Underground evolved3 June, 2009
As a consequence of not having had the chance to post over the last couple of months, I’ve missed out on announcing news just as it was breaking out on the aggregated feed circuit. But that’s not to say that any of the initial excitement or relevance has waned at all since then, especially when the headlining content added another unique dimension to the way in which we surf and enjoy the web — precisely the reason why the new site launch of R.fm still deserves a much coveted honourable mention as the site to watch closely in the upcoming months as it continues to reshape the frontier that exists between interactive blogging and dynamic multimedia. Taking off on 15th April and flying high ever since, the redesign of the online music channel/magazine/library/gallery dubbed ‘Acid Squaredance‘ was one that was much anticipated not least due to knowing how well the dynamic team of curators, designers and music-lovers over at R.fm Headquarters have managed to provide the much-needed answer to what was once music-based television programming in the past, but is now streaming on-demand in today’s digital and mobile age.
I have myself lamented on more than one occasion here previously over both the scattered nature of genuinely good music video content and the (lack of) comprehensive accuracy with which it’s reported (it’s precisely for these reasons that I began compiling my own finds onto Ampersound, so as to not lose track of the bookmarks whilst doing the daily browse-through on YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and countless others that are often not M[usic?]TV). Fortunately for the genuine music fans out there, the Acid Squaredance ethic is obviously one that serves to remedy this gap in the market by not only putting great videos into correct context, but by also allowing viewers to explore the artists/musicians/directors behind them — plus an added bonus of live sets, recommendations, and news at the fore in the world of art, design and culture. What’s more is that the new site layout is incredibly attractive, with its sleek monochrome interface punctuated by accents of colour and seamless navigation inspired by the Grid-A-Licious theme.
Pre-relaunch, my first experience of R.fm had been on the net-TV hub Joost a long while back, by then already a popular music gateway featuring a finely curated selection of recordings and video clips showcasing some of the finest specimens that the club scene has had to offer in recent years. With a solid following locally on the video/premier mobile platforms as well as spinning off into the Last.fm community and across the Facebook grapevine, the Stockholm-based network is deeply embedded within the culture it aims to curate as they work ‘in close co-operation with artists, directors, creative studios and imprints’. Post-relaunch, R.fm has come to aptly demonstrate the great potential of how well music-based content found across the web and in the hottest clubs worldwide can be compiled to form a single online hub through intelligent design. And the credit is owed to the creative team led by founder/creative director Joel Brosjö and design partner Suprb — the studio founded by Andreas Pihlström, who himself has recently relaunched his own site on the Cargo Collective platform where you can browse through his brilliant portfolio.
Alongside co-founder Ebrahim Isaacs, channel manager Gustav Bagge, and ambassador Lucho Ojeda (also running the dB night in Stockholm) on-board, you can rely on their channel for daily servings of visually stunning, high-resolution videos featuring equally impressive tracks ranging between techno, house and minimal to IDM, dubstep, and the more experimental variants of electronic music. You can sign up to the monthly newsletter, and also keep track of the regular stream of R.fm conversation, updates and current trendspotting news on Twitter @acidsquaredance and via the site’s Twitterfeed @rfmupdate. And after you check out R.fm’s must-see interactive section titled ‘Lookbook‘, you’ll have no doubt that the underground has truly evolved.
Sarah Badr © MMIX