Twenty years ago this week, a 25-year-old Goth Club DJ from Toronto called Todd Clayton, disillusioned with the restraints on what he was allowed to 'play out' at Sanctuary club in his home city, decided instead to launch an online radio show with a wider choice of sounds within the broad ambit of 'darkwave', 'EBM', 'synthpop' and all the other labels associated with electronic music with dark, melancholic lyrical themes and a strong beat.
He called it Real Synthetic Audio, partly because the shows were originally encoded in Real Audio, that clunking, ever-buffering software being the only viable form in which to produce them in 1998.
Through all the subsequent changes in technology - both in the production and distribution of music online - Todd has succeeded in turning out a show nearly every week since, expanding from the original six-track format to a regular eight-track programme (with occasional specials ranging up to a massive thirty tracks) and, in doing so, has created something of a phenomenon. RSA is the most listened to music programme of its genre anywhere, and his commitment to the listeners has been rewarded by their - our - financial contributions funding the bandwidth and storage for the show.
I've described here how I came to start listening to RSA in about 2003, and I'm pleased to have been able to support the show over the years. After all, I've heard some awesome stuff as a result. A series of special programmes will 'air' during February not merely to mark the 20th anniversary but also the 2018 Membership Drive, in which those who donate also get the chance of a gift or prize.
Also to celebrate the milestone, Kevin McMillan has produced an 80-minute documentary on Todd Clayton and Real Synthetic Audio, which you can see below. Yer Judge's name briefly appears just short of the 58-minute mark.
So, thanks and congratulations to Todd and RSA on twenty years of giving us the sounds we otherwise might never hear.