Avalon Emerson says digging for new digital music is a “dying pastime”

The Buy Music Club co-founder recently encouraged more DJ-focussed recommendation tools for music browsing

Avalon Emerson / Bandcamp app on iPhone

Jennifer McCord for MusicTech

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Avalon Emerson, electronic music artist and leading member of band The Charm, has recently commended digital music recommendation tools, describing traditional, less time-effective methods as a “dying pastime”.

Emerson, co-founder of Buy Music Club – ‘a place for creating and browsing lists of independent music purchasable on Bandcamp’ – and record label Another Dove, made the observation in a recent interview with Emma Warren for MusicTech.

In it, she spoke about the premise of Buy Music Club, saying that browsing and playlist tools like hers can help DJs navigate an overwhelmingly vast “inescapable black hole” of new music in digital formats. Due to this problem, she says, popular music stores end up highlighting releases on bigger labels, as opposed to those by smaller, more independent artists.

“DJs are some of the last people going out and buying music files. It’s a dying pastime,” Avalon Emerson said in the interview. “The layer of discovering music by recommendation was missing. It’s just hard to find things sometimes. There are tons of people making cool little tools but there’s such an inescapable black hole, gravitational pull, of some of these huge platforms that make you feel like there’s no oxygen left to support anything tiny and cool, like Buy Music Club or even Bandcamp, frankly. And I wish that was different.”

Buy Music Club is a website that lets artists – mostly skewing towards electronic and dance music – curate themed playlists of music with direct links to purchase pages on music store and community Bandcamp. Bandcamp also lets you find music based on specific genres, follow fellow music collectors and see in real-time what they’re purchasing. You can also see real-time purchases around the world by all Bandcamp users.

When Epic Games acquired Bandcamp in April 2022, it promised to “push development forward across Bandcamp, from basics like our album pages, mobile apps, merch tools, payment system, and search and discovery features”. Since then, the store has introduced a new playlist feature to its mobile app. Sadly, not much more progress has been made, and employees at Bandcamp declared that they were unionising in March due to low wages and to achieve greater transparency from the company’s leadership.

Read the full interview via musictech.com, which also covers how Avalon Emerson made her new album, & The Charm, the difference between DJing and playing live, and the benefits of collaboration.

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