The format here is simple: below is a big list of rare and highly sought after Releases. Chances are you won’t be able to afford many of them, but take a moment to click around on any of the pages and you’re likely to discover some other great Releases by the same artist, from the same label, mastered at the same studio or lacquer cut by the same engineer. If some people made a record so special that the number of ‘Wants’ is at least 10 times the number of ‘Haves’, chances are there’s some other great Release lurking only a few clicks away.
See below for the logic behind the list.
To me a huge part of listening to music is finding new sounds. It took me years to notice but I literally start to feel depressed if I don’t have a stream of fresh sounds coming in. And for some reason music always sounds fresher when I find it myself. With autonomously discovered music, unmediated by algorithmic or personal recommendations, I’m free to feel the sounds unadulterated by opinion, full of potential, ready to be injected with a sense of my own identity. Literally ‘fresh’.
But in the Information-Bubble Age it’s becoming harder and harder to expand your umwelt, and this is especially true when digging for new music. Some of the music recommendation algorithms out there do a pretty good job, but to me the music always feels a little bit more distant, a little bit less fresh than when I discover it for myself. The algos really fall flat when you try to step into completely foreign musical landscapes.
This is why I love the Discogs Database Community, the 420,000 dedicated volunteer contributors who’ve spent countless hours transcribing information off every Release they can get their hands on, building an intricate web of the discographies of all labels, all artists, all cross-referenced. There is no better resource for discovering new music than the Database they’ve built. But it can still be hard to leap into totally unknown musical landscapes and land on your feet.
In theme with Discogs’ 2018 SPIN campaign, which is all about increasing diversity in the Database (by encouraging new submissions in areas where there are gaps in the Database), I thought it would be fun to show off just how easy it is to find fresh, new music when people have taken the time to meticulously transcribe all the information on all Releases and link up all the information in a digital database, which is hard (and often unthankful) work. But this kind of work is the backbone of Discogs.
Discogs started with Electronic music, so it’s no surprise this is one of the best represented slices of musical history in the Database. And so that’s where I’ll start today. This is a list of rare and in demand Releases organised by 52 of the ‘Styles’ categorised with the ‘Electronic’ genre. Chances are you won’t be able to afford any of them… but if you click around a little bit you’ll discover some amazing pockets of music you might not otherwise have discovered. Try clicking on the styles you don’t normally listen to, everything in this list is great.
After you’ve had a good intro to a few Releases, the trick to finding new music is to dig around on any Release page. Of course it’s often fruitful to click on the Artist and Label links on any page. But because this is Electronic music, often made to be played on big sound systems for dancers, the quality of Releases depends a lot more on the mastering and lacquer cutting processes, which are the most two important steps in taking music from something great to something that really pops and makes people move. Hence one of the most fruitful routes off any Release page is to check out other Releases by the mastering engineers and lacquer cutters, since most of them mastered/cut more than one great Release… This is also something quite unique to the Discogs Database, and the ability to dig like this only exists because dedicated contributors took the time to put the right thing in the right data field.
Another hot tip for finding new Electronic music is to check out the list of contributors in the bottom right of any Release page to see if their collection is public. Because of where Discogs started, a lot of the Electronic music in the Database was contributed by DJs and tune buffs. No one knows Electronic music like they do.
Next week I’ll be doing the same for Rock music. Later in the month we’ll dive into some of the rarest and most sought after Cassettes and Latin American music.
This list was compiled with the following logic:
- Genre = Electronic
- Haves = 20 to 100
- Wants / Haves => 10.0
- Unique Releases only, no represses
- One Release per Style, the one that has the highest ratio of Wants / Haves
NOTE: a few Release appear more than once since they represent multiple styles. I left them in as duplicates because they’re quite special.
- Organised alphabetically by Style, from ‘Abstract’ to UK Garage’
Label: L.A.S. Records Co.
Wants / Haves : 42.7
Label: Not On Label (Ruff Sqwad)
Wants / Haves : 14.5
Label: Casa France-Usa
Wants / Haves : 14.6
Wants / Haves : 13.1
Label: Not On Label
Wants / Haves : 10.7