Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SoundCloud Track Finder

Let me give you some background. The majority of my material used in my DJ sets is purchased on Beatport. As a Bedroom DJ or music enthusiast, this can quickly turn into a very expensive hobby. Sure there are music pools I could join. Yet music pools can be sketchy or simply doesn't have what I'm looking for. What I never recommend is torrenting or unauthorized downloading. It really hurts the artists who make such great music and make a living and use it to put bread on the table and pay rent. Luckily, there are many artists and labels that provide free tracks for us to discover and enjoy. Enter SoundCloud where are artist provide free music, free as in gratis, not libre (although you could search for creative commons material too). SoundCloud has become very popular with it's easy discovery, sharing, and music playback. Despite SoundCloud's fantastic interface discovering new samples and material can still be very time consuming. Thankfully, SoundCloud has an application programming interface (API). I decided one Sunday with encouragement and support from my girlfriend to fire up my Ubuntu virtual machine and write some code. It took me a while, but it turned out to be a great learning exercise for Python. Something I've been meaning to do for years. While it's simple, and a long way from being finished. Eventually, I plan on making a full working web interface with drop down menus and an integrated player. Here's what I have so far. Feel free to drop a comment for any questions on actually getting this to work or interests in it's further development. Here's a screen shot.

Sample Code explained:

1) Logins into SoundCloud with a Developer app Credentials (I removed my login information for security purposes, feel free to register for your own credentials)
2) Display who is logged in as.
3) Search:

  • Genre: Ambient
  • Return 50 Results
  • Track is set to Downloadable (Determined by artist)
  • Tracks between 3-10 minutes (In order to eliminate DJ sets, podcasts, and previews)
  • Playback Over 250 in order to find popular tracks worth listening to.
4) Catch any errors and move on 
5) Display the Results

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Track Preview: Far East Movement & Sidney Samson - Bang It To The Curb (Bighouse Edit)

The crossover between Electro House and Southern Hip Hop is nothing new, but the 2010 decade has ushered in a new genre of EDM Trap music that continues to encourage booty shaking on the dance floor. For some producers the genre was an experimental phase, for DJ Bighouse however, it is a lifestyle.

Independent artist DJ Bighouse is no exception to the Trap genre. Dedicated to a career of spinning records and producing new tracks at a dizzying rate, the South Bend, Indiana native delivers a new remix with Far East Movement & Sidney Samson's latest release, Bang It To The Curb. The original mix, delivers a thick 808 bass and heavy synths. Simple and effective, yet there seemed something was missing that I couldn't exactly pin down. DJ Bighouse made it clear when he saw the opportunity for a new arrangement . The marimba intro was extended to around 30 seconds and he layered it with a nice snare. Pointing out the obvious of a short 10 second long intro in the original mix. What really makes this edit shine is how DJ Bighouse inserts his breakdowns.  Breaking up the loop in this manner effectively builds up anticipation. This resulted into a higher energy level and making Bang It To the Curb on the shortlist of club ready tracks.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Track Review: Gai Barone - Half Tower

What makes Progressive House unique? How do I know when I've discovered it? More on that in just a minute. During one of my ritual music discovery days, I came upon a preview sample of Gai Barone's latest release. Four seconds into the sample, it was an instant buy, no second thoughts, just an immediate click 'add to cart', and move on. Half Tower was released with Voices in my Head as a two track E.P. on December 2, 2013 by the Berlin based, Afterglow Records. Known for it's roster of Trance and Progressive house artists, becoming a seminal release. 

Progressive House in 2013 has come in such a wide variety it's very identity becomes confusing.
Many track releases under the Progressive House genre tag could be equally considered (at this time of writing) on one end, mainstream Electro House or Trance music at the other end, respectively. For myself, Progressive House should fall somewhere neatly in between. Without extreme leanings to towards either/or of the sub-genre spectrum. 

Half Tower has some of the best elements of Tech-House, a rhythmic polished bass beat that rolls nicely around 60 Hz, a well mastered snare with reverb, and clean but not over powered hi-hats. Gai added his signature layered complexity with a Conga drum that gives Half Tower it's rhythmic depth. Gradually, a nice harmonic synth flows gently with the rhythm and Gai layers in some subtle arpeggio plucks. What makes this track unique was Gai Barone's fantastic breakdown. The melody enters with a string like synth. Gai's classical music influences were wonderfully showing, as it became clear of brilliant melody arrangement. After the breakdown the beat was dropped like smooth Techno. Silky, Deep, Techy, and with a melodious synth that harmonizes; this is what Progressive House should be.