February 19, 2006

Great Electronic Music Available for Free

It's no secret that my musical tastes lean more toward electronic and techno music than mainstream top 40 nonsense or even what's deemed alternative these days on the radio. Unfortunately for me, that means the radio doesn't have any kind of solution if I'm looking to hear the latest songs from Underworld, DJ Tiesto, Blank and Jones, ATB or Dave Clarke.

iTunes is only now starting to archive the best of electronic music out there, making it available for download. In the last few months, I've managed to get early access to some incredible albums on iTunes, including "Far Away Trains Passing By" by Ulrich Schnauss, and "Shivers" by DJ Armin Van Buuren, to name a few. If you're not familiar, click on the links and visit iTunes to preview a few songs. I don't think you'll be disappointed. But it's honestly not enough. Whereas in years past, we used to have a few hours on the radio dial with Subsonic on Saturday nights with San Francisco-based Live 105, even that show has been canceled for more standard offerings.

"Our goal for 2006 is a more unified station," claimed the station's program director. A serious cop-out, abandoning those listeners, like myself, who had followed the show religiously for the better part of a decade.

But all is not lost. The Internet has opened new exposure to new artists. MusicMobs offers you the ability to match up artists to those you already like, while Last.FM chronicles your musical list and shows you other artists or people who share your interests. And some artists have opened up the vault to their music library so you can sample hour-long or more tracks and live sessions. The best of which who I have enjoyed is an artist named DJ Irish. I have nearly 2 and a half days worth of his remixes, from Hard Trance to Assorted Trance and live sets at clubs where he has performed. Best of all, it's free. He posts a new set, and e-mails those on his list to let you go get it.

You can find his sets here: DJ Irish and DJ Nyman Music Archive. I hope you'll enjoy it. For more insight into what I'm listening to, check the MusicMobs and Last.FM links above.