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Where I find out about new musics

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Sep. 12th, 2009 | 11:52 pm
music: Drexciya - You Don't Know | Powered by Last.fm

I've been asked a few times by friends and co-workers where I discover new music. There's not one magical resource... it's a mixture of things, the main source being other music obsessed friends. Social networking sites have particularly made it easier than ever to get the word out about the proverbial "good shit" with minimal effort. In the interest of spreading the love out a little further (and actually having a good answer the next time someone asks), here's a list of my favorite places to discover new music online...

I'll admit, this post was just an elaborate excuse to us this amazing photo by t4tO_

1. Basic Sounds: http://basic_sounds.blogspot.com
Genres: techno/idm/ambient/dubstep

Canada's number 1 export if you ask me... no one even comes close to getting the word out about up n' coming artists and new releases in the world of non-cheesy electronic dance music. You won't find any Tiesto's or PVD's here... but you may just find your album of the year or maybe your new favorite visual artist.

2. Aquarius Records: http://aquariusrecordsblog.blogspot.com & http://www.aquariusrecords.org
Genres: eclectic/ambient/drone/indie

Aquarius is my favorite record store on the planet. The staff take their job seriously when it comes to finding the coolest under-represented music from all over the world and exposing them to their loyal patrons. I can't even count how many great records I've gotten from here that I've never seen talked about anywhere else. What makes them so unique? They...

-- hand pick 1-3 records each week which helps narrow down the overwhelming amount of new stuff they get in
-- write up great reviews for the main new releases and tape them on the cds to read in the store or from the website at home
-- provide sound clips for all the main releases so you can preview before you buy
-- have the super-nerdiest-music-nerd staff that can make excellent recommendations

I could go on and on about Aquarius, they're amazing.

3. The Quiet Sounds: http://www.asphalteden.com/
Genres: Ambient

I can't say enough about asphalteden's ambient podcast. Brian has impeccable taste in music and deep knowledge about this genre which comes through in his mixes. You haven't fallen asleep until you've done so with one of these playing in the background!

4. Spreading Neurotoxins: http://spreadingneurotoxins.blogspot.com
Genres: Indie rock/electronic/ambient/metal/shoegaze

This is sort of like the rock version of Basic Sounds. An occasional electronic release makes it on here too, but the focus is definitely on the rock side. Fantastic.

5. connexion: the selector: http://www.theselector.org
Genres: Shoegazer/indie rock/eclectic mixes

Great group of contributors to this blog where you can find individual tracks and awesome mixes.

6. Pitchfork's "Best new albums" page: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/best/
Genres: Indie rock/electronic

Not much to add here since Pitchfork is pretty common knowledge, but this particular URL is nice as a way to keep up with only the highest rated reviews. I disagree with a lot of Pitchfork's ratings (basically 99% of bands they love that have whiny sounding singers), but for the most part, they still know what's up.

7. I Found this Song in the Road: http://songsfromtheroad.blogspot.com
Love Will Tear Us Apart: http://disorderyan.blogspot.com
The Passion of Indie Music: http://indiepassion.blogspot.com
Genres: Indie rock

I'll count these three together since they're quite similar, but definitely worth checking out if you like this genre.

8. Richfourfour: http://fourfour.typepad.com/fourfour/mixes
Genres: Dance mixes/90s hip-house

I've posted about Rich's essential new jack swing mixes before, but all of his mixes are worth mentioning again. When he's not spending the majority of his time blogging about reality tv and making hilarious animated gifs, he puts together seriously fun party mixes that are great for working out to as well.

9. Essential house: http://essentialhouse.blogspot.com/
Genres: House, duh!

It'd be impossible to download and listen to every single song posted here, but I do enjoy scanning the lists and picking a few from time to time. Another great resource for anyone that plays parties regularly.

10. Santiago Salazar: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendId=64659649
Genres: House/Techno

Ever since I caught Santiago's Red Bull Academy set in Seattle, I was hooked. I don't actively keep up with house, but I feel like my curiosity is satiated by the mixes he regularly posts on his MySpace blog. (Note: downloading them is a little tricky... look for the down arrow icon in the music player widgets)

Synopsis Elektronica: http://synopsiselektronica.blogspot.com
Genres: Ambient/IDM/Electronic/Synth-heavy music

I adore this blog. As a lover of synths, it doesn't get much better than this. Just wish they updated more often!

Keytars & Violins: http://keytarsandviolins.blogspot.com
Genres: Keytars/Violins!

Lots of amazing, rare, weird electronic music surfaces here, and c'mon, that name is super awesome.

Discobelle: http://www.discobelle.net
Genres: Electronic/Dance

Another great source for party music (and good music videos too).

MUTANT SOUNDS: http://mutant-sounds.blogspot.com
Genres: Experimental/drone

If you want weird, experimental, bizarre, craziness, look no further.

GHETTO BASSQUAKE: http://ghettobassquake.blogspot.com
Genres: Global dance music

For fans of dance music sounds from all over the world. Always interesting stuff in here.

Ambient Music on LJ: http://community.livejournal.com/ambient_music/
Genres: Ambient

This LJ community is a good source for finding super obscure ambient releases. It's hard to know what you're getting ahead of time since it's written in Russian, but hey, [plug] that's what the Google Toolbar is good for! [/plug]

Avant Sound Japan: http://community.livejournal.com/avantsoundjapan
Genres: experimental/electronic music from Japan

I don't check this one that often, but when updated, they have some pretty interesting finds.

Burning the Ground: http://burningtheground-djpault.blogspot.com
Genres: 80s & 90s maxi-singles (no, I'm not kidding)

Probably the most niche of anything listed here, this one specializes in obscure dance singles and remixes from the late 80s to mid-90s (an era near and dear to my heart). This blog is a complete blast from the past. You'll find some super rare gems here right alongside some things you wish you could forget.

Other Music: http://othermusic.com/

The NYC twin of Aquarius! Lots of overlap with Aquarius, but they always have unique releases that you won't find anywhere else (and they have a great digital download store, which AQ doesn't).

the Pharmacy Rx: http://thedrugstore.blogspot.com
Genres: Rare groove/funk/assorted weirdness

I check this one infrequently, but it has some interesting finds if you're into these genres.

Swen's Weblog: http://swen.antville.org/
Genres: Experimental/indie rock

Swen writes for the WIRE Magazine and uses this blog to share all the interesting music finds he comes across.

Last.fm's "My Recommendations" and "My Neighbourhood" radio: http://www.last.fm/download
Genres: solely depends on your own music taste!

This won't do you much good unless you're already a user of Last.fm (here's what my account looks like). Once you've listened to enough of your own music with Last.fm turned on, you can "tune in" to these stations that do a remarkably good job at picking music that you're more than likely to enjoy. I've discovered a lot of obscure/cool stuff this way and it's great for when you don't have your own music with you. There's also a buried iTunes podcast feature that will regularly put good songs into your library: http://www.last.fm/home/freemp3s

Shazam: http://www.shazam.com/music/web/home.html

Not a direct source for music, but definitely a handy tool for when you're around music that you're trying to trainspot. It feels like we're living in the future when you can just whip out a phone in a clothing store, restaurant, or club and most of the time instantly find out what you're listening to.

XLR8R Podcast: http://www.xlr8r.com/podcast
mnml ssgs: http://mnmlssg.blogspot.com
The Autonomic Podcast: http://www.club-autonomic.com
Bleep43 Podcast: http://www.bleep43.com
The Bunker Podcast: http://www.beyondbooking.com/podcast.asp
Ghostly Cast: http://ghostly.com/ (subscribe via bottom-left sidebar)
Symbiosis on Overlap.org: http://overlap.org/tag/symbiosis
Timecast: http://www.t2x.eu/timecast
Resident Advisor Podcast: http://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast.aspx
Futureboogie mixes: http://www.futureboogie.com/mixes
music_therapy: http://theeta-musictherapy.blogspot.com
Palms Out Sounds: http://palmsout.net
Spannered radio: http://www.spannered.org/radio
Resonator magazine: http://www.resonatormag.com
Pop Your Funk: http://www.popyourfunk.com
New Mixes: http://www.newmixes.com
The Black Dog: http://www.theblackdogma.com
Genres: Techno/electronic

I like all of these, but they're all fairly similar in that they focus on electronic dance music. Many are iTunes podcast friendly too, so make sure to look for special subscription links if you're into that sort of thing.

The only other one I wanted to mention is the BBC's Mary Anne Hobbs show, but sadly, I don't know of a way to get my hands on mp3 copies of the broadcasts... (I'm not a fan of streaming at all).

So, that's the list!

I'd love to hear about your favorites in the comments, and until then...
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from: interimlover
date: Sep. 13th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)

My pleasure. Reading the post now, I think this is an interesting cultural artifact when juxtaposed against what I would've said 10, 20, 30 year ago and so on. Even a few years back I would've said magazines and print media played a big part in this, but they don't factor in at all in the process any longer. It's fun to try and imagine what it'll be like in another 10 years :)

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