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Review: Beatgasm stands out for EDM curation

Beatgasm screenshot

Beatgasm came to life when a Miami radio station opted to make the move online. Rather than just keep a pureplay rendition of the station, Beatgasm expanded into a network of lean-back EDM stations.

Today, the platform has a range of prepared playlists, focused by subgenre, mood, energy level, or city. There is also a suite of curated stations by the Beatgasm team. Finally, you can start stations based on artists or songs. The feature set is standard for a lean-back streaming radio platform. The design has a clean look, with simple fonts on the white background. Listeners give a thumbs up or thumbs down to each track, and the favorited songs go directly to a list on your profile.

In the seeded stations, you can tune the algorithms to cycle certain types of music into the rotation. For instance, you could stick with Hits or listen to Breakout artists. Variety, Surging, and Discover are the other tuning options. It’s a small feature, but that little bit of direction has the potential to make a big difference in the getting the desired sound from a lean-back listening platform. We’re not sure exactly how effective the tuning is. In our test, we launched the station for artist Clean Bandit and tuned it to hits, expecting to hear similarly bright, poppy songs. The first two songs we got were much grittier and heavier than the original seed, but after some liberal doling out of the thumbs up and down, it fell into a vibe closer to, but still not exactly, what we wanted. This feature seems comparable to that of Pandora, where honing a station to the desired sound does still take some serious finessing.

The curated stations offered a much clearer vision, and we vastly preferred the tonal consistency of those playlists. Setting a flow is important for this style of music, whether online or on the dance floor, and the Beatgasm stations felt more like intentional DJ sets. We felt these lists were the highlight of the service.

Regardless of playlist, our listening session did reveal a catalog of depth and breadth, which you’d expect for a former terrestrial radio station. The music we heard over nearly two hours included everything from remixes of familiar top 40 artists such as Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake to deeper cuts from the dance and club scene. Thanks to the more focused curation available, this could be a great option for novice and expert EDM fans alike.

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Anna Washenko

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