Great Ways to Discover New Music

At the end of the day, DJing is truly about collecting and curating new music. With today’s remarkably connected Internet there are dozens of great tools that will help you find great tracks that will really work. Here are some of my favorites.


If you don’t know about this site already- then get with the program! Its a blog aggregator that pulls mp3’s from the top music blogs and provides a central place for you to explore blog tunes. The list above is from the “popular” list, which is a good snapshot of what is hot in the music blog-sphere.

Here is how I like to “discover” new music using hype-machine:

  • type in the name of a song that you really like.
  • the results will now show you all the blogs that have posted that song
  • click the name to see all new tracks they recently posted
  • chances are you will find some fresh gems in the list!




“We are hunted” tracks the top moving songs across many different social media platforms giving you a snapshot view of “what’s hot” right now.


Did you know a lot of people make mini mixes and playlists of music they love in iTunes? Often, they are well curated and contain some really great tracks which are DRM free, 192Kbps and only 99 cents!

I recommend:

  • searching for a song that fits the style you want to explore
  • look for mixes that contain your song (look at the left or bottom of the page)
  • If someone put together a playlist that you like, check out their other material, chances are there is a lot of good stuff there!


Here are three killer ways to find out what music is popular in the city you are going to.


  • You can use Hypem’s international feature to check out the most popular blog tracks in other cities. What better way to get a feel for what they are into?


  • Mashes up soundcloud uploads and Google maps to provide a true location based look at what music people are uploading in a specific area.


  • Pull up all the most popular tunes from soundcloud in any city using a very easy to use navigation system.


Here are two web interfaces that allow you to explore new music on soundcloud in a very visual way.




We would be remiss not to mention Spotify, which while known by everyone in Europe is lesser known in the states due to the pandora dominance. Spotify does a much better job of leveraging social opinion and generally seems to have much cooler, DJ friendly tracks.


Soundcloud is one of the few tools that allow you to follow specific people and get notified when they post new tracks. They also feature a group area that is very useful for discovering new music within a specific genre. Stay tuned for next week, when we will post a full article on advanced soundcloud tips.

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Comments (50)
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  • deepGC

    Quite an interesting article, always useful to know of more pockets for finding new music!

  • James Gagan

    [] is really cool new music discovery site. it’s kind of like hype machine meets stumbleupon. 

  • Don Andres

    Come on guys (and girls) – It’s all about the full mixes. Listen through obscure full lengths and pick out key tracks. My advice, make sure there is a tracklist.

    Since I’m all about freeing the music try these (you may already know):

    -Frisky Radio
    -Beats in Space
    -DJ Kicks Compilations

    Those should include a diverse selection.

  • philtre

    I’ve given up on SoundCloud entirely as a source of new DJ material as well as a platform for showcasing my own mixes. A Pro account used to be good enough, but after they revised their pricing plans, it’s just too expensive.

    A great alternative for DJs is MixCloud. It’s free, they are registered as some sort of an internet radio, so it’s ok to post mixes with copyrighted material as they pay royalties. It’s a great for discovering new music too, just search for an artist, song or genre to find DJ sets that match your query. I’ve found loads of tracks this way. Plus, I use it all the time to play music at home or at work.

    I like too, but only to find individual tracks or maybe stumble upon a good music blog.

  • Dry Zero

    Spotify is coming to the US ->

  • Spencer "Thunderball" Thayer

    I know you want to show people the newer and fresher ways to find recently released shiz but you should never forget the people that started it all. Last.FM is still the best when it comes to musical exploration. If you let it track the music you play it will assist you in finding new music. It is VERY useful.

  • anon

    how about a round up on dj specific download sites maybe all yee trollers out there can even compile a blog list not condeing ripping off music but its also a good way to preview what u like before you buy it.
    staying with the respectable paid sites, beatport, djdownload, traxsource, dj tunes etc…

  • HzWerks

    Blogs and Podcasts are still king, though you should expect to invest some heavy time in finding reliable and consistent candidates. D&B being my poison, most ‘popular’ sources offer very little of the deeper aspects I’m intrigued by.

    Discogs can be your friend, again if you’re prepared to go label hunting, and then investigate those sounds.

    Another great source is distributors with an internet presence. The right distributor will be a gold mine for the sounds you dig, with release sheets to wet your appetite weeks in advance!

    The internets have definitely made music more accessible. I still fondly recall standing in record stores on Saturday mornings, ready to shout my reservations as new release was being played. Either way, it’s still about searching it out for yourself, unless of course you just want a music collection that’s a carbon copy of what everyone else is playing!

  • Matthew Stoddard is another excellent way to find new music if blogs are too tedious and computer generated suggestions just aren’t doing it.

    It sets up rooms where up to 5 people “DJ” back and forth with an audience voting “awesome” or “lame” on each new track. google it for more info and join the party!

  • Andrew Galea

    What about Beatport ? Awesome way to find new tracks being release on a weekly basis, better than blogs if your more into the tech-house, minimal and deep tehcno sounds

  • Anonymous

    I don’t follow what is popular, I look for a very distinct deep, funky, soulful deep house and detroit techno tracks.  I keep it underground.

    • BSix

      Some deep, funky, soulful deep house and detroit techno tracks are more popular than others. Just saying.

  • Koen Brinkerink

    “Here are three killer ways to find out what music is popular in the city you are going to”

    NEVER EVER conform to the
    music that is locally played. ALWAYS play the music that you like. I have seen
    it over a hundred times that American pioneers came overseas and disappointed
    me in every way possible! Thus, always play your own style. That is why you get
    booked abroad.

  • Flik

    This really is a really tardy way to find new music. Searching through to find ‘most popular’ music is not the way to go, DJ’s would end up all playing the same stuff. As a DJ you should be out there to find your own sound, what appeals to YOU, that defines you as an indivdual, not just another DJ churning out the same old crap. Most material i like doesnt even see any top ten action whatsoever, a lot of the time material not even entering the top 100’s.Finding good material you have to put in lots of time, digging deep and being very choosey about what you pick up, but with the time put in to find material you are 100% behind, you will make stunning mixes.

    You have to remember too, the average general public has terrible taste in music, so why go to ‘most popular’ charts?? Define yourself!!!

    • Kieran

      um flik i think you completely missed the point. Where in this article does he say “go to the most popular section” i think that the only reference is actually a screen shot from hype machine. He actually says
      type in the name of a song that you really like.the results will now show you all the blogs that have posted that songclick the name to see all new tracks they recently postedchances are you will find some fresh gems in the list!

      Personally i scroll through hundreds of new releases to find my tunes but I am not afraid to take on board other peoples opinions, suggestions and save a hell of a lot time.  Seeing as I do most of what he says already I think they are great ideas.  Anyway shouldn’t a good dj actually not care how they found a tune as long as that tune is great. I completely agree that most mainstream top 100 stuff is crap and would never rely on this for my tunes but again where in this article is this suggested? Pretty sure they don’t mean the charts with beyonce in anyway. Also i can tell you of numerous occasions i have logged on to beatport and found a gem in their top 100.  Yeah tons of people have obviously downloaded it before but it fits with my sound and it is still a great song!
      Read the article before you get on your high horse.

      • Flik

        Excuse me Kieran, but did YOU read the article?

        ‘…Its a blog aggregator that pulls mp3?s from the top music blogs…’

        ‘…The list above is from the “popular” list, which is a good snapshot of what is hot in the music blog-sphere…’

        ‘…“We are hunted” tracks the top moving songs across many different social media platforms giving you a snapshot view of “what’s hot” right now…’

        ‘…a lot of people make mini mixes and playlists of music they love in iTunes?…’

        ‘…Here are three killer ways to find out what music is popular in the city you are going to….’

        ‘…Pull up all the most popular tunes from soundcloud in any city using a very easy to use navigation system…’

        ‘…Spotify does a much better job of leveraging social opinion…’

        I don’t know about you Kieran, but to me this screams ‘popularity’ and ‘public opinion’ this is not a tool for individuality or originality. The article is titled ‘how to find new music’ note the ‘new’ its not new if everyone is already listening to it is it?

        • Kieran

          sorry flik, completely agree with your response and will humbly eat my hat.

    • Daryl Fritz

      What advise do you give other artists trying to discover new music? You haven’t provided any concrete examples. Your comment reminds me of the Threadless shirt, “I listen to bands that don’t exist yet”.

      I think Hype Machine is a great source to find music many others haven’t heard yet. Just because something has been posted on a blog and liked by 300 people world-wide, doesn’t make it “the same old crap”

  • Djtom

    IS this DJ Tech tools subtle way of saying. NO MORE “Im new to (insert Genere) and want to know what music to download” posts in the forums???

  • Kechuan

    Great article. Thanks! 🙂

  • Camo HiddenDj

    soundcloud = for new tracks
    mixcloud = for mix tapes…

    you should have listed mixcloud, as it requires you to post a track listing and you can buy the tracks from them.  mixcloud pays royalties so they don’t remove copy-written materials

  • Pol Romeu

    Hi mates,

    Sorry but I really need to know how to see the name of the song that I’m listenning on Disctract every moment. I’ve founded some gold remixes but I can’t find the title or the link to the SoundCloud source.

    Thank you very much!

    • MELLISdesigns

      I am the developer of Disctract, and I am going to put the older version back which displays the name just for you and any others today. I am glad you like the app!

  • Greg

    Beatport <3

  • DJ PC3

    Soundcloud started to remove tracks that were copyrighted material. The same YouTube does… Since I am a hip hop DJ, almost all my tracks have someone else copyright on it.

    What I don’t understand is why SoundCloud cares. They (I) am using it under fair use… no one is make money off my free downloads (not even ads on Soundcloud)… so why they are taking it down is beyond me.

    Therefore I am done w/ using soundcloud I will continue to post mixes on my own site…

    • Dan

      Regardless of if it’s under fairuse, bottom line is you are using tracks that have a copyright. If you are using well known and/or popular music, it is one more thing to drive traffic to that site. It offers people a free way to DL and/or listen to copyrighted material. That drives up traffic, and in turn gives advertisers more incentive to pay the site to buy ad space on the site. Long story short, copyrighted content given away for free can’t be done on a site that is making any money.

      • DJ PC3

        Sorry dude, I’m in law school and that makes absolutely no legal sense. I’m not gonna get into the legal concepts that aren’t enforced or the precedent to support my claim but whay I will say is if there is no direct money being made then Copyright holders can’t have any complaints. 

        And last I checked, there aren’t any ads on SoundCloud. The same as there aren’t any ads on Vimeo; and Vimeo almost never takes anything down for Copyright infringement (thats why most artist who do vlogs, w/ their music but don’t have it cleared from their label, use Vimeo as a platform rather than the much more popular YouTube).

        So I disagree Fair Use does hold legal weight, especially if no ads are being placed on the hosting site. Ownership for ownership sake without damages does not grant the owner remedy to damages, whether equitable or monetary.

  • Stbanas925

    i am now in love with hypemachine!!! thx djtt!!!

  • 4321djgear

    I’m shocked that no one commented on They have a beta for their new site coming soon. So far, its the best in my opinion. Sound quality is top notch. If you want wav instead of MP3 you can do that at beatport. 1:30 song clips goes a long way for me when purchasing new music.

  • Micah

    I’ve already found more great songs to add to my set in the several hours after reading this then I have all month.

  • Guesswhat

    youtube is the best

  • Anonymous

    I created a little feed with DJ remix blogs mentioned on this forum a while back


    I used to research charts first, then call and order from Primal(90’s). So, now I bounce to RA(Resident Advisor) and I will check out some pretty fresh charts from Doc,Radio slave,etc. Then, bounce to internet and start diggin on blogs. Got every track I’ve ever liked.

  • Thewhitedragon

    Music blogs are a great resource. I have my own at

    The reality though is that the best way to find new tracks is plain old hard work. Every Tuesday I head over to Beatport, and look at every new release. I catch all of the major tracks, and find tons of good stuff that nobody else knows about. Sure it’s crude and time consuming, but there’s no other easy to accomplish what I do.

  • Purple Suit

    are online mp3 pools worthwhile to sign up for? places that have all the edits of songs, remixes and acapellas with unlimited downloads for a flat rate per month.

    • Ben Baron

      It totally depends on the kind of gigs you do and what type of music you play. 

      If you need to always have a steady stream of all the latest top 40 songs maybe with instrumentals and acapellas, especially if you are a hip-hop DJ or if you cut up acapellas with say a midi-fighter, a digital record pool is gonna be great for you. 

      Even if you play electronic music, but say in a college town where they like their popular top 40 crap (like I’m in now), a record pool (like that I use) will give you a ton of (in the case of this particular pool) electro house tracks remixed with top 40 vocals from all the latest tunes. I’m in Orlando, and that’s exactly what all these college kids love, so literally one $15/mo subscription and scouting out blogs is all I need to play small venues here near the school.If you’re playing big house clubs where you are not expected to just play the latest top chart tracks, you’re probably going to be relying more heavily on Beatport and sources like that.

  • Anonymous

    Or you can try to snipe a job at a local radio station, I’m on the music review board and we get tons of CDs every week from promoters, usually I get at least one or two decent ones a week.  Just got the U.S. release of Magnetic Man’s album like two weeks ago.

  • Rolf Ski

    Soundcloud should be absolutely on your list but the newest, most fun and most addictive way is:

    This social DJ-ing Facebook app will make you aware tons of great tracks in no time and is also a great way to meet musical like minded people. I’m officially hooked.

    If you’re outside US, use a proxy or VPN service like Hotspot Shield to connect and if you’re into deep disco make sure you visit my room:

  • Andrew da Silva

    Soundcloud and music blogs… they cut through the clutter for me!
    HypeM is ok, I follow all sorts of labels and artists on Facebook & Twitter which retweet or share similar artists.

  • mrtuckshop

    I’d remove Spotify from the list as it’s now become crap – you pretty much have to pay for it. Try Grooveshark instead.

    • Dry Zero

      I think Spotify is awesome, but that is why I pay for a subscription.

  • Pol Romeu

    Q: How can I know the title of what I’m listenning on DISCTRACT?

    Thanks Ean for that post.

    • MELLISdesigns

      I am the developer of Disctract. Clear your cache and revisit the site. You should now have a title bar with the song, artist and genre of the song that is playing. Regards

  • DJHH


  • Anthologic

    FIRST!?! =oD  Thanks for this, I’ll check some of em out.  One of my favorite ways to find new tracks is by following what some of my favorite producer/DJ’s are playing out besides their own music… Especially in dubstep, they often have in their possession rare pre-release dubplates or whitelabels of their own work or other artists.  This gives me early tips of what to keep my eye out for before it’s even released.! ;o) For dubstep fans, is one of THE best place to hear fresh tunes AND they often provide a full track-list of their top performing DJ’s sets!  Ooops I let my secret out the bag. ;o)