Crate Minds: Hardcore/Gabber Expert & Discogs Contributor, Azzurro
We’re highlighting the people responsible for adding nearly 9,000,000 releases to the Discogs Database. This week, meet Azzurro, Hardcore/Gabber expert from The Netherlands!
Where does your Discogs username come from?
When I picked my username, I had (and still have) a lot of interest in Italian music and sports. A lot of Italian teams are nicknamed Azzurri after the blue colour of their shirts. So I decided to pick the singular form of the word, Azzurro.
How did you get into contributing releases to the Discogs database?
I signed up for Discogs in December 2002, looking for tracklists of livesets I had recorded from the radio. Obviously, I couldn’t find that on the site. A couple of months later, I was looking for software to manage my record collection and stumbled upon Discogs again. That time, it suited my needs, so I decided to start building and contributing my own record collection.
What’s your motivation for contributing releases to the Discogs database?
Getting the database as complete as possible, especially in the genres that match my interests. I’m quite precise, so I can’t really stand it if release pages are a mess. Furthermore, when updating, you’ll discover new music or links between artists you didn’t know before.
Are there any specific types of contributions (or genres?) you’d consider yourself an expert on?
Back in the days when the old moderator system was still in place, we had a small team of Hardcore/gabber experts moderators and managed to keep the queue for those genres down to just a couple of them. Still have good memories of the work with e.g. Jayfive, Josephschembri, barttrumba and a lot of others. Currently, that’s the genre I still know a lot about.
What is the most unique release you’ve added? And/or the one you’re most proud of?
Discovering Thunderdome – Past Present Future (I bought the original Dutch release on Ebay) was quite a big surprise for me, didn’t expect that another Thunderdome CD was released outside of the Netherlands in that era.
I’m also still proud of the multi-CD boxsets and/or large megamixes I submitted. It was a pain in the ass submitting them, especially with all credits, durations, etc. but looking back worth the work.
Where do you source releases to contribute to the database?
There aren’t a lot of new contributions I can make, I’m focused more on updating existing releases. As a collector, I tend to buy records and CDs in bulk, keep the ones I like and sell the others. This provides me quite enough stuff to update.
If you could catalog any CD or record collection in the world, which one would it be?
First thing that comes to mind is Gerard Ekdom’s collection. He’s a Dutch radio DJ with an enormous music collection and knowledge of releases. Would love to dig through his music room.
What does your own music collection look like?
I used to collect complete labels, though space is limited, so I decided to convert a lot of them to digital copies. Now I’m in a continuing process of downscaling my music collection to the ones I actually really like or those that bring up good memories.. In the meantime, buying records is addictive, so while downsizing, my collection is still growing from the other side.
Style-wise, my collection mainly consists of the hardcore/gabber and some hardstyle music from my youth (mid-nineties) up to about 2005. Though it also includes releases from Jamiroquai, The Prodigy and a couple of trance and techno mixes and albums.
What Discogs features do you like best, and what do think can be improved or added to make contributing to the database easier?
Improvements? Is there a maximum number of ideas I can share? :-)
I like the way the artist pages are organized, and would love to see that applied to the label and company pages as well. Some label pages are a mess because they also operate as copyright holder for sublabels, clogging up the “real” releases on that label.
Other things that come to my mind are a search function on the label page (as exists on the artist pages), and several filter options (e.g. on format or for collaborations).
What is your number 1 tip for people who are just starting to add releases to the Discogs database?
Read The Fucking Manual. But seriously, having a good browse in the guidelines helps to avoid basic mistakes. Also, try to find a mentor, or browse other release histories to see and learn how other users are submitting. And use proper submission notes if you doubt about things.