If there is one single thing which, for me, has justified the existence of the internet over the past decade, it is the opportunity to listen again to radio programmes which you have missed earlier, alongside playlists to check what you are listening to : first available on RealPlayer and nowadays on iPlayer.
Radio programmes which play diverse or unconventional music have always been banished until late at night, from Sounds of the Seventies to Mixing It. Thanks to iPlayer, you can recreate the reflective, dream-like, late-night mood at any time of the day.
One radio programme I have listened to most frequently through this method is BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction. From memory, it was started around the time of the BBC executive decision to transfer the world music remit (championed particularly by Andy Kershaw) from Radio 1 to Radio 3, and sounds from Africa, Latin America and the Far East still make up a large chunk of its playlist. A lot of folk and traditional music is played too, plus stuff from mavericks from the rock world like Robert Wyatt or Brian Eno, or their contemporary musical cousins like Tunng or Richard Dawson. Curiously, since we’re on Radio 3, it is the classical chamber and vocal music which I feel is sometimes marginalised and might be included more often.
Long-time presenters Verity Sharp and Fiona Talkington, once described as “mellow-voiced sirens” , have latterly been joined by the wry Max Reinhardt. It’s probably true that all music presenters everywhere are at least a bit prone to the tendency of thinking themselves more individual than they actually are (which weakness may not be helped when university academics like this one write about you!) but this trio, and their choices of music, are educational and engaging.