These are sites where I’ve downloaded music lately – mostly mixes, but also some individual songs, etc. Plus, I have a few comments…
1. Beats Without Borders – I’ve talked about this one a few times – a good Canadian site, run by a small group of DJs who’ve done a number of other interesting things too (like hold benefits and festivals, participate in performing electronic music groups, etc.). There are some good MP3s for listening and downloading over in the “Multimedia” section, as well as in the individual DJs’ sections (which you won’t discover unless you click their pictures on the left side of the site).
I just downloaded Tarun and Lady Ra’s Diwali mix (live!), which is a clubby mix of bhangra with dancehall, etc. (familiar combinations at this point, but still good to hear). I also downloaded something that I like even more, Lady Ra’s own MasalaSonica mix. This is more of a “chillout” mix at times, but otherwise it’s quite danceable. It’s got some Indian and Arabic electronica (yep, Cheb i Sabbah is in there), some trancey, psychedelic music, some jungle, and even political commentary. Altogether, I think this is very good.
2. World Beat DJ, Lady Ra – The Lady Ra mix that I just mentioned is located at the Beats Without Borders site, but I didn’t get to it from there; I got to it from here. This site says it’s “in progress,” which I hope is the case, because it would be nice to see more things on here. In other words, there isn’t a whole lot here right now, but it looks promising.
3. Indian Electronica – This is a site that focuses extensively on just what it says – a broad genre of music that I’ve been listening to quite a lot over the past 10 or even 15 years. I’ve found lots of old favorites in these mixes, and some new music, and some interesting remixes of old favorite stuff. Although I have some quibbles with Indian Electronica… All of the mixes that we can dowload come from an Internet radio show of sorts, replete with an announcer who I think announces a bit too much, and all of them have an opening theme that I find very annoying. But I’m not as bothered by all of that as I was by the confusing listing/organizing/scheduling of their festival in New York City a few months ago, and my inability to buy a CD at an event where I was supposed to be able to buy it. (Long story – probably not worth typing here.) Plus, much of this festival was scheduled at an impossible time (for day workers or midnight shift workers), a Thursday very late at night. (And I thought at first that it went on through Friday, but Friday was just some boring cocktail party in a museum.) Anyway, I was so annoyed by this sequence of events that I took their site off my blogroll for a while. But, of course, that’s a dumb reason to take off a site that really is a great resource. So I strongly recommend it, especially the podcasts. My favorite shows of late were #9 and #13. (Just go to the podcast site and you’ll find them – though be forewarned, these pages take a very long time to upload, because the site itself is kind of slow and sometimes gets a little screwy technically, at least on my computer. Why am I not surprised?).
4. Eastern Eye – A nice and simple site – just someone who’s digitized and downloaded a bunch of old Bollywood albums from his record collection. A lot of this stuff comes from the late ’70s and early ’80s and sometimes it veers a bit much into kitsch. But there’s great music here too, with some really fine playback singers such as Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar; and lots of compositions by R.D. Bruman, among others. (There’s an interesting song here composed by Bappi Lahiri – reminds me a bit of a more famous song he wrote called “Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja.”)