mp3 blogs - golden age?

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This came from a conversation on the Fishmans thread and not wanting to derail said thread, thought I'd ask here...

I feel like I found as much great music from the golden age of well-curated mp3 blogs as I did at any stage in my music discovering life.

I'm thinking more of 'whole album' blogs rather than single tracks or bootlegs (hat-tip to well known examples of those run by goodly folk on here) - of places like RootStrata, GhostCapital and a host of 'world music(ugh)' blogs whose names are lost in the murk.

Which do you remember as the best ones? Were they just as exploitative as any form of piracy? Do you remember when MediaFire went down and the whole world ended? Etc.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 16 October 2021 18:22 (one month ago) link

Mutant Sounds forever.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 16 October 2021 18:24 (one month ago) link

Hell yes. That was an example of one where I basically downloaded whatever they posted.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 16 October 2021 18:24 (one month ago) link

Do you remember when MediaFire went down and the whole world ended?

I think u meant Megaupload here?

aside from Mutantsounds I followed Thing On The Doorstep, No Longer Forgotten Music, and a bunch of other ones that I can't remember now

Communist Hockey Goblin (sleeve), Saturday, 16 October 2021 18:36 (one month ago) link

This thread made me check whether Hype Machine still exists, and it does!

https://hypem.com/latest/all

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 16 October 2021 18:41 (one month ago) link

(cause i'm your mp3 blog aggregatin' cuz)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 16 October 2021 18:41 (one month ago) link

Yes to Mutant Sounds.

The 365 Days Project (hosted by both ubuweb and wmfu) was an absolute goldmine for oddities and was hugely formative for me. I think a lot of that stuff is still up and available.

Blogs whose names are lost in the murk is pretty much where I'm at with most of them that I used to visit, though. For some reason ProgNotFrog sticks out in my memory, though I doubt I spent all that much time there.

emil.y, Saturday, 16 October 2021 19:11 (one month ago) link

Idk about whole LP blogs, I found a wide variety of excellent songs on various blogs. I was a BIG fan of the hypem for a while.

20jazzfunkgreats was one of my favorites, they’re actually still at it apparently posting only mixtapes now. I’ll have to check some of those out.

http://www.20jazzfunkgreats.co.uk/wordpress/

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Saturday, 16 October 2021 19:17 (one month ago) link

i never dived into the 'whole albums' blog thing to be fair.
always felt kind of dirty visiting such blogs.
blogs with sanctioned mp3s though ..
(hello)

mark e, Saturday, 16 October 2021 19:20 (one month ago) link

20JFG introduced me to loads of favourites, my 2011 list is full of it - Ga'An, Food Pyramid, Keep Shelley In Athens.

edited to reflect developments which occurred (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 16 October 2021 19:31 (one month ago) link

Holy Warbles

vmajestic, Saturday, 16 October 2021 19:31 (one month ago) link

When I think of 'whole album' blogs, I don't tend to think of piracy as such - more blogs sharing obscure music as ethically as possible. This is very possibly (probably) rose-tinted but from recollection it was mostly obscurities and out of print stuff. I had a section in Google Reader that was all stuff like MutantSounds etc.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 16 October 2021 19:39 (one month ago) link

I just logged into Feedly for the first time in ages and the names are there, even if the blogs are dead...

A Closet of Curiosities
Blossom Strings
Deleted Scenes, Forgotten Dreams
Killed in Cars
Stuck in the Past
Holy Warbles (xo)

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 16 October 2021 19:41 (one month ago) link

This came from a conversation on the Fishmans thread and not wanting to derail said thread, thought I'd ask here...

Oh good, you did it!

I feel like I found as much great music from the golden age of well-curated mp3 blogs as I did at any stage in my music discovering life.

Definitely, probably more so than any other time in my life. (I'm also talking about whole album mp3 blogs fwiw)

Will post more soon.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Saturday, 16 October 2021 22:58 (one month ago) link

I used to use three or four regularly. One of them, Willfully Obscure, is still around--haven't used it for years. There was Power Pop Overdose, Jangle Pop Boutique, and another--can't remember the name--where I discovered the Punjab's "Raga-Riff." This was around 2005-10. I didn't give much thought to the piracy issues.

clemenza, Saturday, 16 October 2021 23:12 (one month ago) link

I used to love http://dalstonoxfamshop.blogspot.com/ especially the smylonylon mixes but hasn’t been updated since 2013 but is still live. Whether the links still work is doubtful.

Dan Worsley, Saturday, 16 October 2021 23:22 (one month ago) link

Was about to also mention willfully obscure. It was my bible for American indie underground but am not as interested in the early to mid 80s stuff or the really pop punk stuff he posts about, with the former being more often the focus lately. That’s where I heard about milf, who I started a gushing thread about here after 10+ years of mostly keeping it to myself.

Evan, Saturday, 16 October 2021 23:23 (one month ago) link

I seem to recall one or two I liked

When Young Sheldon began to rap (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 16 October 2021 23:55 (one month ago) link

places like RootStrata, GhostCapital and a host of 'world music(ugh)' blogs whose names are lost in the murk.

I didn't really have blogs that I 'followed' exactly. Although around that time I was finding a lot of stuff through Other Music's weekly mailer, in particular the recommendations of Mikey 'IQ' Jones. And then going on rapidshare to hear it. That feels a lot more exploitative to me than raiding mp3 blogs, honestly.

I took more of a 'trick or treat' kind of approach to the blogs. Stop by, take all the candy and move on to the next one, in many cases never to return.

So I could talk about the treasure trove of Japanese jazz on Inconstant Sol, or of Brazilian music from the 70's on Flabbergasted Vibes, but ultimately what I'm more interested in doing is trying to recover those amazing lost mp3 blogs that I only visited once and the names of which I don't remember.

What I wanna do is try to retrace my virtual steps and pull up some of these sites.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 00:10 (one month ago) link

Destination:Out for free jazz/impro.

Typo? Negative! (Boring, Maryland), Sunday, 17 October 2021 00:11 (one month ago) link

The first thing I remember: typing in search terms like "Calypso and soca influenced electronic music" and landing on this

http://thegrowingbin.blogspot.com/2008/02/wutt-wutt.html?m=1

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 00:15 (one month ago) link

I also distinctly remember downloading every single entry on this blog one afternoon in 2009

http://verso-la-stratosfera.blogspot.com/?m=0

I think I'd been searching for one of Piero Umiliani's Moggi releases.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 00:19 (one month ago) link

Not blogs, but for a few years (like late '00s), after reading something in the paper or online, I would simply search "zshare" and the album title on Google, and right away I'd get a handful of links to download it for free. I made a point of buying every album I liked (this was just how I sampled things pre-streaming), but it was so easy that it probably snuffed out any potential thought I had about entering the music business.

birdistheword, Sunday, 17 October 2021 00:31 (one month ago) link

Power Pop Criminals - curated a giant best-of power pop comp that I still enjoy.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 17 October 2021 00:46 (one month ago) link

What I wanna do is try to retrace my virtual steps and pull up some of these sites.

This is harder than I thought, especially after pulling up the first two so quickly. Not giving up tho, there are a couple I'm REALLY excited to hopefully find again

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 01:04 (one month ago) link

Awesome tapes from africa

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 17 October 2021 01:20 (one month ago) link

what about… gabba.net or whatever it was? classic layout! discovered italo disco via “spacer woman” there.

brimstead, Sunday, 17 October 2021 02:32 (one month ago) link

Norm Chambers aka Panabrite used to run a blog called Lunar Atrium where he posted lots of great obscure library/new age/ambient stuff. Then one day he just wiped the whole thing :(
The site is still out there with zero posts: http://lunaratrium.blogspot.com/?m=1

J. Sam, Sunday, 17 October 2021 02:32 (one month ago) link

Places that come to mind immediately: Awesome Tapes from Africa, Largehearted BOy, 20 Jazz Funk Greats, Buked and Scorned, Bloggio Oddio/Basic Hip Digital Oddio, Fluxblog, Said the Gramophone, Cocaine Blunts, Soul Sides, Houston So Real, Notes from a Different Kitchen, So Many Shrimp, cry on my console, Overclocked, 365 Days... I'm sure I'm forgetting another thirty.

When Young Sheldon began to rap (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 17 October 2021 03:03 (one month ago) link

what about… gabba.net or whatever it was? classic layout! discovered italo disco via “spacer woman” there.

― brimstead

Gabba.cc yeah it was amazing

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 17 October 2021 03:08 (one month ago) link

gabba was good times. Moka had a good one. So did I!

When Young Sheldon began to rap (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 17 October 2021 03:11 (one month ago) link

I also posted in gabba from time to time because I was a huge fan of it. Dream Chimney sort of had a similar concept alas not an mp3 blog - but it started as one for some time iirc?

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 17 October 2021 03:22 (one month ago) link

oh yes dream chimney is my shit! great songs of the day and mixes

brimstead, Sunday, 17 October 2021 04:50 (one month ago) link

Slow Goes the Goose, Opium Hum...About ten years I was doing a lot of commuting and train travel for work; I miss the time it gave me to immerse myself in the music on my i-pod: jazz, ECM stuff. Any old albums were instantly discoverable and downloadable it seemed: wonderful music that changed my life and that I would never have found or got into if I had had to go into a shop and buy the CDs.

fetter, Sunday, 17 October 2021 08:13 (one month ago) link

I remember really early on, some site that was simply just called Mp3.com (or something close) that had live shows from Tortoise and other Chi bands, also for some reason loads of Rob Crow/Thingy/Heavy Veg/Optiginally Yours stuff, I recall waiting all day to download this compilation of Powedresser tracks.

Maresn3st, Sunday, 17 October 2021 11:18 (one month ago) link

My experience was a lot like Deflatormouse's: finding niche blogs, quickly recognising a kind of trustworthiness in terms of quality and just going for it. I undoubtedly binged and have hard drives full of stuff I'll probably now never listen to, but in terms of opening me up to different sounds, different continents of sound in some instances, it was an amazing, fertile period.

Inconstant Sol was a great one! Still going in some capacity I think?

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Sunday, 17 October 2021 11:35 (one month ago) link

Awesome Tapes From Africa was absolutely a premier blog, I think the record label that spun off of that is still active. Also Cocaine Blunts, The Beat Electric and American Athlete for disco, Just Press Play and Motel de Moka for indie/global/electronic music.

Also Fluxblog was outstanding, isn’t Matthew Perpetua ILM adjacent?

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Sunday, 17 October 2021 13:06 (one month ago) link

Willard's Wormholes

henry s, Sunday, 17 October 2021 13:26 (one month ago) link

Mp3.com

Might not be the site you're thinking of from the description, but mp3.com was definitely a thing, and I loved it. Not a blog, though. I have said before that one of the reasons I'm such a bandcamp stan is that it reminds me of the old mp3.com days. God, I'm old.

emil.y, Sunday, 17 October 2021 14:12 (one month ago) link

I'm sure I found a blog about the history of queer music and early queer records one time that was really comprehensive. Fucked if I can remember what it was called, though.

emil.y, Sunday, 17 October 2021 14:15 (one month ago) link

A couple of Brazilian ones:
http://vinil-velho.blogspot.com/
http://www.toque-musicall.com/

At the time I had a job where I could listen to music in headphones all day, which I did every single day. It was probably overkill.

It didn't really feel exploitative. I was mostly downloading out of print records I'd never heard of- anything with a cool looking cover, or interesting instrumentation. If anything there was a sense of responsibility to preserve all this stuff that might otherwise disappear- to reduplicate, witness and store this material felt like a kind of conservatorship. It still feels important. I mean, I certainly also pirated records that were in print, by living, active artists, records that had recently been reissued... But it's not mainly what I was getting from these blogs.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:14 (one month ago) link

I think the whole (certainly imperfect) phenomenon fit the window of its time -- mp3.com as emil.y noted was around but wasn't really as consistent a place for selling things, and the Apple Store et al only got around to more individual efforts with time if memory serves. The combination of Bandcamp and Spotify in the 2010s basically created a 'look you can do it this way' approach that allowed for formally licensed and released efforts to be more easily brought back (I say this with no value judgment re Spotify, who I am obviously not fond of; still, it signaled a mechanism wherein somebody theoretically got something, even if pennies, rather than nothing). So the mid- to late 2000s played out as it did -- worth also noting how much contemporary stuff from that decade was shared out via such blogs because of the whole micro-release strategy of a lot of tiny labels, thinking of tape-only labels like Stunnned and the like; I remember the main fellow telling me back around then he didn't mind if stuff was shared out once he'd sold out of a cassette run.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:21 (one month ago) link

I remember this one, I guess most of the blogs I'm linking are not in English, I think I got a few misuque concrete albums from here, there was a blog I took a ton of oop misuque concrete from that I can't find rn

http://spectres-sonores.blogspot.com/

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:26 (one month ago) link

flux blog is basically the only mp3 blog still going. he even still posts mp3s that you can download, like 3-4 a week

flopson, Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:51 (one month ago) link

the difference is that artists/labels used to use blogs to distribute remixes to get traction etc.
but then once bandcamp kicked in, bands/labels realised that they could get £££ from the remixes of one off tracks via their own channel.

mark e, Sunday, 17 October 2021 21:04 (one month ago) link

Awesome Tapes From Africa was absolutely a premier blog, I think the record label that spun off of that is still active. Also Cocaine Blunts, The Beat Electric and American Athlete for disco, Just Press Play and Motel de Moka for indie/global/electronic music.

Also Fluxblog was outstanding, isn’t Matthew Perpetua ILM adjacent?

― recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg)

Thanks Forks and viborg! I have very fond memories of that time. Motel de Moka did eventually become a global project! We had people from Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and America sharing music in there.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 17 October 2021 21:40 (one month ago) link

https://experimentaletc.blogspot.com/

this was a big one for me discovering EAI, kraut, avant etc as a proper young teen. i miss real internet community so much.

maelin, Sunday, 17 October 2021 22:03 (one month ago) link

robotsinheat (run by an ILXor, tho I don't remember who, sorry!) was a total fave, introduced me to so much stuff I'd never have given a chance otherwise

also remember loving Beat Electric when I got into a boogie phase

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 18 October 2021 10:09 (one month ago) link

i used to have a huge list of vintage soul/funk/r&b blogs. the king was http://www.soul-sides.com run by Oliver Wang, which appears to still be active!

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Monday, 18 October 2021 13:51 (one month ago) link

Two old faves that stopped posting in 2012 but the posts remain even if the uploads are all dead:

http://eggcityradio.com/ soundtracks, library music, comedy, assorted weirdness
http://cosmichearse.blogspot.com/ metal and heavy obscurities posted by the drummer from Agalloch and Ludicra

Judi Dench's Human Hand (methanietanner), Monday, 18 October 2021 14:12 (one month ago) link

Ah soul sides is a great one, have discovered some absolute gems on that one.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 18 October 2021 14:17 (one month ago) link

xp Yeah, I have several burned CDs worth of stuff from soul-sides; some tracks are not available on Spotify and some not even on Youtube.

Hannibal Lecture (PBKR), Monday, 18 October 2021 14:18 (one month ago) link

it feels like there are so many fewer spaces for editorializing around music than there were in the days of mp3 blogs. maybe i'm just not looking in the right places?

Tracer Hand, Monday, 18 October 2021 14:19 (one month ago) link

p.s. thanks for the links upthread i.e. Soul Sides - maybe there's still tons there, just harder to find maybe

Tracer Hand, Monday, 18 October 2021 14:20 (one month ago) link

Wang does the Heat Rocks podcast with Morgan Rhodes which is really good too

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 18 October 2021 14:24 (one month ago) link

Yeah Oliver's good people, known him for a while now. Absolutely killer live DJ too.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 18 October 2021 14:45 (one month ago) link

o dubs is the best

When Young Sheldon began to rap (forksclovetofu), Monday, 18 October 2021 15:23 (one month ago) link

Yes and Heat Rocks is a lot of fun.

Another one I just remembered is waxidermy.com

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Monday, 18 October 2021 15:25 (one month ago) link

robotsinheat was Jaxon iirc!

Communist Hockey Goblin (sleeve), Monday, 18 October 2021 16:03 (one month ago) link

Moka - that’s so cool! I had no idea, thanks for all the good tunes!

Another co-sign for Soul Sides too, I’ll have to check out Heat Rocks.

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Monday, 18 October 2021 17:36 (one month ago) link

surprised nobody has mentioned Prog Not Frog

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 19 October 2021 00:59 (one month ago) link

Blogs whose names are lost in the murk is pretty much where I'm at with most of them that I used to visit, though. For some reason ProgNotFrog sticks out in my memory, though I doubt I spent all that much time there.

― emil.y, Saturday, October 16, 2021 3:11 PM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

Great blog, it bears repeating!

J. Sam, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 01:38 (one month ago) link

ah, sorry, missed that.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 19 October 2021 01:51 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

A bit of a long shot here, but does anyone know of any of these blogs that specializes, or even just occasionally posts out-of-print Rhino comps and things like that?

Les hommes de bonbons (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 10 November 2021 18:54 (four weeks ago) link


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