Where do you find your new music?

It was the time of the Pixies, Joy Division and Front 242. I travelled to the record store maybe once a month during the last two years in high school. The shopkeeper had two turntables set up. With them his customers could listen to their potential discoveries. Pre internet his range of records, his taste and my feeling for album covers were the guide. And today I’m a little bit proud that the Pixies’ albums Surfer Rosa, Doolittle and Bossanova were in my small collection back then.

And nowadays - recommendation engines? How sad.

Where do you find your music? Which media sources do you trust and for what kind of music?

Here are some of mine:

  • Mojo . A digital magazine subscription. Covers popular music - the very well known kind and the independent, more obscure side. Their descriptions of albums are a good guide to what to expect when listening to the album. Makes pre selection easy…
  • Uncut . Also a digital subscription. They cover a similar field as Mojo does. If one reads both, the chances of knowing most well made new pop or rock music are good.
  • Gramophone . Again, a digital subscription. They cover classical music and their accessible catalogue ranges back to their founding year of 1923. I really enjoy their album reviews - they know what they are talking about and how to make their writings vivid.
  • pitchfork.com . Free online magazine with 25 years under its belt. Covers popular music. Their review collection is rather large. And the search function is very useful to find exactly that one review one is looking for. Furthermore their ‘lists’ are great. 2017 year in music? Got it. The 200 best albums of the 1960s? Got it.
  • Sanctuary Radio . A specialized internet radio station playing what they call ‘Dark Electro’. Under this umbrella term they subsume electronic body music, dark industrial, darkwave, industrial metal, electro-industrial, and minimal industrial.

Presto Classical (UK).

I follow this for weekly recommendations.

It comes to me in my dreams.

I do like what PS Audio is doing with the Octave records venture (progress through Paul McGowans daily youtubes). I also follow Bandcamp and Chesky records but the demise of record shops (e.g. HMV for the UK) is a significant loss.
But we do have Roon … I love Roon, including their recommendation engines (sorry @anon30536008).

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Caroline record shop Brussels, Mobile Fidelity, Qobuz, Tidal.

A general point ; I don’t believe Marco’s question asks where do you buy your music or where/how do you listen to music but what media or other sources influence your choice. His own response supports that view.

Mine are :

  1. BBC Radio. These days that means Radio 3 ( Mainly classical music, some jazz or other “serious” genres) where the curation ( so it’s music plus expert level information) is superb. I have had much of my taste formed by listening to the Saturday Morning show Record Review for the past half century which over time reviews most of the significant new releases and has a section called " Building a Library" where all of the available recordings of a given work are reviewed by an expert in that field. I have a particular liking for pre- Romantic works and also always listen to The Early Music Show on Sunday. There is a whole lot more to enjoy though .

  2. The Gramophone. I have both print and digital subscriptions, the latter providing access to all editions back to the 1920s.

  3. Qobuz. Every Friday I go through the new releases, sometimes in conjunction with the print reviews in Gramophone or elsewhere. I add those that interest me to my Favourites list, not because they are favourites, but that is a great way of listing things of interest to hear later. This has changed my approach to “my music” i.e. not just what I may hear casually. I have a large record collection. Although many items were bought after great reviews, on purchase a lot turned out to be listen once and file away. Now I can hear ( almost) everything before committing.

  4. Charlotte Gardiner over on dCS Edit with her monthly recommendations. Of course Charlotte may also contribute to the other sources above.

One thing I am aware of is that my musical interests ( along with most things) have narrowed as I have become old. No more rock or pop - it’s just no longer relevant to me outside of the occasional bit of classic rock to remind me I was once young ( sometimes it’s a case of ; Oh Lord, did I really listen that that ?).

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Record shops sometimes give advices on what to listen to, or at least what they listen to themselves, like Qobuz, but on a more traditional way, a list on a whiteboard in their shop or a blog on their website…It is obviously much less known as Gramophone or Mojo, but it is real too.

Hello Brian @Kernel, no worries, I’m glad that you enjoy Roon. :slightly_smiling_face: Their success is well founded. Two thoughts - the ease with which one adds new music to the collection is a double edged sword. There’s a risk of gluttony. At least for me the risk is real. I saw it in the collection of one of my hifi dealers too. He has 10,000 albums in his ephemeral, virtual, can be gone tomorrow collection. :open_mouth: Secondly - do I want a machine to nudge me into how I’m spending my time - with which music? My very personal answer is a ‘No.’ I prefer fellow humans providing context, guidance and advice. It’ll be soon enough before we have less and less choice when it comes to our lives being manipulated by machines. It has gone so far already.

Thank you for clarifying this, Pete @PAR . You are correct. (I was unintentionally fuzzy when posing the question.)

Thank you very much for your pointers. I look forward to spending time with these shows. My knowledge and appreciation of classical music needs a long and thorough brushing up. Momentarily I listen to Brahms. His fourth symphony the most. And then variations of Stabat Mater. Pergolesi, Boccherini and Poulenc composed versions I enjoy.

Nice list by Caroline record shop, @ChrisK. Dean Blunt’s album ‘Black Metal 2’ is in my pile of music to listen to next. The album title does not specify the music genre as black metal BTW. His music is quite unique.

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As you may not have access to BBC Radio 3 schedules Record Review runs on Saturday from 09:00 to 11:45 and The Early Music Show on Sunday from 14:00 to 15:00 ( British times of course).

I admit that Record Review has formed much of my knowledge of classical music, its language and values.

NB: if you use Mosaic to access the programmes I wonder if you will get the AAC 320kb/s feed? I think that is supposed to only be available in the UK to BBC licence payers but I would be interested in finding out.

If you have access to the BBC and want to discover music new and old from a wide range from rock, electronic, soul, indie, folk, psychedelic, jazz, old John Peel sessions, really no boundaries, listen to Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Music on the Sounds app or ‘live’ Mondays to Thursdays 9pm to 12pm. He has exquisite taste and I’m constantly discovering new and old bands and artists.

I really had not thought of that. You are absolutely right and in consequence I have spent a good part of this week purging my (primarily Qobuz sourced) collection.

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I accessed the BBC radio stations and they are delivered with 128 Kb/s here in Germany. So you get something valuable for your license fee. :smiley:

Thank you for providing the times. Looking forward to the weekend.

Thanks for letting me know. Unfortunately you no longer have the possibility of claiming that the BBC is discriminating against citizens of another Member State of the EU :grin:.


For those who have not encountered this now classic list: Rolling Stone . The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time is a worthwhile place to hunt for valuable music.

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I look for new music, not the same old stuff I grew up with. If I never hear 95% of those again it wouldn’t bother me.

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Wich genres do you like when it comes to new music? Maybe I have a place to find more of it handy. Pitchfork for example maintains lists of best albums by year and by decade for earlier music.

I just sneaked a look at what they are featuring. In Record Review and the " Building a Library" segment David Owen Norris is reviewing all available recordings of the Elgar Violin Concerto, That’s a lot of recordings. D. O. N is one of my favourite reviewers. He is a concert pianist and astute musical analyst so expect his reviews to be based upon his thorough understanding of the score. That is scheduled for 09:30.

The Early Music Show on Sunday is a Halloween special ; How 18th century composers really frightened their audiences :smiley:.

A lovely show. :smiley: Really enjoyed it. The language to describe classical music is quite new for me. Very intriguing… Record Review I missed. We are allowed to gather in clubs and dance again. I rerturned home at four in the morning. Man, am I happy the dancefloor is back.

At times I listen to extreme music. So the classical composers were not all that scary for me. :relaxed: Godflesh’s album Messiah, Spite Cathedral’s ‘Leave the Lights On’, or Effter’s album Miseo I find scary or at least unsettling.

Here are some more sources for discovering new music that are not the Rolling Stone:

  • Stereogum . Free online magazine dedicated to popular music. They cover new music, publish album reviews and have lists.
  • NME . A classic magazine on pop culture which has been around since 1952.
  • Louder . The parent site to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, and One Louder. For your rock delight…
  • liveabout dotcom . A lifestyle online magazine with a music section. They cover rock, jazz, rap, folk, classical and blues.
  • Radio Caprice . Available in the radio section of Mosaic. They have over 100 very specialized stations.
  • Classical Music . The website of the BBC music magazine. They have great reviews and very useful lists.
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NME is one of my main sources as well, along with “New Releases” on Qobuz, Tidal, and I subscribe to the YouTube channels of practically every Record label, big and small :grin: