Staff Picks: Favorite Discogs Discoveries & Features

15 years of Discogs. While we are working hard at make Discogs better, this month we have also been looking back at the passed 15 years and realized how far we’ve come since then. So many releases have been added, that we still marvel at some of the things we come across.

We too, get sucked in to the black hole that is the Discogs Database, where you can float around in a space where time doesn’t seem to exist (until you get back to the real world and find out that your evening has just disappeared in the same black hole). Anyway, today we’re sharing our Favorite Discoveries on Discogs and oh well, we’ll throw in our Favorite Features too!

Various ‎– “The Sounds Of Earth”

This is the record that was sent on the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 launches in 1977. This record contains various sounds from Earth as well as a variety of music so that another form of intelligent life may stumble across it one day. This is pretty neat to have on Discogs (aside from 29 people saying they “have” this record!), and this thing is truly out of this world. :)

My favorite feature on Discogs:
The filtering and faceting ability that pairs with search. It’s really fun to just dig into sets of information to see what kind of cool or interesting Releases, Artists, Labels, etc. you can find. For example, this World Table Tennis Championship Release from North Korea.

– Rodney, Developer

Django Reinhardt ‎– “Djangologie 1928-1950”

I found this release before it was even submitted within my first month working at Discogs because it was impossible to submit, the release was too large and could barely even load in the browser (major kudos to user warsaw, for the dedication to fill out full credits for all 20 CDs)! We actually have many releases like this, some so large that they’re split across different release instances , but this one is always close to my heart for sentimental reasons. We obviously fixed the performance bug, but I still use it as a stress-test for big updates to the submission form (especially the tracklist) and as a testament to the dedication our community of contributors display every day. (And as a bonus it re-surfaced my love of Django Reinhardt!

My favorite feature on Discogs: Probably the collection and wantlist because it’s a feature that any music lover and collector can use (like me!), it currently drives a lot of our recommendations results, and makes it easier for me to manage the music discovery process. We have a lot of room for improvement, but the core feature-set is already really powerful and other than general database searching/browsing it’s the most-used feature on the site both in raw request volumes and user-engagement.

– Jeremy, Lead Developer

Nu Guinea ‎– “World ep”

I found this release recently when going through reviews written by our community members. This EP is electronic goodness! I added it to my Wantlist immediately!

My favorite feature on Discogs:
The Random Item link in Collection. When my records are neatly put away, it’s easy to forget what’s there. That’s why I like to click Random Item and then play the result. It’s like “shuffle” for your vinyl!

– Tasha, Community Support Lead

Sebastian (41) ‎– “Sebastian Speaks! (Your Watchdog On A Disc)”

I love finding unusual releases in the database that I never would have known about if they weren’t documented by Discogs contributors. Sebastian Speaks intrigues me, first and foremost because the idea of playing a vinyl record with a “convincing middle-size dog sound” on repeat to ward of thieves seems rather absurd to me, but this release is also interesting because the German Shepherd, Sebastian Von Willow, is listed as an artist in the Database.

My favorite feature on Discogs:
Lists! I love getting lost exploring other user’s lists. Thanks user emilianito1972 for maintaining List-o-rama!

– Kirsten, Community Project Manager

Charanjit Singh ‎– “Synthesizing: Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat”

I have a minor soft spot for Indian Ragas, having got into various recordings over the years, perhaps the most notable being Joe Harriott’s Indo Jazz Suite. I heard about “10 Ragas To A Disco Beat” in our forums, and had to check it out. Musically it is fun, although a bit samey, but certainly worthwhile listening to. The concept of this dude in India getting all this brand new (at the time) Roland gear (808, Jupiter 8, 303) and making a raga disco record with it that predates these machines’ use in house and techno is amazing though, and somehow confirms my faith in humanity. For a downtempo chillout experience, play the 45RPM record at 33!

My favorite feature on Discogs:
The Wantlist is a killer feature for remembering what releases I would like but don’t have yet, but none of it would be possible without the heart of Discogs, the Add Release Form.

– Nik, Director of Product

Gescom ‎– “Minidisc”

Ironically, my first Discogs purchase was not vinyl, but Minidisc.

The Minidisc format fascinated me: an out of fashion, floppy disk-like medium, with a memory buffer to prevent skipping, programmable cue points, and 24 bit ADC. It was perfect for student-budget field recording, which I did often “Before iPhone”. Being a fan of Gescom (or anything involving Autechre‘s Sean and Rob), I had read about Gescom’s Minidisc and wanted to hear it for myself. It was touted as the first commercial Minidisc release, but what drew me to it was the concept that you could rearrange the playlist, like a digital tape assemblage, made up of spooky Musique Concrete style electronic music compositions. I searched for it many times over the years, but was only able to find it here on Discogs a few years ago. Thanks, Discogs!

My favorite feature on Discogs:
It’s so hard to choose one feature to love on Discogs, but if I had to, it would be the Marketplace. Being able to find obscure stuff for purchase, paired with an obsessive catalog of all music, helps me sleep better at night.

– Matt L, Front-End Developer

Há-Zá-Má ‎– “Há-Zá-Má”

The first item I ever bought at Discogs is still one of my favorites. Not too shabby, especially considering that I picked it up only because it was linked to psychedelic guitar wizard Michio Kurihara. While the best moments here don’t quite reach the highs of Kurihara’s work with Ghost, The Stars, or Damon & Naomi, it is probably the most densely packed collection of his mercurial fretwork. The results are alternately haunting, beautiful, and frenetic.

My favorite feature on Discogs:
Is there anything better than getting a Wantlist notification for a record you were pretty sure you’d never be able to find? Can’t think of many other emails that bring as much joy as the one that starts “We found the following 1 new item For Sale in your Wantlist:”.

– Tom, Community Support

Various ‎– Bacon-7: “Bacon Is The Inside Out World”

I chose one at random. It comes with a warez style NFO sheet. :D

My favorite feature on Discogs:

– Brent, Product Specialist

MAM (3) ‎– “Jij Is Niet Mij”

I heard this song on the radio once, over 20 years ago. That melody and some of the lyrics had been stuck in my head ever since. However, searching Google with those lyrics, containing only very common Dutch words (they translate as ‘You Is Not Me’), didn’t give me any results. Then one day earlier this year, I found an interesting blog in which music obsessed Mark Griffin explained how to use Discogs to identify tracks. One of his tips was to just type the sentence you know in the search bar on Discogs, which I did, and there it was! Why did I never try this before? I guess I didn’t know the title and never had thought this song would be in the Database. But what a relief to have finally found it after all this time, thanks Mark!

My favorite feature on Discogs:
I am proud that we now offer the site in multiple languages. We still have a long way to go, but making the site more accessible for users whose first language isn’t English is something I feel strongly about. It’s amazing how the Discogs community pulls together to make this happen.

– Lilian, Content Marketing Specialist

The Skatlites / Ferdy Nelson ‎– “Confucius / Lonely And Blue Boy”

I randomly stumbled on this one while looking for additional records to add to my cart to save on shipping. What a classic ska record! Totally my favorite 7″ in my collection and I got it for way cheaper than the $50 it’s going for right now on Discogs.

My favorite feature on Discogs:
Definitely the collection, but maybe more the potential of the collection. We have so much room for improvement there. I’d also like to plug lists. Recently, I’ve moved a ton of stuff off of my wantlist to a regular list (named Wantlist) and kept only the really rare stuff on my real wantlist. Everyone should use lists more often!

– Wes, Director of Engineering

Good Throb ‎– “Fuck Off”

Punk. Rock. Female. 2014, and it’s so good. I can’t get enough of this album.

My favorite feature on Discogs:
Filtering, specifically comboing a genre with a year.

– Susan, Developer

Prince Of Denmark ‎– “The Body”

I discovered Prince Of Denmark aka Traumprinz aka DJ Metatron and the Giegling associated record labels while going through reviews on the site. The amount of “Pleeeeeeaaassseeee repress this!!!” comments was overwhelming so I had to check it out. It’s undoubtedly some of my favorite techno out there right now.

My favorite feature on Discogs:
Automated shipping policies! Waiting for a seller invoice you? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

– Jim, Community Support

William Onyeabor ‎– “Who Is William Onyeabor?”

Tasha was playing this one morning in the office and it’s been in my weekly rotation since. Instant favorite.

My favorite feature on Discogs:
Wantlist for sure. It’s great to add things as you discover and receive notifications when something is for sale, particularly for those hard to find items and limited releases.

– Alfred, People Operations

Dog Eat Dog ‎– “All Boro Kings Special”

The first item I bought on Discogs is still one of the gems in my collection. “No Fronts” being one of my favourites on this album but let’s not oversee “Who’s the King?” One of the New Jersey bands I discovered through my husband who’s been a lifetime follower of Dog Eat Dog.

My favorite feature on Discogs:
It’s great to see the site being available in multiple languages now! I believe it is a huge help to a lot of folks in our community to be able to access Discogs in their native language. Although we are still full on in the process of translating and processing translations, I am happy to see we have already accomplished so much on this feature!

– Swati, Community Support

Camberwell Now* ‎– “All’s Well”

After having thoroughly listened to This Heat‘s limited discography for years and gasping at the prices for their vinyl pressings, I wondered where to go from there. Clicking through to each of the band members I found some interesting solo projects: Charles Bullen‘s excellent Lifetones and Charles Hayward‘s phenomenal The Camberwell Now. Fortunately The Camberwell Now’s entire discography was reissued as a compilation on CD in the early nineties making a digital copy incredibly easy to find. This helped ease the pain of waiting for This Heat’s long teased reissues (which are finally happening thanks to Light In The Attic Records.

My favorite feature on Discogs:
Artist pages are one of my favorite features on Discogs. Being able to view all of a band’s members and then dive into the rabbit hole of their individual side projects and recordings is a great way to spend some time online. Most release pages have videos containing audio from the releases, which further aids in using Discogs as a discovery tool. If we’re able to improve Label pages to be as useful as Artist pages then it will be game over, all of my free time will be spent on Discogs.

– Mark, Front-End Developer

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