CULTURE // KPISS.FM is originally from Brooklyn but it broadcasts to the entire world through the wonders of the internet. It is looking for people to join this irreverent and grand community, lovers of great music between cool radio shows.
This inventive underground radio station was founded back in 2015 by Sheri Barclay and is slowly but surely starting to be the standard bearer for a community that goes beyond indie culture.
It pushes a curious nostalgic aesthetic in its site and Instagram account, and the name is a wordplay on traditional radio call letters and live streaming. Legal radio tower call letters have 4 letters, and the station slogan is ‘The Golden Stream.’
But KPISS.FM is going for much more than a cheap throwback to the past, or for an appeal to nostalgia. KPISS.FM is an internet radio station made for a niche, but even so, an unusually broad and diverse one.
KPISS now represents a community that goes beyond indie culture
The founder, Sheri Barclay, was born in New York then moved to Israel and then to a Canadian military base in Germany and learned English through the oldies station on the radio. It was also during that time that Barclay developed her musical taste. She mentions the mixtapes “That’s What I Call Hits,” a collection of random tracks presented in low-resolution visuals and broken English, on a bootleg label from Syria called Peace Records as a major inspiration for her subsequent work and community of music selectors that dig deep and give back with an emphasis on promoting new artists while also keeping a dedication to absurdity.
For now, 80% of the station’s 50+ shows are streamed live from Brooklyn, the station was formerly housed in a storage unit in Brooklyn, and then an RV but went completely remote during the pandemic. DJs stream live from home and are also in the chat which can be rare in the world of internet radio as many stations air pre recorded shows.The station is live 6-8 hours a day, and currently plays a deeply eclectic curated playlist with station IDs when they are not. The next dream for KPISS is to “stream live 24/7 from every corner of the earth”
Sheri has her eyes set on Europe, as she thinks the radio can appeal to a very specific European demographic. The station already has a presence in Brazil, where Alice Rocha broadcasts the show “Alô W/Brasil” live Sundays at (3PM EST).
Alice’s show gives KPISS a taste of the best Brazilian music, from classics such as Tim Maia and Marcos Valle, to the most recent breakthroughs. Electro Mediterranea, a music genre sometimes also present in Extra Anchovies (Thursdays 9PM EST), “Bad Conditions” (Fridays, 7PM EST), and “No Humans Allowed” (Wednesdays, 7PM EST), presents you the recent techno pearls. You can hear a ton of afrobeat and funk from the 1970s to local american indie rock scene hits. Every show, and every single episode of the shows have labels specifying the music genres or even conversation topics that were broadcasted so that the listener can search terms like ‘Cowpunk’ and ‘Shoegaze’.
KPISS is free to listen on KPISS.FM and their IOS app, DJs interested in a show can email the station as well.
KPISS.FM is an exciting, down-to-earth, and inherently cool project made by people who love radio, music, and just plain weird stuff. Sheri and all the people who contribute to the station are true lovers of this medium. It truly is a Golden Stream.