on top of McMahon Hall on the University of Washington campus. It’s since grown to one of the most celebrated and respected independent, community-driven radio stations on the planet. It won a Webby for Best Radio Website when the internet was just a wee baby in 2004, and even opened a branch in New York City, serving all five boroughs. For a few years, we’ve collaborated with KEXP to broadcast live from the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during CMJ, and we’ve made some really good friends along the way.
2 : NTS Radio
With their first radio broadcast just months behind them, London’s NTS was born, in a sort of KEXP reversal, from the blog nutstosoup.com (now laid to rest). NTS aims to fill a void in the community of musically and progressively minded Londoners (and citizens of the world). A unique platform for inspired people to present their findings, passions and obsessions, NTS draws on local wisdom of the young and old in London from label founders to magazine editors to style icons to musical discoverers sailing the rocky seas of basement shows and pirate internet stations and tape deck-only road trips to bring the best and brightest to your ears day and night.
3 : Monocle 24
Monocle is a global briefing on international affairs, business, culture and design headquartered in London. In print Monocle’s 10 issues a year are dense, book-ish and collectable, and call on a global team of staff editors and over thirty correspondents from Beirut to Milan, Washington to Singapore. Monocle 24, their round-the-clock radio station launched its first broadcast a couple autumns ago from Midori House in Marylebone. Delivering news and comment, plus magazine shows covering a range of topics including food and drink, urbanism, design and print media, their newsgathering operation will soon stretch to new bureaux in São Paulo and across Asia, as well as more correspondents in emerging and established territories. Monocle, with a sharp ear and astute eye on the world, are old friends of the Ace family and some of our favorite armchair and expert thinkers on everything from straight-lined to particulate and curvaceous topics of conversation.
4 : Resonance FM
Resonance FM celebrates the ‘art’ of radio and music, and tends toward programming that pushes the status quo for what radio can be. Framework is one of our favorite shows dedicated to soundscapes and field recording. The more London-local shows like The Hooting Yard (an hour of field-recorded sounds from the speaker’s point in Hyde Park) and The Pensioner’s Show (an hour of one, gruff fellow ranting about the current state of pensioners rights and news) get our hearts racing.
We actually learned about Resonance while listening to Do or DIY with Vicki Bennett of People Like Us on WFMU (Ace Revo Broadcast Two). Vicki was doing some collaborations with Ergo Phizmiz and, at the time, guest shows from the Resonance studios in London. There’s a really great show of Christian Marclay performing live at the London Tate near Christmas from about 2005. It’s an hour-long, sprawling mix of sounds and song and it’s wonderful. Resonance is an audio volcano of things you never knew how badly you wanted to listen to until you do and then you feel like your brain is bigger. That’s what they do.
5 : WFMU
WFMU is like the radical big-brother of free-form stations across the country. They’re not tied to any university or college, they have little rules to follow and they been at it for decades. They have a ridiculously diverse range of shows and hosts. And their library! It can make a grown man cry. You can listen to a dedicated rap show for three hours and then go right into a bad talk/call-in for an hour, and then into a show dedicated to antique phonographs. And they do it all with volunteers, few paid staff and membership drives that defy the boring, disenchanting norm. Long live the Woof Moo.