So it’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m getting ready for Music Monday’s as we call it. Quite a bit of tracks tend to be released on Monday from a variety of sources and scanning the ‘interwebs’ is one of the ways that we find some really cool music. After about 30 minutes I started to realize how difficult it was to just find release dates or even announcements, yet I was still able to find quite a bit despite the heavy searching. That prompted a thought, which is the basis of this editorial; How do people who aren’t that dedicated to music or work in the EDM media actually find their music? Do they have as much trouble as I do, or are there simpler ways of finding the releases?
Well, for those of you who have it tough, and sometimes can’t find new refreshing music, I’ve put a list together down below listing the 6 most essential tools that the average music lover should use to find more music. I’ll be listing both pros and cons of each one, and you can make an educated choice as to which tool you’ll use exclusively or even all together (as many of us writers here at Your EDM do).
First up are the music blogs, sure some may be run a bit unprofessionally and may be rather sporadic with their posts, the occasional music lover should absolutely follow and read blogs. You never know when you might find some unique gems.
PROS: Blogs can be an amazing source of music and news that’s relevant to you. Usually run by individuals who receive little to no money, (most, if not all, ad revenue goes to site management/utilities) so you have people who are literally “doing it for the music”. With passionate people comes a passionate love for music and a tendency to share the love. Most blogs are wonderful at picking out that one gem which boosts that artists to the skies; Next thing you know, that one artist is playing EDC the next year. They have that much power.
CONS: As stated above most blogs are run by individuals who aren’t paid for their efforts and in turn could become dissatisfied with their venture. Quite frequently, things come up, and they aren’t able to post as much tracks as they’d like, leaving you, the listener, disappointed. Another possible con is that because these individuals are so passionate about ‘their’ love of music, sometimes they’re music posts can be a bit repetitive as far genres and artists go.
A wonderful tool for both music lovers and producers alike, Soundcloud has been absolutely essential to EDM and even labels have been known to search high and low for new talent on Soundcloud.
PROS: In short, Soundcloud is nothing less of amazing. By allowing you to upload tracks for free as well as enabling a free download (to a certain limit of course) Soundcloud has been the industry leader for up and coming producers as well as already established producers. Implementing a “tag” system, listeners are able to search for specific tags such as, Electro House, Trance and Dubstep and you’ll find tracks from producers most relevant to your search. Subscribing to users as a feature is also present allowing you to keep tabs on the producers you love as well as their own likes and reposts.
CONS: Despite allowing users to upload free tracks, “they gotta pay the bills” and so Soundcloud has levels or “tiers” in which you can pay for premium services. If you’re wallet is hurting, (as most bedroom producers tend to have) then this could be a huge disadvantage. To add to the sorrows download limits are also imposed but are given greater amounts once tiers are upgraded. While the tag system works in theory there are plenty of ignorant-er-spontaneous individuals who are more than willing to fill the tag section with every nonsensical tag you could imagine. When typing in moombahton and getting an electro house track, you know the system is broken.
While needing no introduction, it’s going to receive one anyway. You’re not that special facebook.. Facebook has been the “go-to” site for individuals worldwide. So much so, that it is now considered a bit culturally awkward to not have a Facebook. With the ability to share whatever is going on in your life with hundreds (or 53 in my case) of friends and family.
PROS: A social media marvel, Facebook has reigned supreme in instantaneous communication as well as game center (we all played Farmville once or twice). With the ability of giving the user an online identity, users are able to cater their interests completely to their liking. Likes, are practically the lifeblood of any goings-on on Facebook, especially with artists and labels, some of which boast more than a million likes. By using the “like page” functionality, users are able to receive updates from Official artists pages as well as any blogs. Having to share what you love seems like a thing of the past because Facebook does it instantly, how helpful. With every like or “like page” or comment that you post, it’ll be automatically posted on your friends timeline. In a sense, your friends will be able to see what you like, right at the moment that you like it. Pretty nifty.
CONS: Here we go; Because of how big Facebook has gotten there has been plenty of other little sites trying to steal some of the spotlight (some have failed others, created something different), that has led Facebook to have quite a bit of haters. It also didn’t help when the media site decided to roll out some “pay for views” programs for pages and artists sending them flying like birds to the hills. If you haven’t heard about this it’s basically like this; Facebook realized that some of the pages including blogs and such practically live off of sharing posts with their 250+ page followers/likes. So now, instead of pages being able to post something and have it seen by every single one of their fans, it’s reduced to a fraction of their followers. So both the artist, fans, and blogs all suffer because of this. So while their might be that one special release or free-for-a-limited-time track an artist puts on their page, you’re SOL because of what Facebook has done.
Ah, Twitter. The hyper little brother of Facebook, who can’t seem to stop talking, now with video! Twitter has been one of the most revolutionary ways we communicate, in under 140 characters, as has lead the world in instantaneous communication. I mean even Apple integrated it into it’s iOS before Facebook!
PROS: Boasting more than 500 million of users with thousands being added everyday, it’s no wonder artists, labels, and blogs have flown, see what I did there, toward the media giant. It has permanently fixed Facebook’s “pay for view” issue , by not blocking a single users or artists ‘tweet’. If there’s that once in a lifetime special download that the artists wants fans to have immediately, you’ll be one of the first to know. With the option to ‘follow’ your favorite artists and bloggers you can be sure to never miss a release, and with a ‘subscribe to tweets’ option it gets even better. Every post by that person will be automatically pushed to your phone as a notification, you can never miss a post again…
CONS: Problem is, you can miss a post, and you probably will. If all of the above sounded way too good to be true, that’s because it is. With the sheer number of artists that individuals may follow added to the fact that some artists just tweet pretty nonsensical stuff, (looking at you Dillion), the chance of getting frustrated and just ‘unfollowing’ them grows astronomically.
The realm of the neckbeards; or so they would have you believe with their constant memes and cat posts, yet Reddit has been one of the biggest contenders for shared content in the world. It’s as simple as “see something you like? Upvote. dislike it? Downvote.”
PROS: Reddit is one of those sites. Giving the user complete control over their experience by allowing them to subscribe to ‘sub-reddits’. Some of these sub-reddits include popular genres such as Electro-house, Trance, and even Dubstep. Probably the best thing about the site is that every single post is user-submitted. That’s right, you can see what other people are listening to and even find that one special track you heard in a mix but could never name. Including the ability to vote on posts depending on their relevancy and overall taste. Including things such as Reddiquette, or etiquette that is followed on Reddit, it’s not unusual to make friend within the site and even make your own sub-reddit!
CONS: The fact that everything is user submitted on the site lies within Reddit’s flaws for fresh music posts. Many readers will “repost” a certain song, that might not even be new and just the typical “Knife Party – Bonfire, amazing track!” yet more than half of people that listen to EDM know that track. Repetitiveness is quite the issue when it comes to specific sub-reddits such as Electro House. Many users don’t know if others have seen the track and post anyways, leaving the user bored with reposts on their frontpage.
Nearly identical to Soundcloud, (As far as music discovery is concerned), Youtube has been one of the most easiest and efficient ways of finding music since the sites launch.
PROS: Certain channels like MistaDubstep and other video blogs receive submissions from underground producers or producers that aren’t that well known. Simply subscribing could aid in your music discoveries as well as finding other channels that feature the same model but are a different genre (MoombahBlasta). Even music labels will go as far as to post musical releases through videos on their channel and alert subscribers of brand spankin’ new music that’s available.
CONS: The same issue that occurs with blogs is present here. While music channels might have a premium rate to be even featured on the channel, others don’t have a high number of subscribers so they lose ground when attempting to try this business plan. In the end they are left with doing it for free and sometimes that doesn’t always work out, no matter how strong the passion is. Another issue lies within the first, practically anyone who would pay the premium has their track featured and could lead to a certain sound becoming stagnant just because money is behind the post. In the end, the music listener suffers once again.
In conclusion, finding good music is pretty hard. There are huge obstacles in the way that hurt everyone in the process, however the payoff is great. For that one moment when you find that one special song, all of your troubles melt away, and it suddenly becomes worth it. So, Average Music Lover, how far are you willing to go for your love of music. I posted 6 great tools to get you started, but I know you all can do much better. I hope I see more amazing music being pushed to the top instead of the same old artists releases the same old sound.
Thanks for reading everyone, stay classy.