A reader of my blog recommended that I take a look at ElectroBel, an underground electronic music community that has not been on my radar before. The community brings artists that create electronic music and listeners together. Artists upload their work to the site where it becomes available to all users who visit the website.
You can listen to each tune online if you want or download it as mp3 to your local system. What is interesting is that songs do get released under a Creative Commons license.
The site offers a fresh interface even though it has not been updated in the last couple of years. The homepage displays a selection of artist suggestions right on the screen, a link to the whole music catalog and a search that you can use to find music of interest.
The music page displays all supported genres and artists that match the genre on the right. A popup opens if you click on a play button here that includes the music player and playlist. You can then use the plus icon to add songs of interest to the playlist.
To download a song of interest click on its title. This opens the song's page on the website offering information about the artist, related songs that may be of interest to you and options to save it as a mp3 file.
Registered members get their own private space on the site and additional rights that enable you to favorite songs, display suggestions on your profile page or participate in the forum.
The website offers however more than just music downloads; Members share information about upcoming concerts, new releases, music production, music hardware and software.
The community is pretty active and you can find lots of royalty free music in the different music categories on Electrobel. Everything is devoted to electronic music of course which means that the dominating genres are Techno, Trance, Electro and variations of that music. They even got a chiptunes category which I remember from the time that I produced some music with my Commodore Amiga for some demos and intros.
So, let me sum it up: Free Music Downloads + Free Music Streams + Royalty Free Music + Great Community = excellent website that gets a recommendation.
Update: Electrobel seems to be thriving. The site hosts more than 20,000 different free tracks online created by more than 6,000 different artists. Listening to tracks online is still free, as is the downloading of music in mp3 format to the local computer.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.