How to find electronic music that doesn’t suck

1 Aug

I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem to have trouble finding decent electronic music, or at least decent electronic music that isn’t really old.  This is a brief guide to finding good songs that you might not otherwise be able to.

First: Pandora is terrible, don’t bother

Pandora is pretty great for mainstream music, and even a lot of indie-style rock.  It’s gotten a lot better with the genre than it was a few years ago, when it pretty much only had Justice, Boys Noize, and a few others, but usually Pandora only has songs from the bigger labels.  Worse, though, it’s really, really slow about adding new songs, and will frequently play songs from a few years ago, which in electronic music years might as well be from the Cambrian era.

So, what actually does work?  Start with Hype Machine.

The Hype Machine is basically an aggregation of the more popular blogs.  It lets you stream music, follow artists and blogs, and will suggest new music for you.  It’s also a good way to…

Find good blogs.

The Hype Machine will show you which blogs are posting the artists you like, which you can then explore to hopefully find new artists you haven’t heard of.  Elbo.ws is another blog aggregator that’s great for this.  It usually publishes less well-known blogs than Hypem does, as well, which is sometimes a good thing.  This blog is, of course, a great place to start.  Subscribe!  There’s also a few more that I like in the sidebar.

Listen to DJ mixes.

Most electronic music wasn’t really made to be listened to on an iPod.  It’s supposed to be blended together on turntables by a decent DJ.  Mixes happen to be, in my opinion, the best way to find new artists.  The BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix has by far the best mixes, but most DJs put out one from time to time.  Radio 1’s mixes are almost always available to download somewhere online with a Google search.

SoundCloud

SoundCloud has, in the past six months or so, become one of the best places to find music since practically every major producer has an account at this point.  It publishes new songs to your front page whenever an artist you’re following puts one up, and you can stream it and often download it for free.  Follow all the artists you like and it will usually keep you on top of their stuff.

Forums

Probably the best place for leaks and free releases, there are some really good forums out there.  This is a really good one for dubstep, but there are a lot more if you Google around.

 

Finally, as some others have noted, the charts on Beatport and Juno can be great ways to find more music, especially since you can sample the songs via streaming.  Just be aware that neither of these sites contain everything available from most artists.

3 Responses to “How to find electronic music that doesn’t suck”

  1. Daniel.Miller August 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Thanks for the awesome post, but you definitely need to make the text easier to read. I’m a fan of all shades of grey but your main content color is so light it makes my eyes hurt.

  2. GoonGooZLer August 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Noted, thanks Daniel. Can’t even tell it’s not black on my computer!

  3. Carlos August 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Awesome! You should make a guide on how to download electronic music that doesn’t suck.

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