When used to talk about music, chill has been a bit of a dirty word for a while. That ignores the fact though that sometimes, many of us still want to listen to just that. Digital radio is rapidly taking over in the UK, with dozens of stations cropping up all the time. Most choices are provided by the media's big players, but there are also seemingly homegrown options to listen to as well. In the last month, I've been sat in the kitchens of a couple friends who've got digital radio sets, and both have had theirs tuned to Chill.
Tai Chi for your ears is one of the station's slightly tongue-in-cheek mantras, but don't think it's just two-men-and-a-Mac on heavy rotation. Right now, it's Sunday morning and I'm listening to a rare remix of India.Arie. The playlist also stretches from classic 4Hero and Sigur Ros, through more commercial names like Jack Johnson and Massive Attack, to surprises from Badly Drawn Boy and Badmarsh and Shri. No presenters ruin the vibe, and adverts are practically nonexistent. In the UK, you can pick up Chill with a DAB radio, or via digital cable television and Sky channel 860. For everyone else, the playlist is streamed, albeit at a very low sample rate, at http://www.helpmechill.com.