How To: Find Out About New Music
Now, this may seem really silly to have a write up on how to find music, but there are some out there that are completely out of the loop. There are also others that haven't listened to electronic or hip hop in quite some time, and have no idea where to get back in. Hopefully this post will help find you some music to spin.
1. The Charts Now, the charts in magazines and on the radio may not be exactly to what your liking may be, but it's a semi decent indicator of what is popular at the time. Remember that you may not have a gig where you get to play your own sets, as you may be a resident DJ in a top 40 club (boo!). You can also check out the sales chart as well, to see what other DJs are snagging up. You can check for charts in magazines, websites, and other listings. Just make sure you listen to the tracks first, some of these albums are absolute garbage.
2. Reviews Who doesn't review? It's quick, it's easy, and you're already listening to the album anyways so you might as well throw a review together. Depending on who you trust, reviews can either be spot on or something they are completely pulling from their ass. DJ magazines will always include current reviews of recently released albums and eps, along with occasional flashbacks to older albums.
3. Radio Just listen to the radio. Not all places have a station that may be playing the music you like, but I can bet there are some online. Using sites like www.di.fm can really expand your taste with all the available genres of music they play, and to top it off, they include artist and song titles, even for DJ sets! You can also tune into streaming music on other music programs such as Winamp or iTunes. You'll find what you're looking for out there.
4. P2P/BitTorrent You know you download music, don't deny it. P2P often integrates messaging systems and ratings, which may help you find music either by talking to other people on these networks or by looking through the ratings. Torrent sites usually have pretty decent communities which will often give recommendations and suggestions of other artists you may mention. Many torrent sites also have a Top 10/100/200 list which can have quite a few gems from time to time.
5. Forums There are a gazillion forums out there for every subgenre of music you are into. Looking for that new minimal ambient dub track? I don't know about that, but I bet you can find it out there. Check on music production forums, as they will often have some very interesting people that are very vocal about their musical tastes. You can often find forums on some of your favorite artist's website, which will often have people that are more than willing to give you a suggestion about other artists in the genre.
6. Recommendations Just ask around! Seriously, it's not that hard. Next time you're at a party/rave/festival whatever, just ask people what they are into. You obviously love music, which means you'll probably discuss it on ends with people if possible. Many websites now have recommendation engines which will use your searches and other input to generate lists of possible artists you may enjoy. Sites such as www.Last.fm is pretty awesome for finding new music. Even using YouTube and check out what other people are watching or commented on is a great way as well.
7. Follow the producers If you love an artist, see what else they are up to. Seeing how every electronic artist generally is contributing or remixing with other artists, all you have to do is look up their discogs and boom, now you are set to find a whole world of new tracks. Sites such as www.Discogs.com has everything you need to find the discographies of artists you enjoy. It's much like the wiki effect, once you start looking deeper into an artists back catalog, you start going on tangents until you end up looking at the most obscure albums and genres, WhistleStep anyone?
8. The Shops Check at local shops or online shops. Many of these shops allow you to listen to samples of the tracks, which should give you a pretty good understanding of wither or not you'll like it. Remember that you shouldn't go from these small samples though, as the sample may sound awesome but the entire track may be trash.
So there ya go. A few places where you can find out and discover new music and genres. It's all about keeping an open mind, as something you may not like one year, may be completely awesome the next. Hopefully you can find what you're looking for, and remember to never stop digging!
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