SITES THAT MATTER
The digital revolution might have gone away with physical releases. But just as its tangible counterparts come in different mediums, so do digital distribution. Bypassing the traditional industry is not just all about downloads…
ONE TIME AT BAND CAMP…
… small time musicians make more than they ever made through record labels. “Me and my team made more in one night than I’ve seen to date from my 2008 major label album,” says Amanda Palmer (formerly of The Dresden Dolls), in case you need any more convincing. Bandcamp is the go to choice for indie acts to sell music, or give away their music, to listeners directly. To date, if the counter on their page is to go by, more than 14 million dollars have gone directly into the pockets of artists on Bandcamp. Before you shout iTunes, albums outsell individual tracks 5 to 1, which is unlike the rest of the music buying world where tracks outsell albums 16 to 1. Ferns, Seven Collar T-Shirt, Furniture, and OJ Law are among some of the indie acts in Malaysia that have taken the Bandcamp route.
A VESSEL FOR OBSCURE ELECTRONICA
Social media-friendly, Soundcloud lets just about anyone upload whatever audio they want and immediately share ‘em on other social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Foursquare. The site allows immediate feedback from listeners as registered users can comment on specific point of a track, letting actual communication between artist and fans. We’re not quite sure why, but Soundcloud seems to be a haven for electronic acts the likes of Shlohmo, Syndicate SG, Mike Slott, Dibiase, Rustie and the likes. Even local knobbers and nibblers of electronic devices such as Mushroom Buttons, Adam Kasturi, H3, and Sudarshan seem to have made Soundcloud their home.
ONLY SOCIAL MEDIA SITE THAT’S BECOME A GENRE
The choice site for the r’n’b revolution – think The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, and Iman Omari – Tumblr has weirdly been appropriated by the edgier urban acts as their home base. While not a file sharing site on its own, Tumblr’s re-bloggable scrapbook nature allows music acts to share their content from all over the internet; file sharing sites, YouTube, Soundcloud, etc. There’s a reason why some critics dub The Weeknd and Frank Ocean as Tumblr’n’b. Aside from the two, the latter’s crew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All are the numero uno independent act to use Tumblr as the basis of their website.
KILLED THE TV STAR
Reality show is obsolete, the stars of today are born on YouTube through their own uploaded videos, untouched by the marketing machine. Whereas the wannabe pop starlets of the not-so-long-ago yore would wait each year to audition for a reality show, the wannabe starlets of today learn a few strums of the guitar, sing about Facebook, and record themselves doing so – hoping to be the next Zee Avi. YouTube has allowed armchair musicians the necessary DIY tool of broadcasting themselves to a wider audience without having to whore themselves out on TV. Everyone from Justin Bieber to local buzz band The Impatient Sisters were music discoveries found on YouTube.
DAT HIP HOP SHWAG
No other genre loves releasing free music more than hip hop. Perhaps due to the genre’s sampling history, hip hop has an understandably lenient outlook on piracy. DatPiff is the largest archive of free mixtapes, offering a whopping of 190000 releases thus far. With the culture of mixtape moving away from hustling your stuff outside of gigs to hustling your stuff on social media, it doesn’t surprise us when cult hip hop acts like Spaceghostpurrp and Juicy J found an audience on DatPiff.
FILE SHARING SITES
THE INDUSTRY’S NEMESES
They managed to shut down Megaupload and consequently scared away some file sharing sites in the process. But the internet isn’t easily threatened, Bitshare, Rapidshare, Uploaded, Mediafire, and many more sites are still available for our usage. While a lot of the music you’d find on these sites are illegally uploaded, there are still free music put up by the artists themselves for our legal downloading pleasure. Local rapper Altimet infamously released his debut album First Among Equals on his 30th birthday in 2008 and other rappers regularly put up their mixtapes on these sites.
bitshare.com mediafire.com hotfile.com rapidshare.com wupload.com uploading.com 4shared.com netload.in