The download revolution has seen so many false starts. I remember doing an article for Was Ist Das? v1.0 about six years ago that reviewed all the legal options and now most of the sites I listed don't even exist anymore. iTunes continues to dominate despite being a beast to use on a PC, mostly protected files that take up way to much space on your mp3 player and continues to offer the smelly brown end of the stick to the artist.
Spotify seemed like a new dawn but with new regulations and restrictions for non-paying users, their sun may be setting
The digital revolution continues and the results are still unwritten. However, one clear contender is currently asserting itself: bandcamp
The simple beauty of it is that it is just a service that artists sign up for. Creating your own bandcamp page is as easy as setting yourself up on facebook. There seems to be plenty of flexibility on layout too as every artists bandcamp page I've seen looks different but neat, user-friendly and accessible. It's a website the artist can use to sell you their mp3s directly.Artists use it to sell physical releases too, getting a download included in the purchase too for good measure.
For the punter, you get unencoded, unprotected music. You can get it as high quality 320k mp3 or as flacs (if you're a digital snob or tech-head or planning to burn to CD) or all kind of formats.
The site is also extremely good for streaming releases, as opposed to building random playlists.
It is simple. It is direct. It is fair.
For now, it's the horse we're backing.
You can just go to http://www.bandcamp.com and use their search facility but here I've rounded up some favourites, top tips & friends:
Andrew Liles is an enthusiastic supporter of the medium with a lot of hard-to-find releases and some exclusive new mixes made for headphones: http://andrewliles.bandcamp.com/
Hush Arbors have a treasure trove of rarities and exclusives on theirs: http://hush-arbors.bandcamp.com
Listening Mirror has a full discography available, most of it long sold out: http://listening-mirror.bandcamp.com
Dead Sea Apes are a new band endorsed by us & Damo Suzuki: http://deadseaapes.bandcamp.com/
Nils Quak is an experimental composer/producer: http://nqmusic.bandcamp.com/
irr app ext has plenty of deleted releases & the odd exclusive: http://irrappext.bandcamp.com/
The Kremlin are skull-crushing speed punk metal: http://thekremlin.bandcamp.com/
Faceless lazers are a new psyche rock band: http://facelesslazers1.bandcamp.com/
Clem Leek has his full discography: http://clemleek.bandcamp.com/
Haruki has an extensive selection: http://haruki9.bandcamp.com/
Will start up a special selection on our links page soon just for bandcamp links