Anyone who is into new music will already be a Soundcloud aficionado like my fellow self, especially when it comes to discovering new electronic producers and cracking good remixes. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, Soundcloud is kind of like YouTube but just for audio, yet it’s socially networked more like Facebook/Tumblr in the way you can follow artists or labels and get notified when they share new tracks.
Without being a producer yourself, Soundcloud can be a little difficult to navigate around until you get used to the interface – you’re not really sure how to approach it – much like myself in the homewares section of the department store.
So to get you started, I thought I’d throw together some of my favourite Soundcloud accounts that keep me on the money when it comes to discovering new music. A few of them are independent record labels - the ones that recognise the power of posting tracks online and getting them picked up by bloggers are the best.
Bad Panda are like the Wikipedia of Record labels, they're DIY and they give stuff away for free! One new release (single or eps) every Monday to be exact, under a Creative Commons licence. As we all know, you get the best our of an artist when they’re able to create freely without commercial restrictions - that’s what Bad Panda encourage as well as remixing and sharing the love – and at it’s core, isn’t that what music’s all about? They also run remix comps via their website, which is how I found this guy, Andrea’s work… sublime.
Future Classic are an indie record label run out of Sydney home to a lot of talented up and coming producers & artists in Australia like: Flume, Flight Facilities, Panama, Luke Million, Anna Lunoe, Cadillac & more. Most importantly, they understand how to use soundcloud. They upload complete sets of free downloads, mixtapes and remixes by and of their artists consistently. Can you ever have too many mixtapes...
Rice is Nice has to be one of my fave indie record labels host to some of Australia’s most sonically interesting new talent: Seekae, The Laurels, Shady Lane, Donny Benet, Straight Arrows, Talons, Richard in You Mind & more. The best thing is they recognise the power of freely streaming music, and usually premiere new tracks and in some cases entire albums via their account. It helps people like me write about the artists that’s for sure, without violating copyright laws (no one ever does that right?).
This is the title track taken from Donny Benet's recent release Electric Love, you can stream in full on their soundcloud.
Fact Mag has to be one of the best online publications for electronic music connoisseurs. They have exclusive streams and mixes by THE best up and coming & resident experimental producers eg. How To Dress Well just did one recently, and some of my other favourites would have to be by Air France, Jamie xx, Disclosure – there’s plenty more – and they’re all on Fact’s soundcloud available to download free! (You really need to follow their site though, as the mixes are hosted there usually privately)
Acid Stag is an independent music blog run out of Sydney by two dudes Jez & Dan, too passionate about quality new Australian & internal indie music to keep it to themselves. One of the best things they do is a Friday mixtape – a succulent combination of all of their favourite new uploads (always threaded with home-grown pearls) to put you in the mood for partying and most likely exchanging fluids in whatever capacity with another human in the near future.
This is one of my favourite mixes of theirs dropped only recently, with the tag line, “If you’re not naked, you’re not dancing hard enough.” I concur.
Make sure you check out the Acid Stag site.
Most music lovers know who Annie Mac is, but do you follow her on soundcloud? She’s a DJ and presenter on BBC Radio 1 on Fridays and Sundays and often premieres tracks exclusively on her show. On top of that every Monday she offers a free download coined ‘Free Music Monday’ (marketing genius right there). As a respected curator of awesome new tunage, her account is the perfect place to discover new producers in bite-sized chunks. Nom nom.
Not only does this guy, Mark Schoneveld have his finger on the pulse of new music (see his blog) he has really varied eclectic taste – I often find myself sifting through tracks he’s recently favourited – there’s always a hidden nugget of gold! His music blog YVYNYL has been making tastes for a while now, so you can understand why he has almost 3000 followers…
Two Inch Punch is solo producer from the U.K. who makes this incredibly sexy bass music (LoveStep – I stole that term from soundcloud – how good is it?) smoothed over with R&B vocal samples and textured out with layers of different glitches & beats: vibe overload. I’m a little obsessed with that sound at the moment - there's just so many layers for your inner ear to feel their way through! Aside from following his own work, he’s a good one to keep an eye on in your dashboard as he has really good taste in music & frequently favourites. I sound like a stalker now…
Captured Tracks are a little indie record label in Brooklyn (you know that place where everyone is cool) home to the likes of Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Soft Metals, Holograms & a whole lot of other cutting edge music makers. Independent record labels are the best to follow as they go to extra lengths to promote the artists on their roster which often results in full album streams (Wild Nothing’s is up now) and some wonderfully creative remixes by other artists within & outside of the family. Have a listen to this one by Memory Tapes of DIIV’s “Follow”.
Another independent label run out of Melbourne who represents some of the more obscure Australian artists currently floating around – artists challenging popular formats in this country: Galapagoose, Collarbones, Oscar + Martin, The Harpoons, Seagull, Touch Typist etc Artists who don’t get enough press if you ask me. One of it’s members, Blake uploaded a juicy ‘Birthday Present’ mix I’m wiling my afternoon away listening to right now…. (if I had a beer in one hand, life might be complete).
PMA is one of the best blogs to follow for new music to begin with. As an addition via Soundcloud, they post a regulaur PMA Cast, which is a mixed bag of new tracks they’ve received that month. Genius. They could DJ my party anytime (although the tracks are so fresh, not many punters would know them).
This record label is the home of electronic producers SBTRKT, John Talabot, The XX, Holy Fuck, El Guincho, Bullion and cool indie bands like Chairlift. They’re always sharing new remixes of all their artists. Here’s a BBC 1 Essential Mix Jamie XX did… get lost in this one, it’s the bomb.
Another independent record label who I got onto via an obsession I developed with UK producer Gold Panda… and subsequently went manically searching for every bit of material he’s ever created, remixed, sneezed on, whatever! Also home to other faves Tycho, Matthew Dear, School of Seven Bells etc They have a really cool iphone app Ghostly Discovery which lets you puts playlists according to your mood by their artists.
I just loved how these guys got together pre-festival and uploaded some sets featuring all the artists. Total brain-wave - pretty sure Pitchfork haven’t done it yet! Churning through a playlist is a rad way to get psyched for a forthcoming festival. Here’s the 2012 Auckland set.
A Canadian independent label: one of my favourites I have to say - partially as it was launched by Jeffrey Remedios and Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene/Kevin Drew) – one of my all-time favourite boundary-pushing artists. They’re a label that are smart about getting their new signings out there. Eg. Here’s Trust’s new single “Silk”.
These guys are just one of my fave post-dubstep artists: they’re just so unique and pioneers of that smooth deconstructed sound you could say.... Although they don’t post as frequently as labels do, they post all of their material: from full album streams to remixes to their live session for the BBC’s Radio 1. Here’s some hella cool remixes they did a while back.
These guys really take the time to compile some colourful mixtapes of alternative goodness. They’re a fashion magazine, but like all cutting edge proponents in the arts world, new music goes hand in hand. I really got into their January mixtape:
A tres cool record label to begin with, co-created and curated by none other than James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) & co, boasting artists like Hot Chip, Yacht, Juan Maclean + stacks more. They upload full, albums, sets, remixes, everything. Here’s a set of their artist’s recent hits.
Most cool 'peeps' already know of Modular right? Alternative Indie/dance label home to artists like Architecture in Helsinki, Klaxons, Cut Copy, The Presets, Tame Impala, plus a whole bunch of djs & producers. The label is like a little family who like to get together every now and then and rework each others work – and we reap the benefits! Definitely worth a follow. Plus they get artists to do “Modcasts” of their fave new tracks every month. Win!
Fader is a New York online publication devoted to mostly alternative new music – the premiere a lot of good stuff (while using mainstream content to get them the clicks at the top). The full sets they get artists to post are awesome. Eg. Mux Mool’s new album.
He’s a producer/DJ (Charlie Kabul) from San Fran who is king of the subtle mashup: usually hip hop with an unexpected indie twist eg. The Notorious xx mixtape. You should definitely check out some of his work – he uploads a new track every Wednesday. This went crazy-viral when it came out a year+ ago.
But having said all of this... the best part about Soundcloud is discovering new music all by yourself. So get plugged in and addicted!
I use it every day to source new tracks to write about too, for articles like my "Byte of the Day" (best new electronic track) so if you're an artist, feel free to follow me and I'll check you out.
You can also follow us here at Radar Music, to hear all of our artist interviews! Enjoy.
Add any other good ones you know in the comments too.