How do you keep track of DJs and dance music
February 17, 2012 7:25 AM   Subscribe

How do you keep track of and find new DJs and electronic music - the kind you would dance to at clubs and festivals? The rules seem to be different compared to album-based rock/pop music I'm more familiar with.

So, I'm branching out musically, and I really like dancing to really loud thumping music, and I'm beginning to develop an understanding of different styles like trance, house, techno, etc, and beginning to form tastes and preferences. My current problem is that I want to see and hear more of this stuff but there is too much and I don't know how to filter it. I especially want to go to a big club every now and then, and living in London UK there are amazing opportunities for this, but of the hundreds of options every weekend I won't have heard of the vast majority. But maybe some of these might be amazing things I would love. On those rare times when I feel like a big night, I want to make an informed choice. But I work full time and I can't spend forever going to people's websites and listening to things. There's just too much out there.

I can stream music while I work. Lately I've been listening to BBC radio one's weekly essential mixes. This seems like a really good way to hear about emerging acts (emerging into like mega-fame, that is) and to get a sense of what kind of sounds are current right now. I'm looking for more stuff like this, either crowdsourced or curated so that I am spared the hours of digging.
posted by PercussivePaul to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Essential Mixes are probably the best way to find the stuff you're looking for.

If you have Spotify, try Markus Schulz, host of Global DJ Broadcast, which will also give you a wide range of trance/big room.
posted by kuanes at 7:32 AM on February 17, 2012

You're in the best country and best city in the world for dance music- I agree.

BBC Essential Mix is a great resource. Start noting artists you like, remixers you like, even labels you like. When you know what labels you like, most likely those labels will have other artists of a similar genre you might like. is your reference of choice. If you register at Discogs you can build a virtual library of what you own which is good for showing others who like the same music so they can comment and recommend stuff that you might not have heard.

Junodownload or Beatport is where you can check on tracks and or purchase.

If you let us know what you like maybe we can recommend other artists?
posted by gen at 7:34 AM on February 17, 2012

Try going to some shops and talking to the staff. Phonica's probably the best known.
posted by Magnakai at 8:03 AM on February 17, 2012

Podcasts! There's a pretty healthy podcast base for this sort of stuff, and they're pretty easy to live with in a practical sense. I'm sure you're familiar with that sort of stuff. That said...

"Trance Around the World with Above and Beyond" is hugely popular, as is "The Gareth Emery Podcast" (his focus is pretty broad - a good way to get all kinds of flavors into your ears); "Corsten's Countdown" by Ferry Corsten, where he oversees a sort of running competition between tracks... I could go on forever. There's Global Gathering, but I think they stopped / are seasonal / I have no idea. The Crobar Boramusic Housecast was alright, but it's been ages since I listened to them so I dunno what they're like at the moment.

There's also the Jaytech music podcast - he's pretty broad in focus as well, if I remember right.

Menno de Jong had his Intuition podcast (and it was really good), but he's on a sort of "podcast sabbatical" at the moment and will start producing another podcast sometime this summer, I think. His most recent (the Yearmix 2011, which came out at the end of December) was turbo good.

Yeah man.
posted by Chutzler at 8:28 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you let us know what you like maybe we can recommend other artists?

As I said there is a lot I don't know, so I don't want to restrict myself just to the things I've already discovered. But anyway of the music I've found recently (many of which are not DJ's, but just to give you a feel) I've been enjoying The Bloody Beetroots, Fuck Buttons, Boys Noize, Arty, Robyn, M83, SBTRKT, The Field, Magnetic Man.

Great answers so far, thanks.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:37 AM on February 17, 2012

nthing continuing to keep up with the essential mix - it's an obvious choice but i do feel like they present a good mix of mainstream and the rising stars of the underground. if you hear something that tickles your fancy, go to the bbc's website and see what artists and labels got a spin on that mix you liked. look up the labels that do the tunes you dig, click around on the samples from said labels on, and make a mental note of the producers/remixers that do it for you. you're in london, the epicenter of all things dance, so chances are if there's a hot label putting out stuff you dig they'll have a night on somewhere in the city at some point in the near future. go check it out! then, if you dig the vibe at the club who booked the guys, if you like it go back next weekend, the chances are good they've booked someone else in a similar vein who might be just as good or better...

in then end if you want to get into a genre of music in depth, you have to put *some* kind of effort into diggin through the crates to really develop your radar for the good shows that are gonna turn your crank. essential mix, with tracklistings, plus beatport, will make this pretty painless really.
posted by messiahwannabe at 8:38 AM on February 17, 2012

I've had some luck finding interesting artists I wasn't familiar with by finding artists I know of on Soundcloud and looking at who they follow. I also dig around for big compilations on eMusic. Finally, I keep a notebook handy and listen to Digitally Imported and grab track names and artists names. You'll be able to find these tracks, for the most part, on Beatport, eMusic, or iTunes.

There are also, as Chutzler mentioned, tons of podcasts and DJ mix websites. Some of us might have a set or two online.

Good luck in your search!
posted by phoebus at 8:46 AM on February 17, 2012

Resident Advisor is a good resource to dig through.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:49 AM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

I used to be an EDM DJ for about 5 or 6 years, so I'm probably as good a person as any to answer this.

Start with DJs.

Go to their gigs, download their mixes, get tracklistings. You only care about producers, you don't care about singers. You'll find that lots of producers you like are on the same label, start following the label at, audiojelly, or Juno.

That's pretty much all there is to it.

But if you really want to get dance music, you have to go out clubbing, obviously. Just go to the gigs of the DJs you like, and talk to people. You'll get a feel pretty quickly for what people are into and where the good parties are.

If I were in London and into the djs you are, I'd be going to Fabric every weekend.
posted by empath at 9:19 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

(oh, and look out for small undergrounds, even if it's with djs you've never heard of -- those can often be the best parties-- just ask around)
posted by empath at 9:19 AM on February 17, 2012

Start with DJs.

Go to their gigs, download their mixes, get tracklistings. You only care about producers, you don't care about singers. You'll find that lots of producers you like are on the same label, start following the label at, audiojelly, or Juno.

Empath speaks a lot of sense, use dontstayin to find good nights in London.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:07 PM on February 17, 2012

Trackitdown is another good site (link shamelessly goes to my friends' page!).
posted by ellieBOA at 12:54 PM on February 17, 2012

(heh, I actually opened for BK in 2005 in DC.. very nice guy)...
posted by empath at 12:59 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Try Electronic Battle Weapons. It aggregates a lot of different podcasts, usually good and varied and downloadable if you find something you really like.
posted by Mr. Merkin at 1:27 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

sorry, bad link. Should be
posted by Mr. Merkin at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2012

Okay many months have passed and I have left London behind. The Essential Mix page was an amazing resource for me. Sadly it's been taken down, but I found they are all at which is where I've been going since.

I still had a fairly overwhelming time keeping track of everything but I had some really amazing experiences. My strategy was essentially to pick a night to go out, look at Resident Advisor for popular events that I could afford, listen to some mixes of a few of the headliners to see if my feet started bopping, and if so, just go. I highly recommend this strategy for people in London! Also, I met up with some good people who had good taste and directed me to some great events. Thanks for the tips -- I am still going to come back to some of these suggestions.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:50 PM on July 17, 2012

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