Music has never been easier to find. But good music has never been more buried! DJs only develop their taste and learn to get better in one way - by listening to an insane number of records. So if you’re finding that your setlist is being pigeonholed by your sources, it’s time to broaden your point of view. Here’s our take on the leading online stores for today’s most happening tracks.
Bandcamp has been one of the most consistently reliable sources of income for artists since its inception in 2008. The selections that make their carefully curated weekly mix are always on the pulse of the British underground. Fans and DJs benefit from being quickly and easily able to download tracks at prices set by the artist, and artists benefit from choosing their own pricing structure at some of the best revenue share in the market, and by selling merch. The front page Bandcamp Weekly is a good place to start.
Juno Records is another British retail store and started in 1996 as a dance music outlet. It has since expanded but continues to offer daily releases of (mostly) dance music. The store’s focus is on vinyl releases in basically all dance music genres, but also offers soundtracks and DJ equipment. Juno is the first stop for many professional crate-diggers. Music can be filtered by daily popularity, allowing users to see what’s hot today. Like this African inspired Belgian 12”, for example.
Not much more needs to be said about Beatport. The mega-store has long been an industry leader for electronic dance music in all available formats. The past decade has seen an increased emphasis on delivering stems to dance music producers looking to make their performances more live and improvised. Beatport is a super easy place to navigate and familiarize yourself with electronic music, but soon enough you’ll want to get off the charts and start looking elsewhere. After all, DJing is about having music that nobody else has, right?
Traxsource is another place to get a good, broad overview of what’s happening in the global charts. The foundation is house, but they’re not shy of listing somewhat leftfield genres like “nu jazz” in their catalog. The Top 100 Chart is full of fresh stuff, with soulful house apparently in the lead at the time of writing. They’ve also got a useful Top 50 Sounds and Loops section that might open your eyes to what’s trending on the deconstructive, stems-based edge of playback.
Generally speaking, the busier and more in-demand DJs have multiple sources for their music collection. It’s OK to hit the Beatport Top 100 when you’re starting out. But the challenge with DJing is being a curator of good music that hasn’t seen much of the light of day. Learn little tricks about DJing by signing up with DJ Courses Online today and taking your music forward.
John Bartmann is a music producer and DJ