Availability of classic (underground) dance music?

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Availability of classic (underground) dance music?

Post by sporkles » Sun May 07, 2017 9:49 pm

Does anyone know of a way to get a hold of music that wasn't readily available at its time? Ie. music that was usually only owned by DJs on vinyl and played out? I was watching some videos from very late '80s and early '90s clubs and parties on YouTube, and I realised there's a world of music that will just slowly fade out of the collective consciousness because it never left the underground, and it's so sad that there's no easy way to get a hold of it. I mean, sure, you can spend an obscene amount of time scavenging online auctions etc and pay big bucks for a vinyl copy, but I so wish it were possible to buy rare music in digital format online. A lot of the music can be found on YouTube, but you really need to know what you're looking for, and I'm? never satisfied with playing music online, and in video format at that. I like to have a music file in high quality that I can play with in Traktor and basically do with as I please.

So, to return to my question: does anyone know of a place to find stuff like this? In a case like this, when the music is not available for sale, I honestly wouldn't have major qualms with a good old "unofficial download site" either, but I suppose that would be best suited for a PM...

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Re: Availability of classic (underground) dance music?

Post by TomKern » Mon May 08, 2017 9:05 am

I think you will have a big problem finding either.

The whole license issue makes the legal option very hard to pull off. You would need to find the people from the small labels back then and hope that they still have the right paper work. And that is if they haven't been bought out by a major. Then good luck.
And with the small number of sales you would have from each record, it just doesn't make much business sense.

The illegal option is only slightly better, I would think. Here the problem is that bit torrents only work when someone else has what you want in his library and seeds it. That works really well for current and popular stuff, but with something this old and rare, the chances are pretty remote.

Maybe some file locker based system. But there have been quite some shakeups with them a few years back and many have been taken down and with them all the old files they hosted. So if no one has uploaded them again somewhere, they are gone.

Sorry your best option is probably Ebay :(

I think this is why these long ass copyright terms are outright destructive to art. These things should be copyright free by now, then it would be easy for enthusiasts to set up something. But as it is everything will be lost to unrecorded (no pun intended) history. It's pretty similar with early video games by the way. :cry:

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Re: Availability of classic (underground) dance music?

Post by antic604 » Mon May 08, 2017 9:53 am

You've not posted what precisely are you looking for, but good idea is to find web-forums or Facebook groups dedicated to particular music style or groups/bands - you'll usually find people there willing to trade stuff or liquidating their collections, so you might be in luck.

Also, discogs.com and its market is a good place to have a look at, although it can be quite expensive.

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Re: Availability of classic (underground) dance music?

Post by beats me » Mon May 08, 2017 2:02 pm

I actually found a lot of my early 90’s dance tracks I loved back then on iTunes, but you do have to know what songs you are looking for. As far as quality, keep in mind that the production standards back then aren’t the same as today. They are comparatively thin. So even if you got a high quality file it may not seamlessly blend with one of today’s tracks. Prepare to play with the EQ a lot.

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Re: Availability of classic (underground) dance music?

Post by S4racen » Mon May 08, 2017 2:28 pm

I've had a lot of luck starting with the likes of Mixcloud and looking at the track listings for mixes uploaded there from years gone by. Then it's a matter of hunting down the originals.

Often stuff if it's popular has already been relicensed and repackaged for the modern age so you'll be able to find it on iTunes, my best tip before buying is to check the length of the mix rather than falling for a Radio Mix....


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Re: Availability of classic (underground) dance music?

Post by sporkles » Thu May 11, 2017 6:37 pm

Thanks for your replies.

I haven't been digging too deep, but fortunately, one of my all-time favourite groups - Eat Static - have all their albums and EP's available digitally, and they embody the style I'm obsessing about right now to a large extent.

There's a really wonderful documentary on YouTube about the burgeoning trance scene in the UK, and because most of the tracks are ID'd in the comments, I can find most of them on YouTube, but I'd still like to have them in my music library...

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