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Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Laurent from Pasta Primavera about how the site started, some of his favorite blogs, and how the best way to stand out is by being simple and direct!

Pasta Primavera | http://pastaprima.net

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
I started blogging in 2007.  I started Pasta Primavera as a means to share what I was listening to with friends who had moved out of state.  I never expected other people to start reading the blog, but eventually they did…and that still feels a little crazy cool to this day.

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
I generally tend to listen to a blog about indie rock, electronic pop, new wave, hip hop, garage, punk, etc. 

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
The music I blog about comes to me in visions mostly, but in the conscious world I tend to pick up on music from friends, emails, and, of course, other blogs.  Some of my favorites being The Road Goes Ever On., Salad Fork, Flashlight Tag, No Modest Bear, All Everyone United, Stadiums And Shrines, Head Underwater, Smoke Don’t Smoke, Bmore Musically Informed, Weekly Tape Deck, and Gorilla Vs. Bear.

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
I started using SoundCloud about a year and half ago mainly so I could have an easy way to put up streaming music that artists didn’t want available for download yet.  Since then, the dropbox feature has been a great way to get new music from all over.  I’ve also really started getting into following other SoundCloud members (paired with the Raindrop App - its pretty awesome).  That’s a great way to keep up on certain artists, labels, and PR companies.

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
Most blogs, including Pasta Primavera, are just run by one person (sometimes more), and most of these people are either in school or have a day job.  We’re just regular folks…who happen to get between 150-300 emails a day.  It can be a bit overwhelming.  The emails from bands that truly get the most attention from me are the ones that are the simplest and most direct.  They usually go something along the likes of “Hey my names Joe Cool.  I’m in the band Cooler than Cool from Cooltown, USA.  We play something along the lines of rock music.  We’ve just released an EP and you can stream and download it on our bandcamp page http://coolerthancool.bandcamp.com or SoundCloud page http://soundcloud.com/coolerthancool .  If you want to know a little more about the band check out our bio on our myspace page: http://myspace.com/coolerthancoolband .  If you have any other questions please hit me back.  Thanks!  Sincerely, Joe Cool”

Those types of emails almost always get a click and a listen from me.  I don’t need to be sold on it, so there’s no need for a sales pitch.  Just make the music available quickly and easily.

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

Chad Valley - EP - 04 Ensoniq Funk by CASCINE

Wye Oak - Civilian by Bmore Musically Informed

I’ll Be Wait For Sadness Comes Along by chrome sparks

Shimmering Stars - B2 Let It Be Me by AlmostMusique

WOLVES by Michael Parallax

Any last words?
Last words????  Oh noes!!  Doc how long do I have????  No seriously, I just like to say that ever since I started Pasta Primavera its been such a rewarding experience - mainly because of all the seriously talented community of people (musicians, artists, bloggers, labels) that I have become a part of.  Its inspiring and more importantly its loads of fun.

Do you have a track you want to send over to Laurent? Submit it to his dropbox below!

Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Kyle from Hot Biscuits about electronic music, bringing on more writers to the site and how he likes using SoundCloud to receive music submissions!

Hot Biscuits | http://hotbiscuits.wordpress.com/

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
I started Hot Biscuits back in June of 2007. At the time it was just myself posting about “awesome electro bangers” that one might find on the “top 10” Electro House chart (*sigh). That’s kind of what made me start, I wanted to share the stuff I was into. Shortly thereafter I got more into the music that Palms Out Sounds, Discobelle and Big Stereo were posting, which influenced what I was posting.

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
In the early days of the Biscuit, it was the cheesy big room Electro. I quickly moved on to the appropriately dubbed “Blog House”, some Indie and a little local Hip-Hop. Now whatever we post is under the umbrella of Electronica; no Indie or Hip-Hop really.

Through the years I’ve brought on a handful of writers to cover different genres with the goal of simply reaching more people. Mike was one of the first additional writers and he has since “quit the blog game”, Alex now runs the www.thealexchapman.com blog, Justin DJs and produces as Brookah and writes for www.squeegiesounds.com, Chris is 1/2 of Cold Blank and label head of Burn The Fire, Mike (1/2 of the now disbanded Black Holes) plays with the Chicago band The Dirty Diamonds, and Kyle, who still posts his own Palette mix series, DJs and produces as Kid Color.

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
Aside from the DropBox, I do a lot of random searches on SoundCloud and Hype Machine. Actually, I’ll search a genre or a word and just see what comes up. Sometimes I’ll catch myself listening to a song over and over again on my phone or iTunes, so I make sure it’s not a brand new release or something that will piss someone else off if I posted it and proceed accordingly. Markus, the only other active writer, gets a lot of good stuff through his LOL Boys project connections, he’s seemed to make a lot of good friends through that, as his posts are always on point.

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
SoundCloud is currently the only way to submit music, the email address that we used for the past several years is still alive, but I don’t really look at it anymore. I only use that to keep in touch with PR people that I’ve found common interests with over the years.

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
Like I said, SoundCloud is our only means of submitting music. However, based on all the years of receiving emails, I’d probably recommend using the “Bcc:” feature and veer away from the “follow up” email. I always liked replying to emails and giving people my honest opinion, good or bad, but it’s just not possible to reply to every submission.

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

It varies quite a bit, but at the moment it’s been:

Braiden - The Alps - Broadcast on the Mary Anne Hobbs show by braiden  

DJ Fame vs Eric Sharp - Wiggle Room (Santiago & Bushido Remix) by RISLabs

Cooly G - Cali by Hyponik

Liquid Stranger - Deep Down Below by liquid stranger

Futurity by Richard Richard

Hear Me Out (DTX061) by Adulture

Any last words?
Just that we’re into the development process of our redesign, which should be up for the big “Best of 2010” post, and that Markus and I are in the works of starting a digital label. Also, a quick thank you to SoundCloud for the opportunity to share some Biscuit history!

Do you have a track you want to send over to Kyle? Submit it to his dropbox below!

Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Neil from Music Like Dirt about being honest, live gigs, the importance of supporting the musicians and simply loving music.

Music Like Dirt | http://www.musiclikedirt.com

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
When Music Like Dirt started back in March 2005 I think - it feels an age ago - that I intended it more as an online gig diary.  It seemed like an idea to combine a passion for music with an interest in photography so I started reviewing and taking shots at gigs I went to. I also thought it would be useful to jog my memory of lifes rich tapestry when my greycells had gone south.

After a few months I realised to my surprise that actual real people were reading the reviews, checking out the bands and leaving hugely flattering messages thanking me for introducing them. I’ve been wittering on with varying degrees of success ever since, but its always a real honour and a thrill when someone says they were introduced to a musician through clicking on the site, and theyve bought everything theyve ever done.

The short answer is just I love music.

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
I’ve always subscribed to the idea that there are two types of music, good and bad, or at least your own self righteous view of the two. That said I struggle with a lot of middle of the road indie and I’m not keen on Christian Rock, but its more a case of there being too many musical styles I like.  The fact that I don’t cover reggae, rock, country, folk, house with any real depth and am constantly missing so much amazing music is a constant source of regret. Looking at my last few posts I’ve featured an in-depth interview about the legendary Trojan reggae label, a video about a Hip-Hop/Dub album, MP3’s about Scottish weather girls, a psych rock Blakula soundtrack, South African Shangaan dance, lots of disco edits, some delta blues and a bhangra track about Jason Donovan. 

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
I wish I knew a tried and tested way of easily finding music, I search high and low but if Im honest my best discoveries have come from musicians I’ve featured. Hey what do I know.

MySpace was a horrible site but it was fantastic at allowing you to discover new sounds through the friends of bands you already liked. It’s one of the reasons I rate SoundCloud so highly (but I think we are getting on to that in a moment).

Some music is sent in, increasingly through email only, but there are so many PR emails these days it’s hard to sort through it all. There are currently 4000 unread emails in my inbox and the guilt will probably give me a tumour.

I also shamelessly steal good music from other more talented bloggers (did I just say that outloud)?

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
SoundCloud has replaced MySpace as a means of finding music through other musicians I like.  By following the likes of Akira The Don, Kelpe, Greg Wilson and many more I get to see what they’re listening to, who they are following, not to mention their latest tracks.

It’s probably also responsible for stopping me posting new music because one visit and I end up losing hours on a haphazard musical journey. Next thing I know that valuable couple of hours I’d set aside to write a post have gone, and my browser’s keeling over because I have 78 tabs open. 

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
I’ve made it a rule, which I’ve only broken once for Chrome Hoof, that I’ll never post a track from someone who puts “RE:” in the subject line of an introductory email. It fools me everytime and results in immediate deletion.

Be friendly, send an MP3 or a link to one, preferably downloadable as with so many emails I just want to listen or store the listening away for later.

Be honest. So many emails start with “Hey Music Like Dirt - I’ve loved your blog for years” and then follow with some thing like “so I thought you’d love this Christian rock band”. Delete. I’d seriously prefer it if people said “Look I’ve never read your shitty little blog before but our new band are so ace, you’ll have to leave your take away food strew flat for once, just to see us live”

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

Denis Jones:  01 Clap Hands by denis jones 

The Psychedelic Singh:  HERBAL VERBAL by The Psychedelic Singh 

Ghostpoet:  To Something Ft. ROX by ghostpoet 

Demons Claw:  Demon’s Claws - ‘Fed From Her Hand’ by Tim Chester NME 

James Mathe:  James Mathe - Wishing Well (Terence Trent D Arby cover) by écoute ça. 

Akira The Don: All Now, Or Never by Akira The Don.  Uploaded with Scup

Leo Zero: Lissie - When I’m Alone ( Leo Zero Remix ) by Leo Zero

Polarbear:  Moves - Polarbear by SentricMusic 

Any last words?
Bloggers are nothing without the musicians and artists, the ones with the actual talent to create jawdroppingly great music.  I think some people forget that and have a strange sense of entitlement. “Don’t you know who I am”… er yes, you write a blog, get some perspective.

My favourite live venue in London “The Luminaire” announced it was closing a few days ago.  That place has given me so many incredible nights seeing such a wide range of music from Adele sat nervously on stage back in 2006 to Electronica with Daedelus to gypsy folk from a Hawk and a Hacksaw.

It reminded me that while bloggers happily give away music for free, and many, myself included, don’t always pay for everything they download, someone does have to actually pay for things if artists and venues are to thrive.

If you like a band, go see them live, buy their album or even give looking vaguely ridiculous in one of their t-shirts a try.  I should do more of all, except the latter (which I do quite enough of, thank you). 

Do you have a track you want to send over to Neil? Submit it to his dropbox below!

Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Jurgen from Playmaker about dreamy 80s synth pop, their love for making mixtapes, and his favorite new music!

Playmaker | http://playmakersplayground.blogspot.com/

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
The site has been running for just a few years now. We realized there are a ton of blogs out there that focus on new music. With Playmaker, we wanted to bring forward artists that aren’t always in the spotlight or just befriend producers that make killer tracks but aren’t necessarily signed to a label. There are so many great tunes out there made by people who just do this for fun and aren’t trying to milk 1 track with 10 remixes then sell it… The way the music biz has evolved now is almost a sterile, overproduced mess of cocky wankers. There is so much power in blog music and we hope to make a certain difference with Playmaker, to be there for the people, not being dictated what is cool or not by labels, by iTunes or Beatport. You can see us as an alternative door that might take you on a different route in the musical landscape.

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
We’ve always focused on the less known group of producers that make dreamy 80’s synth pop stuff. But not to keep it all too narrow-minded, we often throw in some wider variations of dance, indie, 8bit, soundtrack, or even rock. Our selection usually has a dark edge to it, posting those tracks that aren’t necessarily blogged elsewhere or something we might have picked up and feel like exposing when the time is right. We also love mixtapes. Ever since we were young the Playmakers were always into making cassettes for their friends… You can see our blog as a modern extension of that idea.

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
Basically I have been writing personally with artists via MySpace or so, staying I was into their tunes and usually a post would follow later. Pretty logical and a cool way to be directly involved. Don’t wanna deal with their PR person, and if you wanna do that that you are probably not right for our blog anyway. Like I said, there are tons of blogs out there that are just filling the shoes of the music biz. We do this for fun, not for a living. We never wanna compromise, not be tight to any contracts or restrictions. It’s important artist or promotors can get in touch with us via email. I believe it’s everyone’s right to do so. We have an overflowing mailbox of crap where you sometimes find the needle in the haystack. We can read quite quickly through the emails, the mass-mails, the bullshit.

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
It’s helped us out great. We love how fast it up/downloads! or is just sharable so we don’t have to upload it again. It comes in handy for sure. As soon as our blog was accepted by The Hype Machine we have been using SoundCloud non-stop as both SoundCloud and The Hype Machine work closely together and automatically generate the posts. We guess I have been a SoundCloud users since day one, as we actually got a trial version before SoundCloud was released to the public, a few years ago. We had that subscription via Tigerbeat6 Records — a befriended electronic indie label from California.

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
First off we’re not into mass-mails although we get why people do that. I really prefer to go out there and find my own submissions. Of course we want people to email us and send them their tracks, but we don’t feel obliged to to post them. We kinda wanna tell our own story, not interested to promote major labels or the music industry. We want to promote artists that we feel are worth talking about, artists that are not very known but have a certain aura around them that is just magical. People who might get picked up later. Just kinda wanna be a little stone in that process of a growing artist. Nothing more, nothing less.

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

The Look of Being Old by DAD80s

Mille - Warchief by Mille Music

Mille - Afterski by Mille Music
Really into Mille. Can’t wait to make a post by him someday.

Dragonette-Easy (Slaughterbrains Remix) by slaughterbrains
Been playing a lot of Slaughterbrains.

Die Heuwels Fantasties - Ek dink aan jou (as dit reen) [preview] by DieHeuwels
Also really excited about the new Deluxe album by the South African sensation Die Heuwels Fantasties

02 Bare Nang Poppers by Aleister X
And last but not least, hail Aleister X

Any last words?
Keep playing fair ‘n square. When it rains it pours. We hope to do a physical imprint of Playmaker at some point making cassettes cd’s and other formats on the verge of losing their market.

Do you have a track you want to send over to Jurgen? Submit it to his dropbox below!


Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Jon from Music Liberation about their open music policy, and how sending only a couple choice tracks is sometimes better than an entire EP.

Music Liberation | http://www.musicliberation.blogspot.com

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
I have been blogging since April 2007. Originally known as ‘A Space For Music Liberation’, I started the blog as a means to fill the void of no longer doing a radio show at university. I get a real buzz from pointing people in the direction of great music that I’m really passionate about, and a blog seemed the next logical platform to do that with.

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
We have always had an open policy when it comes to the music we cover on Music Liberation. We will check out any style, and from anywhere in the world as long as it’s made with the right intent and purpose. For the first year or so we concentrated on more mainstream artists, but in the last couple of years the focus has shifted somewhat to underground artists who many people may not have heard of yet.

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
Most of the music we cover has been sent to our email or postal address, but we also have a SoundCloud Dropbox where people can send us their tunes. We regularly check out other blogs too, with our particular favourites being Faded Glamour, The Blue Walrus, and Fucking Dance. We also get recommendations from friends, listen to radio shows such as Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens, and are big fans of The Hype Machine. Live shows are also a great way to check out new music for us.

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
I personally started using SoundCloud around 2 years ago, and we have been using it on Music Liberation for the past year. As a blog that wants to spread our appreciation of great new music, SoundCloud is perfect. Along with our words we can put a SoundCloud stream, letting people actually listen to what we’re writing about. Being aggregated into the Hype Machine charts is also a big bonus, with a large proportion of our traffic coming from there. It’s an amazing tool for bloggers, and I think in the past year it’s fair to say has revolutionized the way the vast majority of music blogs operate.  

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
We prefer to check out a couple of mp3’s or streaming links before being sent an album or EP, as sometimes the vast volume of music we get sent means a full length album might not receive the attention it deserves if sent all in one go straight off. Again we get so many emails, so if the title of email is not catchy or clearly states what the email is likely to be about we might not even open it. Same goes for the email itself, it needs to be personalized in some way towards Music Liberation, not just another generic copy and paste, and it needs to contain everything we might need to write a review – music, bio, photos, and links.

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

Rubber by Yuck

KLAK KLAK by Kashii

Any last words?
If you’d like to join the Music Liberation team then please get in touch via our email. If you can match our enthusiasm and passion for new music then we’d love to work with you in some capacity. The same goes to any blogs, webzines, or new music platforms, please get in touch, we love chatting with like minded people about music and new ventures we could possibly work together on.

Do you have a track you want to send over to Jon? Submit it to his dropbox below!

Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Reba from Love Shack, Baby about local music, her “melodic aggro” side and the importance of links in your emails!

Love Shack, Baby | http://www.loveshackbaby.net

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
I was laid up with back surgery in the Spring of 2007 and made ALOT of internet friends! One, in particular, was a music lover of my persuasion and we chatted endlessly about old tunes we loved. That led me to a search of music blogs that featured The Smiths, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, you know, that sort of stuff. Along the way, I found a really cool circle of bloggers, mostly from the UK, a lot of them Scottish, who really supported one another and supported their local, new music, scene. I got hooked, and after endless discussions in their comments over what constituted good taste in music, they finally got sick of me and demanded I start my own music blog, in the summer of 2008. 

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
I began reminiscing about old songs I loved but soon began covering new artists that came through Chicago. I grew up on Southern Rock and Metal and Blues music (with a healthy dose of hillbilly-country, bluegrass thrown in) and so this new “Indie” genre was hard for me to get used to. Gradually, I think I’ve become an Indie fan. But I don’t think I will ever feature Hip Hop or Rap, it’s just not what I listen to and don’t feel I have much to say about. There’s lots of good blogs out there for that! So, considering where I come from, Love Shack, Baby tends to cover Folk, Folk-rock, Rock, Indie, and to appease what one lover called my “melodic aggro” side, I venture into experimental-electronica and ambient noise territory every so often. If it’s weird, I tend to love it. That confuses people who try to pin me down as a folk music lover.

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
Chicago artists are always given priority. After that, anyone traveling through Chicago have a good chance. I must admit an affinity for Scottish music. I also love anyone who has an interesting voice but I don’t particularly listen to vocals/lyrics much. 96% of the music I blog comes in my inbox. The other 4% comes from a show I’ve been to; there’s been an awesome opening artist or a band I hadn’t heard before. Or, my good friend Drunk Country, of The Waiting Room radio show (out of Cardiff, Wales but serving the World!) will throw me some great stuff on a weekly basis. He’s got absolutely solid good taste and an ear for what’s new and interesting and will be making a splash in a year from now. Go listen to his show! I’d feature more of his finds if I had the time to dedicate to listening and finding more of what he’s got to offer. Seriously, one could make an amazing blog, just blogging about the artists he features!

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
I started using SoundCloud about a year ago, maybe a little longer. It’s an amazing tool for musicians to get their music to me, right in their email. I love getting a link from a band and being able to just click and hear it as I’m reading about them. I hate music videos, they’re so distracting! I don’t want to see what some videographer thought of your song and your band. I want to hear you and read what you think about yourself. PR companies make a big mistake by giving out so many videos and by spreading on the gloss so thick. Just let the band speak. 

The other cool thing about SoundCloud is being able to embed the stream into a blog post and have my readers be able to just click and listen. It looks good on my site, it is easy to navigate, and it works in every browser out there. I’ve been having issues with other media players on Chrome and SoundCloud is just such a joy. I also get weekly updates from a certain, special PR company with their new uploads for the week, I can just click on their embedded link, right in their email - genius!   

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
Send it to me and send me an email a few weeks later to prompt me to go look again (just one!) I get swamped. I’m a one-writer blog here. A link inside your email is mandatory, no link is really just the kiss of death for music writers. And comparisons to other bands are really easy to make but often don’t do you any favors. Telling me your musical history and influences is a good thing, but who you’re trying to emulate will only limit my imagination when I listen to you, see? I nice press package is lovely: zip file of mp3s in high bit rate; decent photo, bio, and permission for which mp3 to post with link to a SoundCloud embed. It’s not hard to make one, but a lot of new bands have no idea what it is. Put all that in one folder and attach a link to it to your email to all bloggers, BCC’d :)

Oh, and don’t take our silence too harshly. Sometimes we’re just too busy, sometimes you’ve submitted your music to the wrong blog. I’ve gotten back to people six months later and loved their music. My timing sucks!

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

Aragon Sound by apteka

Moneytree - The Science of Gambling by abadgeoffriendship

The Black Atlantic: “Ella (Live)” by Yer Bird Records

My Gold Mask - Bitches (The Hood Internet RMX feat Roxy Music) by hoodinternet

My Gold Mask - Bitches (The Hood Internet RMX feat Roxy Music) by hoodinternet

Any last words?
I love musicians and am so grateful for what they do. I consider my job as a blogger to be a sort of champion of all the bands out there who aren’t yet known and who play gig after gig; hoping to make enough gas money to get to the next show. If  you’re a fan of music, put these people up on your couch, buy them a meal or a beer. You never know where they’ll end up. And all of them do this because they love it, not for the fame or the money. The vast majority of artists, even those on ”big” indie labels, don’t break even until they reach a very, very, high level of notoriety and by then many of them are giving back to the industry so much and helping young musicians get ahead. Go to a local show of whatever genre of music you enjoy and buy a damn t-shirt! xoxo

Do you have a track you want to send over to Reba? Submit it to her dropbox below!


Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Brandon & Cigi from Kunk Budapest about music, the 90s in Hungary, and how the music they blog about is constantly evolving!

Kunk Budapest | http://mykunk.com

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
We got started in mid-2007. At first, the blog was just a complement to the party here in Budapest we kicked off at the same time. It was a fun side-project and easy to run since gathering and listening to a wide variety of music was something Cigi and I were doing already. Eventually it became just as much a project as the party itself, and every bit as fun. 

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
We post across a variety of genres, however tend to concentrate on danceable indie or ‘smart electro’ type stuff. We definitely have an ear for sounds with an underlying pop appeal as well as an affinity for retro, 80s era synth-heavy tunes. Although most tracks we post reflect that interest, our history determines the remainder. Cigi grew up in the 90s in Hungary and was influenced a lot by punk and hardcore (Refused, Nirvana), which carries through today as he’ll often spread the love on experimental-lo-fi stuff. Whereas I grew up in california in the 80s and will always have a soft spot for new wave faggy dance music a la Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, etc., so stuff that reminds me of that now I’ll often post.

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
This has evolved over the years. At first it was largely just trolling through our old back-catalogs of stuff — over time many new avenues to find music opened up. Obviously other blogs, aggregators, MySpace (formerly); now other tools including Twitter, Facebook, and SounCloud we use a lot. In parallel, as we acquired more readers and met more artists through the party, the direct submissions became a huge source. Currently the process is an amalgam of hitting upon all these different channels.

How we pick something to post — in short: it’s either something that strikes us as either new and fresh and compelling, or something known and familiar, yet still excellently-crafted.

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
We started using Soundcloud in 2009, initially just as a way for people to submit their tracks to us. Now as more and more artists are consistently using it, we find that by following them it’s a lot easier to track the songs which we want to listen to. The notification system has become a large part of how we discover new edits. At the same time we’re using the embeds quite frequently so it makes the publishing side easier as well. We’re also making the occasional mix and use soundcloud to publish and post those to the blog.

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
Emails are still effective, however there are some simple rules, with more dont’s than do’s. Don’t send out to a huge email list with everyone in the TO or CC field. Don’t attach the track to an email, rather send a link to where i can play the track. Don’t send some massive preset PR-made promo material. Don’t write over and over again. Do send a short and polite personal note. Do include a few short sentences about your act especially if new. 

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

Brandon’s picks:  Sloppy Chic by Justin Faust

Human Life - Wherever We Are (Grum Dub Mix) by Vitalic Noise

Stevie Nicks - Stand Back (Ren Riz bootleg) by Ren Riz

Cigi’s picks: Crystal Castles - Not In Love (ft. Robert Smith) by pigeonsandplanes

No Age - Glitter by subpop

Nick Drake - Things Behind The Sun by okcomputer27

Any last words?
Blog from the heart!

Do you have a track you want to send over to Brandon & Cigi? Submit it to their dropbox below!

Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Jordan from Oh-Death about nostalgic disco tracks, and the importance of researching blogs before sending them music!

Oh-Death | http://oh-death.blogspot.com

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
I’ve been blogging since late 2007. Around that time the music blog was exploding as a source of music exposure and hype; I was an avid reader of blogs like Palms Out Sounds, Missingtoof, IHeartComix and Discodust but wasn’t into everything they posted. So I started my own blog, searching for and writing about new music that I liked. I also interviewed up-and-coming DJs and producers that I admire, such as DJ Neoteric, Designer Drugs, Streetlife DJs, Malente and Andy George. I also use the blog to promote my t-shirt label, events and DJ slots.

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
To begin with I featured a lot of electro and house, before touching on the fidget house genre. Recently though, I’ve mostly posted about re-edits and remixes of classic house and disco tracks along with the odd mixtape or two. When I started writing about music, the blog scene was fresh and exciting: and so was the music. Recently though, I feel that there hasn’t been anything to top that period, in both the electronic and indie music scenes. I’ve found myself becoming a bit nostalgic, re-visiting house and disco tracks that I missed at the time of their release as I was too young to appreciate them.

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
I get sent promos and original productions everyday via the blog and I listen to everything. However I find I prefer searching for material by listening to other people’s remixes, edits and mixtapes on sites like Soundcloud and Mixcloud. I try and post music I find refreshing and different. When I hear a track in a mix I try and track down a copy for both a post and to add to my music collection.

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
I signed up for beta testing before its official launch and have been using it ever since, mainly to host my own edits and mixtapes, as well as using the dropbox feature to allow people to share music they’d like featured on the blog with me. I hadn’t really used it to its full potential until recently, as I was still posting download links for mp3s. I’ve now switched and incorporated a SoundCloud player in my posts, so readers can access the music immediately rather than being diverted to a melee of pop-up advertising just to download one track.

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
-Do send your music as a link to preview and listen to straight away. It’s easier to flick through and get a taste for the track and avoids waiting to download it first.
-Do your research. Often people just send me music or add my blog email to a mailing list without looking into what I post about. There’s no point sending to everyone who’s listed on Hypem.com It’s worth the extra effort to single out potential blogs who will like your material.
-Do personalise your emails to blogs. One sure way of being immediately excluded from consideration on the blog is to put the email address’s of everyone you’re emailing in the ‘to’ field. It’s a kind of underwritten rule that blogs like posting about stuff that no one else has written about. So writing a group email and including a list of everyone else you’ve sent this ‘exclusive’ track to isn’t going to do you any favours.
-Do check that the links in your email work. There’s nothing worse than having to send a second email with an apology for the last email having broken download/ website links.

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

Catz_n_Dogz_-To_Be_Cool by catz n dogz aka 3channels

Let’s Go (Bart B More ‘Oldskool’ remix) by Dem Slackers

Foamo - Generate Some Heat (PREVIEW) by Foamo

Lauren Pritchard - Not The Drinking (Riva Starr DUB Cut) by Rivastarr

Dan Black - Symphonies (Hot City Remix) by WeAreBlahBlahBlah

Any last words?
Enjoy the music and support the artists.

Do you have a track you want to send over to Jordan? Submit it to his dropbox below!


Blog of the Week

This week we’re talking with Kelsey from Analog Giant about using SoundCloud to find some amazing, obscure remixes, engaging in the community and tips for submitting your tracks to the blog via SoundCloud. (Hint: know your audience)


Analog Giant
| http://analoggiant.com

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
I started blogging about music on December 14, 2005. My wife suggested that I focus my free time on music and away from video games, which was probably not a bad idea. I was living in Montpelier, Vermont at the time, but since then I’m moved to Chicago. Over the last, I brought on my friend E to write for the site and cover music in Seattle.

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
Our focus is on hip hop and electronic. Sometimes our direction can lean one way or another, depending on what we’re listening to, but hip hop and dance has always been our thing. The last few months, we’ve been really into disco, French house, ambient, dub and instrumental hip hop.

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
Artists and promoters are always sending us music, and some leads come from other music blogs or through listening to amazing radio shows like Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1, but more and more we are using Soundcloud to find and explore the best new music. And now it seems like Soundcloud is the only way to even find some of the best, most obscure remixes—there’s the whole community there. We’re not musicians—really, we have, like, absolutely zero musical ability—so we don’t pretend to be experts. We just have one rule: if we like it, post it.

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
We started heavily using SoundCloud at the beginning of this year. If we found an artist we wanted to post about or we thought they had a cool sound going on, we’d start following them and maybe check out some of their favorite artists. This is going to sound like a commercial or something, but seriously…now that we’ve built up a big network of our favorites in the scene, we can watch our dashboard feed and see all of the tracks our friends are commenting on or adding to their favorites and be right on top of the best new songs, remixes, and edits within just a few hours of their release. We try to leave positive feedback on the tracks that standout and post all the good stuff we find—that way, the we can return the favor to our followers and they can see what we think is the best.

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
Head over to Analog Giant and listen to the kind of music we’re into. If your music fits our style, send us a Soundcloud link in an email or hit up our DropBox. We try to listen to everything that comes our way, but that said…you might have the best black metal band on the planet but we’re not your audience. We keep it legal: we’ll only post stuff directly from the artist, promo company, or label.

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

Ellen Allien - Flashy Flashy (Nicolas Jaar Remix) [Bpitch Control] by alchemyremixmanagement

SBTRKT - Step In Shadows (Young Turks) YT043 by sbtrkt

Coma Cat by Tensnake

Mark E - RnB Drunkie by future classic

Nightcrawler by NOSAJ THING

Any last words?
If you are feeling what we are feeling check out our favorites! Too much good stuff!!

Do you have a track you want to send over to Analog Giant? Submit it to their dropbox below!

Blog of the Week

This week, we’re talking with Sean from Drowned In SoundCloud about what made him start the off-shoot of Drowned In Sound and major “do”s and “don’t”s about submitted your music to get reviewed!

Drowned In SoundCloud | http://drownedinsoundcloud.com

How long have you been blogging, and what made you start?
I think I had my very first personal blog back in ‘96. Then I started something like a music blog via email in ‘98 called The Last Resort, which relaunched as DrownedinSound.com in October 2000. Then about a year ago I set-up the http://drownedinsoundcloud.com Tumblr for mostly Soundcloud posts and links to content on our site. I started blogging because I had a need inside of me to write which wasn’t being fulfilled by trying to tell my friends at school about all the bands I loved (most of them didn’t care). I also found there wasn’t anyone offering an alternative voice to the media which seemed to be championing all the same bands and somewhat out of touch with all the Weezer-loving folks I met online when I first started using messageboards and chat rooms.

What genres does the site tend to cover? Have you always covered this type of music?
We cover most things that fall under the “alternative” umbrella. From Muse to Mount Kimbie, I guess is a fairly broad swathe of music, with rock and metal in one direction and electro spindling off in the other. Our albums of the year over the past few years have veered from Panda Bear and M83 to Fuck Buttons and Arctic Monkeys. We’ve had weeks dedicated to Dubstep and Shoegaze, as well as Alt Country and Arab Strap, so hopefully that makes sense of the sweep of our remit. We’re not really snobs when it comes to what we don’t cover but then we don’t like everything. Conversely, the review of Robyn’s album was one of the most read things on our site last month.

How do you find the music you blog about and what makes you pick something to post?
In terms of the main site, it’s down to our albums, features and news editors to pick stuff from the heaps of things we want to cover and I help to prioritise by what we collectively are or our community is really passionate about. In terms of the DrownedinSoundcloud blog, I tend to pick a mixture of stuff I’m listening to and things we have editorial to coincide with tracks I’ve spotted in my feed or been sent or seen Soundcloud embeds of elsewhere.

When did you start using SoundCloud, and how has it helped you curate the music you post about?
I think I was invited to use the site whilst it was still in beta, way back before it was a bright orange bastion for music streaming. It’s really taken the sting out of finding somewhere to host a track, or using YouTube just to let people hear something, especially as the music rights collectors would rather like to make poster-boys of us for not blogging music, as I’ve run a label and should know better about “sharing” music I “love” so people can hear it, rather than take my raggedy words for it.

If someone’s interested in sending you some music to review, how do you prefer getting submissions? What are some “Do” and “Don’t”s for people to keep in mind?
DO:
- do your research, target the right person who actually likes what you do
- do personalise your email, rather than BCC or copy-paste a message with the wrong name on
- be aware that people like myself get upwards of 2000 bands deluging their inbox a week and with the greatest will in the world, the new Sufjan Stevens and Deftones records will always rise above slogging it through heaps of bands
- think about first impressions, great imagery and a succinct sucker-punch strapline-like intro to who you are, it will always work wonders. Be intriguing and relevant to what you do.
- give some clues as to what you sound like, and failing that, just list a few bands you imagine yourselves one day supporting

DON’T:
- be an annoying dick. Niceness and manners get you everywhere (it is very much a case of if we like it we’ll get back to you, if we don’t we’ve either not heard it or didn’t like it.
- expect anyone to listen if you just say “check us out” and that’s it 
- go for the editors of magazines, aim for the most relevant contributors or even become an active member of the community (it worked for Los Campesinos, Mystery Jets and Bloc Party on our boards)

What are some songs that you’re currently playing non-stop?

Hauschka - Foreign Landscapes by Hauschkamusic

Maybes by Mount Kimbie by seaninsound

Snow & Taxis by Gold Panda

Hazel Brown by Bear Mask

Health - Nice Girls (Blondes Remix) by palms

Dusted by subpop

Phoenix - Love Like a Sunset (Part 3) by Nialler9

Radiohead - Everything in its Right Place (Stretch) by Tommib

Any last words?
Speak every word as if it is your last.

Do you have a track you want to send over to Sean? Submit it to his dropbox below!