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In Praise of Spotify

coolnoise

Posted on February 1, 2017, 11:12 am

I subscribed to Spotify last year as it was easier than copying loads of MP3s from home. What I didn't realise was that it was to lead to a renaissance in my discovering new music. Every Monday Spotify come sup with a 2 hour Discover playlist of music you haven't listened to but it thinks you might like. From this weeks list I have marked 6 as favourites: Jackson C Frank, FRIGS, Malawi Prison Project, Svartanatt, The Both, and Nots. I could have written this same post in most weeks with different artists listed.

coolnoise

Posted on February 1, 2017, 11:12 am

So it has somehow correctly figured out I would be interested in a pathologically shy 60s folkie, doom-laden Indie band on their third single, world music from Malawi, a Swedish band who sound like early Blue Oyster Cult, and a Americana male/female duo. Nots sound like the angry daughters of Sonic Youth and Kleenex and this is the biggest prize in this weeks playlist. Anyone who knows me well would know I would like this, but how has Spotify picked out a track from a Memphis garage band with less than 10,000 listens? Looking at the related Bands list there isn't a single one I've ever heard of so it isn't using that like LastFM does. It is almost as if it knows I like the path less travelled and gives me music of similar obscurity.

coolnoise

Posted on February 1, 2017, 11:13 am

What to do for the rest of the day? There are 6 daily mixes based on different strands of my musical taste garnered from what I have listened to - mostly new tracks but mixed in with tracks I have already heard. I can go Gothic Country with Salter Cane and Joe Buck Yourself, oldies with John Cale and Kevin Ayers, Psyche Folk with Heron Oblivion and Kikagaku Moyo or 3 other mixes. Add to that the Releases Radar that is 30 tracks recently released by artists I listen to.

It's not personal like Tuna, but I am amazed at the quality of Spotify's recommendations.

paulchristopher

Posted on February 1, 2017, 12:30 pm
Last edited on February 1, 2017, 12:32 pm

Thanks a lot for this. I've been wondering whether to link up to it for a while. At the moment I only use it to check out an artist/album I'm unfamiliar with, with the free ad-less half hour they offer.

Putting aside the freakiness of it defining/interpreting my music taste so accurately - possibly difficult as I find it hard to pin down myself - the examples you've given are mightily impressive. I'm often bemoaning the fact that TunA sometimes throws up a great artist with an impressive back catalogue that I know nothing about. Spotify might remedy that.


paulchristopher

Posted on February 1, 2017, 12:30 pm
Last edited on February 1, 2017, 12:31 pm

All that said, the prospect of endless recommendations on tap rather scares me. Despite appearances, I do work and it's the type of job where I need to concentrate. I cannot have music on at the same time, and sadly there aren't enough other hours in the day to catch everything I'd like to. There is just too much fantastic music out there - as you, Andy, Jeff and Ade keep alerting me to. But like I say, your own experience intrigues me, Coolnoise. I shall check further...

Mr TunA

Posted on February 23, 2017, 12:56 am

Sorry chaps - I've JUST seen this. I LOVE the fact that you lot interact without me putting my oar in.

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