How do you find out unique music/sounds?
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  1. #1

    Default How do you find out unique music/sounds?

    Personally I think that more than 2/3 of the artist's unique style comes from music/sounds selection (the main point), his story and message and only the rest comes from his technical skills (except innovators like mister Richie Hawtin). It doesn't matter whether it is live act with >10 hard synths or CD DJ set if it sounds like a shit and the crowd doesn't appreciate it.
    So the question is about music/sounds selection. How do you find out music that makes your style unique? It's rather boring to sit on beatport/juno or whatever for hours everyday and listening all new tracks. For me it's like going to perfume shop - first half an hour (1-2 hours, doesn't matter) you really discern odors, but then you can't really distinguish whether it is something cool or shit. Also quite difficult to be unique just using sources like beatport or listening popular mixes/podcasts/radio shows (because everyone has easy access to them). Just checking only your favorite labels you can miss something really interesting and rare. So what to do? Find out rare vinyl? Unreleased tracks (most of us don't even know how and where to get it)? I think almost everyone doesn't want to be a "beatport top100 tracks DJ".

    What do you think? Share your experience!

    P.S. Have nothing against beatport, just gave an example.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Man From Siberia View Post
    How do you find out music that makes your style unique? It's rather boring to sit on beatport/juno or whatever for hours everyday and listening all new tracks.
    I listen to as much music as humanly possible....in the background! I listen to my own collection (it is unreal how much GREAT music I find on my own hard drives), soundcloud, youtube, beatport, various XM stations, etc. and listen...while doing other stuff.

    If a song can stand out enough to cut through whatever I am doing at the time, I tag it.

    Once every few weeks, I take my SoundHound tag list, and the tag lists from every else and make a playlist of just those songs that have stood out. Typically, these lists are about 2/3 old(er) music, and 1/3 "new to me" music. It is not uncommon for "new to me" songs to be tagged multiple times.

    Then I will listen to this playlist for a couple weeks. Any songs that really stand out, that always get me moving around, that consistently lift my mood....those are the songs that I bring into a set. This is much more focused listening. On average, more than 3/4 of the songs that make it onto this list eventually make it into a set.

    Sometimes I will take a geeky deep dive into a muscian, or a studio, or a record label, or start at the beginning of a genre and work forward to re-listen to the evolution of a genre. This is a great way to find "new to you" and "forgotten favorites."
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Soundcloud is a great platform... Find artists/labels you like and start digging from there.

    Also, as a producer I've landed myself on many promo lists because I've networked a lot. Promo lists land you a ton of unreleased music thus giving you an edge over those Top 100 list DJs.

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    Get song from DJ mix/blog friend etc.>Take note of artist and label>Search artist/song on YouTube>Listen to suggested tracks on YouTube>Search for the record on Discogs for the record or download site if unavailable and buy>Click on label>Check out artists on the label and releases.

    Variations on the above is how I find the majority of my music.
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    Tech Mentor overcast's Avatar
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    There's this record store I like, and the guy who runs it has an idea what I like and he just throws stacks of records at me.

    Coincidentally I am broke a lot of the time.

    EDIT: Alright for real though, I follow most of what people said above. Search for things on the same label, remixed done by the artist, and the artist they remized, compilations they're on, etc. Also, I love last.fm's "Artists like" feature

  6. #6
    Tech Guru 3heads's Avatar
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    I stopped looking at (and buying) digital releases and just go for vinyl. And I'd say that's a good approach, even if you want to play digital stuff. Many vinyl labels also release digitally, but there's less clutter when looking through new vinyl releases.
    I try to keep up with what's released regarding my favorite flavours of house, but I also spend a shitload of time (and money) searching for music apart from the new releases. Just put in the time and develop your taste
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  7. #7
    Schalenberg
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    I'm in that funk now where everything sounds the same. I took a two week break recently from listening to any music, but when I came back I didn’t hear anything new or exciting. I follow 1000+ artists/labels on Soundcloud and check my feed everyday; I’m never more than two days behind. I also have beatport, juno, and traxsource accounts that I use to search for music and save to a cart. Sometimes I think maybe music is going in a direction I’m just now on board with. On a side note, I’ve found that listening to mixes from favorite artists will usually result in finding one gem per mix.

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor overcast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schalenberg View Post
    I'm in that funk now where everything sounds the same. I took a two week break recently from listening to any music, but when I came back I didn’t hear anything new or exciting. I follow 1000+ artists/labels on Soundcloud and check my feed everyday; I’m never more than two days behind. I also have beatport, juno, and traxsource accounts that I use to search for music and save to a cart. Sometimes I think maybe music is going in a direction I’m just now on board with. On a side note, I’ve found that listening to mixes from favorite artists will usually result in finding one gem per mix.
    Maybe try something out of your comfort zone? Learn about a new genre or movement. I remember listening to "Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story Of 1970's Funky Lagos", which is a really good afrobeat compilation when I knew nothing of the genre or anything and I fell in love with it and found cool things related to it, and appreciated other music more.

    Also, don't be afraid to try to find things that aren't brand new. Tie in old things too

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwal View Post
    Soundcloud is a great platform... Find artists/labels you like and start digging from there.

    Also, as a producer I've landed myself on many promo lists because I've networked a lot. Promo lists land you a ton of unreleased music thus giving you an edge over those Top 100 list DJs.
    Is it possible to land lists if you are not a producer yet? How is the process?

    There's also some useful things above, thanks guys for sharing.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Man From Siberia View Post
    Is it possible to land lists if you are not a producer yet? How is the process?

    There's also some useful things above, thanks guys for sharing.
    It is possible if you network the right way...

    How to do that??? I don't know. If you can prove to a label that you DJ to crowds often, they may consider it based on that alone.

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