Discogs is a great music database and community.

You know about Discogs.com right? It’s a detailed online database of music releases. The best part of the site is the fact that it’s user driven. Anyone can join and add a release to the database. The input system is detailed so releases on the site are complete with information including artwork, liner notes and related links. All the data is moderated and voted upon keeping things tidy. There is also a comment system where you can review releases and add artist and record label blurbs. For example, Frankie Bones wrote the following about my label, “Things To Come does exactly what the name suggests, and that gives the future something to look forward for…..” (Thanks Frankie!).

If you visit the site you will see multiple pages for what seem like the same release. However, if you look closely they will be different somehow, either being on different labels, or having different remixes, artwork, something. This is great as I often check to see if there was a bootleg of one of my releases or another label somewhere in the world released something of mine without permission. Over the years I have found quite a few unauthorized 12 inches!

Discogs, short for discographies, is a website and database of information about music recordings, including commercial releases, promotional releases, and certain bootleg or off-label releases. The Discogs servers, currently hosted under the domain name discogs.com, are owned by Zink Media, Inc., and are located in Portland, Oregon, USA. Discogs is one of the largest online databases of electronic music releases and is believed to be the largest online database of releases on vinyl media. Across all genres and formats, over 1,019,000 releases are catalogued. It also features listings for over 874,000 artists and over 87,500 labels. The site has around 200,000 visitors a day. – Wikipedia

Discogs is also the best place to buy and sell vinyl. They have a good working system called the “Marketplace“. Most of my friends tell me it’s better to sell records on Discogs than on eBay. Your user profile can have a a wish list, list of things your selling and even a list of records in your collection.

One thing I am looking for is the ability to embed the my own label’s Discogs page and releases into my own website. I see that Discogs has an API. Does anyone know how to do this? As of today I maintain my own database but it’s a pain to keep up especially considering there is already a great one auto updating on DIscogs. How about a Discogs widget? I would love to have one that displayed all my releases that I could put on my MySpace or Facebook page. Please let me know in the comments if these things exist.

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

6 thoughts on “Discogs is a great music database and community.”

  1. yeh – I can spend hours scouring through Discogs, I fint it especially interesting for debunking (or proving) certain myths about certain artists or 12″‘s (mainly from 90-94) which myself and my friends were into. Back in the day when you HAD to buy the vinyl to get decent stuff (the only other options was mix tapes, but obviously the sound was inferior etc.), a rich tapestry of myths developed themselves about certain dance/hardcore artists or releases, due to the ‘Faceless Techno Bollocks’ (to quote the late, great Caspar Pound) element of music being released on vinyl with often no covers per se, or most of the time the labels design being the only visual representation of the artist (XL Recordings for example with their lovely big silver X, or the chilly techno look of Harthouse (usually imported through Rising High)). You couldnt just do a Google image search back then or wiki from your iPhone :p.

    anyway I’ll stop rambling, but in short Discogs has made me seek out music that was very hard to find in Ireland back then (and to be honest it would have been hard to find out the names of the artists who made it). Belgian New Beat is an example in point. I had often heard the word bandied around in magazines, but to be honest I had never heard something that I could unequivocally say was from that scene. I had always suspected that Frank De Wulf, who I knew from Set Up System remixes was supposed to sound like it (or come from it) I wasnt sure at the time. and that Cubic 22’s b sides (which I liked very much with their industrial/ambient feel) were supposed to be it, and also that XL Recordings: The Second Chapter had elements (or echoes) of it in some of its tracks. However I didnt realise that some other records I had were also affiliated (or descended from) people/artists of Belgian New Beat. These in particular:




    in fact I didnt even figure out that MNO, Lords Of Acid and Praga Khan were pretty much the same people eheh (which I should have really seems as how they seemed to be having a remix each other orgy :D )

    Anywayz to cut my extremely long (and ongoing) story short, Discogs has helped me join a lot of dots in the patchwork of my blurry memories of electronic hard music at the time, and has made me find many songs from that period which I otherwise never would have heard – (in particular http://www.discogs.com/release/62383 and http://www.discogs.com/release/56196 ).

    Sorry for the extremely long comment, but Discogs is brilliant – you can make your own list of what vinyl you have too – here’s mine so far:


  2. Hello baphomet_irl! Thanks for the great comment. You illustrate the importance of Discogs. How it really has become the defacto authority and resource. I have a few hundred New Beat 12″s in storage and I am beginning to realize they are the most rare things in my own collection. Unfortunately my storage space is in NY and not Berlin! I need to figure out a way to go through everything, make it all digital and make my own discogs list!

    Your links and talk about New Beat lead me here:

  3. cool thats a good link – I should join some of those groups – lots of songs ive never heard of there :D

    yeh ive been intending to buy some vinyl through discogs for a long time, but I havent yet (funding issues (and audio software/hardware too i spose ;) ). Im deffo going to try to get a New Beat collection together as I like it because you can definitely still hear industrial/EBM roots in it (I think), and I also think it is not as appreciated in circles of ‘pure’ dance fans. I do think that in the harder forms of 4-4 based music and even some of the supposed more ‘purist’ forms of techno that were made in europe, people tend to gloss over any influence from that whole Belgian influence. People always jump straight to (no offence) Chicago and Detroit. I do obviously believe there influence is EXTREMELY important, but in terms of hardness some of those new beat records were definitely influential. I also have a (probably controversial) theory eheh that even the whole hoovery/pitch bending sawtooths/Alpha Juno type R&S noise is directly influenced by some of the less acidic, more technoey ‘hardbeat’ type songs, which seemed to be wobbling the pitch bend like an 8 bit sports game. I am of course speaking of Second Phase (Beltram) and Mentasm. My (admittedly small) piece of direct evidence of Beltram being influenced by it is that I’m pretty sure the ‘Ecstacy’ in Energy Flash is sampled from 101 – ‘Rock To The Beat’.

    yes I have been meaning to rip a lot of my vinyl to my HD as I recently got one of these which I like very much – although I can’t put the 12″s on at +8 like I might have when I were a young one:


    the sound is beautiful, but to be honest Im usually too lazy to use it these days :0 ;)

  4. I’m addicted to discogs. I’ve been using it for years and still need to finish putting my collection on it but it’s amazing for putting the pieces together for music. It helps to bridge my collection together. Find the interconnecting things that hold the music that I buy together. I still only use vinyl for djing and this site helps me stay ahead by keeping me informed of the details of what I’m investing in.

  5. Hi Earpick. In general I like to keep this site all things pro-audio, electronic music, web 2.0 music related. I think Discogs fits in that discussion. Thanks for visiting and joining in the conversation!

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