Weekend Dig #1: Most Wanted Rare Electronic Releases by Style

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’
  • Arawak - Explosive

    Abstract

    Arawak – Explosive

    Label: Orrery Records
    Released: 1981
    Wants: 323
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 16.2

  • Underground Resistance - Z Record

    Acid

    Underground Resistance – Z Record

    Label: Underground Resistance
    Released: …
    Wants: 473
    Haves: 26
    Wants / Haves : 18.2

  • Various - Volume 1

    Acid House

    Various – Volume 1

    Label: Missing Dog Records
    Released: 1988
    Wants: 741
    Haves: 36
    Wants / Haves : 20.6

  • Haruomi Hosono - 花に水

    Ambient

    Haruomi Hosono – 花に水

    Label: 冬樹社
    Released: 1984
    Wants: 766
    Haves: 24
    Wants / Haves : 31.9

  • Various - Queens Of Baltimore Club

    Baltimore Club

    Various – Queens Of Baltimore Club

    Label: Baltimore Club Muzik
    Released: 2001
    Wants: 248
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 12.4

  • The Prodigy - Scienide

    Big Beat

    The Prodigy – Scienide

    Label: XL Recordings
    Released: 1995
    Wants: 377
    Haves: 30
    Wants / Haves : 12.6

  • DHS - From Outerspace

    Breakbeat

    DHS – From Outerspace

    Label: Not On Label
    Released: 1997
    Wants: 696
    Haves: 21
    Wants / Haves : 33.1

  • Ron Plonker - Plonker Edits

    Breaks

    Ron Plonker – Plonker Edits

    Label: Not On Label
    Released: 2001
    Wants: 290
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 14.5

  • Jeremy (2) - Semi-Structured Life

    Deep House

    Jeremy (2) – Semi-Structured Life

    Label: Driftwood
    Released: 2002
    Wants: 1284
    Haves: 47
    Wants / Haves : 27.3

  • Emerson (3) - Sending All My Love Out / Why Are You So Cold

    Disco

    Emerson (3) – Sending All My Love Out / Why Are You So Cold

    Label: L.A.S. Records Co.
    Released: 1988
    Wants: 1024
    Haves: 24
    Wants / Haves : 42.7

  • Jake Hottell, Sharon Hottell - Break The Chains

    Downtempo

    Jake Hottell, Sharon Hottell – Break The Chains

    Label: Horizon Records And Tapes NM
    Released: 1985
    Wants: 485
    Haves: 26
    Wants / Haves : 18.7

  • Various - Two On One Pizza Hut Edition

    Drum n Bass

    Various – Two On One Pizza Hut Edition

    Label: Moving Shadow
    Released: 1994
    Wants: 581
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 29.1

  • Jah Shaka - Rasta Dah Yah

    Dub

    Jah Shaka – Rasta Dah Yah

    Label: Jah Shaka Music
    Released: 1989
    Wants: 432
    Haves: 25
    Wants / Haves : 17.3

  • Loefah - Western (Did A Skank)

    Dubstep

    Loefah – Western (Did A Skank)

    Label: Swamp 81
    Released: 2013
    Wants: 482
    Haves: 46
    Wants / Haves : 10.5

  • The Grand Master Lover - The Legend Of O'Mar

    Electro

    The Grand Master Lover – The Legend Of O’Mar

    Label: Chrome Records
    Released: 1983
    Wants: 659
    Haves: 25
    Wants / Haves : 26.4

  • The New Age Orchestra - Let's Dream Together

    Euro House

    The New Age Orchestra – Let’s Dream Together

    Label: Coma Records (4)
    Released: 1989
    Wants: 639
    Haves: 48
    Wants / Haves : 13.3

  • Linda 'Babe' Majika - Don't Treat Me So Bad

    Euro-Disco

    Linda ‘Babe’ Majika – Don’t Treat Me So Bad

    Label: Umkhonto
    Released: 1988
    Wants: 583
    Haves: 22
    Wants / Haves : 26.5

  • Andréa Daltro - Kiuá

    Experimental

    Andréa Daltro – Kiuá

    Label: Estúdio De Invenções
    Released: 1988
    Wants: 836
    Haves: 21
    Wants / Haves : 39.8

  • Hoodrum - Re-Edit

    Future Jazz

    Hoodrum – Re-Edit

    Label: Untitled Records
    Released: 1998
    Wants: 349
    Haves: 35
    Wants / Haves : 10

  • Various - Thunderdome - The Unreleased Projects

    Gabber

    Various – Thunderdome – The Unreleased Projects

    Label: ID&T
    Released: 1996
    Wants: 273
    Haves: 22
    Wants / Haves : 12.4

  • Stinger J. - Pretty Face / Wonder Land

    Garage House

    Stinger J. – Pretty Face / Wonder Land

    Label: Chance Records
    Released: 1987
    Wants: 1037
    Haves: 62
    Wants / Haves : 16.7

  • DJ Technics - Party People / Cuum On

    Ghetto

    DJ Technics – Party People / Cuum On

    Label: Baltimore Breakbeat Records
    Released: 1998
    Wants: 318
    Haves: 23
    Wants / Haves : 13.8

  • XTC (7) - Misty Cold Remix / Functions / Baby Wipes

    Grime

    XTC (7) – Misty Cold Remix / Functions / Baby Wipes

    Label: Not On Label (Ruff Sqwad)
    Released: 2004
    Wants: 929
    Haves: 64
    Wants / Haves : 14.5

  • Various - PK 3 Collectors Box

    Hard Trance

    Various – PK 3 Collectors Box

    Label: Fax +49-69/450464
    Released: 1993
    Wants: 200
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 10

  • Various - Two On One Pizza Hut Edition

    Hardcore

    Various – Two On One Pizza Hut Edition

    Label: Moving Shadow
    Released: 1994
    Wants: 581
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 29.1

  • Frank Hatchett - Vop Style

    Hi NRG

    Frank Hatchett – Vop Style

    Label: Statler Records
    Released: 0
    Wants: 265
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 13.3

  • Grupo Controle Digital - A Festa E Nossa

    Hip Hop

    Grupo Controle Digital – A Festa E Nossa

    Label: Phoenix Spink
    Released: 1988
    Wants: 645
    Haves: 28
    Wants / Haves : 23

  • Unit Six / Molima - Midiland 1

    Hip-House

    Unit Six / Molima – Midiland 1

    Label: Radikal Records, Hot Productions
    Released: 1992
    Wants: 669
    Haves: 39
    Wants / Haves : 17.2

  • Skatebård - Conga

    House

    Skatebård – Conga

    Label: Sex Tags Mania
    Released: 2005
    Wants: 1486
    Haves: 42
    Wants / Haves : 35.4

  • Bigeneric - Sylar [V.P.]

    IDM

    Bigeneric – Sylar [V.P.]

    Label: Moto Music
    Released: 2000
    Wants: 422
    Haves: 22
    Wants / Haves : 19.2

  • SPK - Factory

    Industrial

    SPK – Factory

    Label: Side Effects
    Released: 1979
    Wants: 646
    Haves: 29
    Wants / Haves : 22.3

  • Linda 'Babe' Majika - Don't Treat Me So Bad

    Italo-Disco

    Linda ‘Babe’ Majika – Don’t Treat Me So Bad

    Label: Umkhonto
    Released: 1988
    Wants: 583
    Haves: 22
    Wants / Haves : 26.5

  • Jean-Pierre Boistel / Tony Kenneybrew - Percussions Pour La Danse

    Jazzdance

    Jean-Pierre Boistel / Tony Kenneybrew – Percussions Pour La Danse

    Label: Casa France-Usa
    Released: 1989
    Wants: 291
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 14.6

  • Various - Two On One Pizza Hut Edition

    Jungle

    Various – Two On One Pizza Hut Edition

    Label: Moving Shadow
    Released: 1994
    Wants: 581
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 29.1

  • Boneschi-Farina Ensemble - Boneschi-Farina Ensemble

    Latin

    Boneschi-Farina Ensemble – Boneschi-Farina Ensemble

    Label: Delfina
    Released: 0
    Wants: 261
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 13.1

  • DHS - From Outerspace

    Leftfield

    DHS – From Outerspace

    Label: Not On Label
    Released: 1997
    Wants: 696
    Haves: 21
    Wants / Haves : 33.1

  • Haruomi Hosono - 花に水

    Minimal

    Haruomi Hosono – 花に水

    Label: 冬樹社
    Released: 1984
    Wants: 766
    Haves: 24
    Wants / Haves : 31.9

  • Petre Inspirescu - Untitled

    Minimal Techno

    Petre Inspirescu – Untitled

    Label: ourown.ro
    Released: 2012
    Wants: 471
    Haves: 34
    Wants / Haves : 13.9

  • Jon Iverson and Thomas Walters - First Collection

    Modern Classical

    Jon Iverson and Thomas Walters – First Collection

    Label: Eagle Records (5)
    Released: 1984
    Wants: 427
    Haves: 36
    Wants / Haves : 11.9

  • Basil Kirchin - Worlds Within Worlds

    Musique Concrète

    Basil Kirchin – Worlds Within Worlds

    Label: Columbia
    Released: 1971
    Wants: 778
    Haves: 33
    Wants / Haves : 23.6

  • Jeff Majors - For Us All (Yoka Boka)

    New Age

    Jeff Majors – For Us All (Yoka Boka)

    Label: Glass Wing
    Released: 1986
    Wants: 789
    Haves: 34
    Wants / Haves : 23.2

  • Al Onzo - Tango Japan

    New Beat

    Al Onzo – Tango Japan

    Label: Adventure Dance
    Released: 1987
    Wants: 259
    Haves: 21
    Wants / Haves : 12.3

  • SPK - Mekano

    Noise

    SPK – Mekano

    Label: Side Effects
    Released: 1979
    Wants: 663
    Haves: 43
    Wants / Haves : 15.4

  • Hypnobeat - Huggables

    Rhythmic Noise

    Hypnobeat – Huggables

    Label: Monochrome Tapes
    Released: 1985
    Wants: 262
    Haves: 25
    Wants / Haves : 10.5

  • Nasenbluten - Rainbow Up My Arse / Show Us Yor Tits

    Speedcore

    Nasenbluten – Rainbow Up My Arse / Show Us Yor Tits

    Label: Not On Label
    Released: 1996
    Wants: 428
    Haves: 40
    Wants / Haves : 10.7

  • Linda 'Babe' Majika - Don't Treat Me So Bad

    Synth-pop

    Linda ‘Babe’ Majika – Don’t Treat Me So Bad

    Label: Umkhonto
    Released: 1988
    Wants: 583
    Haves: 22
    Wants / Haves : 26.5

  • Jeremy (2) - Semi-Structured Life

    Tech House

    Jeremy (2) – Semi-Structured Life

    Label: Driftwood
    Released: 2002
    Wants: 1284
    Haves: 47
    Wants / Haves : 27.3

  • Skatebård - Conga

    Techno

    Skatebård – Conga

    Label: Sex Tags Mania
    Released: 2005
    Wants: 1486
    Haves: 42
    Wants / Haves : 35.4

  • Lanark Artefax - Whities Dub 02

    Trance

    Lanark Artefax – Whities Dub 02

    Label: Whities
    Released: 2016
    Wants: 408
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 20.4

  • Bobby Parker - Monster Fonky 01

    Tribal

    Bobby Parker – Monster Fonky 01

    Label: Monster Fonky
    Released: 2003
    Wants: 353
    Haves: 21
    Wants / Haves : 16.8

  • Boards Of Canada - Closes Volume 1

    Trip Hop

    Boards Of Canada – Closes Volume 1

    Label: Music70
    Released: 1997
    Wants: 794
    Haves: 59
    Wants / Haves : 13.5

  • SPD (3) & Jessie (7) - Quest

    UK Garage

    SPD (3) & Jessie (7) – Quest

    Label: Bonafide Licence
    Released: 1998
    Wants: 218
    Haves: 20
    Wants / Haves : 10.9

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