Growing up, my dad would listen to the police radio feed, tuning in on the CB radio he installed in his car (and every other car the family had). I was always bored by it, wanting tp listen to music or not-staticky-policey-jargon. It was always frustrating that it was so monotonous and that people would listen to it. Now, years later, I can see the value or entertainment in listening to the police radio feed, which is the most live news can get. It’s kind of exciting! But, it’s still just muffled police talk. You Are Listening To Los Angeles has taken the police radio idea and improved upon it, making it into something that is actually somewhat soothing to listen to as they’ve added an ambient soundtrack to the radio feed.
You Are Listening To Los Angeles was created by Eric Eberhardt, a producer and product manager for video games and websites living in Oakland. He came up with the idea for the website from listening to police radio and concurrently playing music. That was the basis for the website, which streams both the police feed and ambient music from Soundcloud. It’s quite smart and elegant and is this little inadvertent art project happening online. Listening to it you feel like you’re experiencing a very patient live mixing of music and found soundbites, clips of police speaking about things like a drunk man disturbing a school on Normandie and Santa Monica and assistance needed in Van Nuys in translating what a victim of a crime is saying. It’s basically like listening to the show Cops while also playing a Kompakt Pop Ambient compilation.
Eberhardt is now using Kickstarter to amp up what You Are Listening can do. He’s hoping to be able to create an iPhone app as well as expand the scope of the website, spreading it internationally even. He’s hoping to raise $30K but is only about 15% of the way there. With fourteen days to go, definitely help out if you think it’s a cool cause and pass it along to friends in other cities because they may want to help out, too.