Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Mighty KBC

Stream URLs: (128 kbps MP3) (48 kbps AAC)

The Mighty KBC, a European station targeting truck drivers, is an anorak's dream. Just the business plan is intriguing; to our knowledge, no-one has attempted to reach this market from a single transmitter before. And it gets better: as well as its main AM service, KBC simulcasts on shortwave. (Genius, given its widely-scattered audience, but contrary to current wisdom.)

And just when you thought it couldn't get any cooler, there's more: KBC has just launched a studio ship! Who does that anymore? Well, no-one, but KBC's owner has in fact deep roots – an anchor? – in old-school offshore pirate radio. With KBC he's gone legit, more or less; broadcasting English-language pop from Lithuania on a Soviet Army surplus transmitter, with some Dutch mic presence, this is basically a border blaster: technically legal under local law, though it may tweak international treaties.

And of course, it's got a mean stream. (Two, in fact; a "high quality" MP3 feed and a bandwidth-maximising "mobile" feed.) All of which has earned KBC a militant following, consisting of truck drivers (some of whom tune in via SMS); hams and SWLs, who love the HF service; anoraks nostalgic for the days of offshore radio; and lots of normal people who simply appreciate the diverse mix of Top 40, adult contemporary, fresh picks, and country music.

What more could an IRL ask? KBC is like a spirit warrior for the Radio Nation: one hand holding fast to heritage, the other reaching boldly into the future. Whether you join on AM, SW, SMS, or WIFI, load 'er up and put 'er down, good buddy.

The Gouge:

Genre: Pirate radio, Dutch radio, Lithuanian radio
Location: Vilnius
Time zone: GMT
Stream URL access: Fair
Bouncer: No
Type of radio: Broadcast
Mic presence: live and recorded personality jock-blocks, local day (especially Sunday); newsbreaks in Dutch; automated music
Stream reliability: Excellent
Format selection: AAC, MP3, embedded Flash player
Song ID: Yes
Found it on: Yourmuze


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