5 websites that I get my music inspiration from

So as a beginner DJ but also a long time music lover, I’m always in the process of searching for good music.  The thing about mixing music that other people produced into new formats or completely new tunes just makes it more exciting and fun!

For me I found that learning to DJ is not so easy especially in China, with so much good resources blocked outside of the country.  Plus, nobody is really teaching you here, no tutorials or videos are in Chinese at all.  Although I’ve heard about Gary’s “Lab” in Shanghai, and have been wanting to check that out for a while…

Yet internet is always the best resource to turn to, and I found trial and error is the best teacher ever.  It’s impossible to imagine what sounds good until you hear it.  The more I listen the more creative I get.  So without further a due, here are my favorite sites:

Hype Machine

This is #1 site I go to if I wanna know what tune is popular around the world.  It’s basically an aggregator of all music posted on blogs, with a really good player embedded.  You can get an account, favorite the tunes you like, and that will help them rank the popularity of songs.  Best of all, most of the time if you track back to the blog that posted the song, you can download them right there.  Because a lot of these are remixes, so I guess the copyright should be clear.  (or is it?)  You can also link it to your twitter and last.fm accounts to make your music taste a little more visible ^_^ For me it’s just a great tool to pick up new songs and new artists.

Bandcamp is another great platform for indie artists who want to publish and sell music on their own.  It’s a great place to discover new artists and new music that you might not hear else where.  Some artists will just offer free download while others might charge.  But it’s always free to listen.  So far I’ve found two artists I really love here: 

This is the best music resource you could have in China.  I specifically like the clean UI and the new music player, which memorizes the songs you played last time.  Also I favorite the artists and albums that I want to listen again so I can have easy access to them.  The music library is pretty comprehensive covering most asian and western popular and indie artists.  Yet the social networking functionality is not that great.  I think if xiami can feature some curators of different music styles or create a rating system like hype machine, it would be even better.  Right now it’s just a hodgepodge of music lists that regular users creates, which you have no way of knowing how good it is.  

Douban music is where a lot of Chinese youth hipster share and discuss music.  Therefore the review and music style skews strongly towards indie/electronic, but that suits me just fine.  Douban artist is also a great place to discover new music talents in China.  There are also many groups dedicating to music creation and production, yet due to the infrastructure of douban, it’s hard to make these groups very interactive.  Kinda of a shame…

Sound Cloud is another cool music platform, where a lot of DJ saves their mixtape because of the long format support.  It’s also where I publish my mixes and share it with friends too.  The owner of the track can choose to allow download or not.  I don’t spend that much time on soundcloud, but there is one publisher I do follow which is the White Label Music Radio, which is a indie radio program based in taiwan.

So here are my favorite sites for music inspiration.  It’s amazing how web has changed the way we find and listen to music.  None of these sites existed even 2 years ago.  And making music has become so easy that almost anybody can do it!  Well you still need to put in a lot of effort but the technical barrier is pretty low now.  Hope you enjoy the list, and maybe share with me what cool sites you use?  

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