Photo and Feature Photo: Yuliya Libkina

Bored with your music collection? Feeling out of the musical loop? Matador Editor-At-Large and globetrotting music journalist Paul Sullivan offers us fifty music sites that offer some of the best and most up-to-date sounds on the planet.

Whether you dig the Spice Girls, The Strokes or Stockhausen, you’re bound to find something here. If not, just try one of the streaming / aggregate sites like Spotify or We7 for even more suggestions.

20 Jazz Funk Greats

Psychedelic disco, progressive, general freaky stuff.

Absolute Punk

Former Blink 182 fansite now ground zero for emo, punk and indie.

Aquarium Drunkard

Justin Gage bridges the gap between contemporary indie, vintage garage, psych, folk, country – and a bit of New Orleans funk, r&b and soul.


Every genre imaginable covered by the UK’s “Auntie Beeb”.

Beat Electric

Specialising in boogie, rare disco, laser soul and proto house

Black Cab Sessions

A new “gig” each week – all performed in the back of a London black cab.

Black Classical

Jazz, funk and soul rarities with occasional great playlists/mixes.


Grime and dubstep covered in a consistently reliable fashion.

Brooklyn Vegan

This NYC blog is international in scope, with news, show reviews, tour dates and MP3s.

City sounds

A mash-up of Flickr and SoundCloud and a device that lets users post their own songs makes for truly global listening.

Classical Archives

Browse by composer, performer, period, even instrument plus download MP3s and create online playlists.

Closet Curios

Three writers covering modern composers and early electronic music.

Cocaine Blunts

All things hip hop, from Roc Raida to Lil Wayne.

Cyclic Defrost

Electronic music, avant-rock, experimental sound art and leftfield hip hop.


No songs from recorded works here, but exclusive, re-worked, alternate versions of old songs and unreleased tracks by bands.

Dereks Daily 45

Think rare American and Northern Soul. Lots of it.

Donna Slut

Totally random, always fun. Click on some artwork and see what happens!

Drowned In Sound

A revered British resource for all things indie-rock related and beyond.


Going since 2003, FACT is bursting at the seams with incredible dance music. Their free mixes are some of the best out there.


Matthew Perpetua has been posting MP3s nearly every day since 2002. He knows his onions.

Freshly Served Hip Hop

Old skool, new skool, true skool. Plus mixtapes.

Good Bad Music

Interesting and obscure early punk tracks ripped from the original vinyl.

Gorilla vs. Bear

Once described as “the New Yorker of hipster blogs,” these guys blog about relevant artists of the day, with no particular genre-specific focus.


Dedicated coverage of dancehall reggae, bashment and Caribbean rave.

Hype Machine

The Hype Machine is an aggregator that keeps track of what music bloggers are writing about and handpicking the best.

I Guess I’m Floating

Highly lauded site for under-the-radar bands.

Type in your fave artist and will stream free music by that act and others like it.

The Love Unlimited

A collective-run site covering all things disco and house related.


Experimental, electronic, avant-garde sounds.


Comprised of various renowned bloggers, this is the blog equivalent of a supergroup.


Boston-based site that runs great concert reviews from all over the world.


Browse what’s happening in every corner of the planet via continent, or genre.

Music For Robots

Minimal techno, indie rock, post-punk and hip-hop covered by a handful of contributors.

National Geographic Music

The musical branch of the lauded magazine. As global as you’d expect.

The Needle Drop

Rock, pop, electronic and experimental, with daily Youtube updates, podcasts, radio and blog posts.


Bootleg recordings of shows by the likes of Yo La Tengo and more, all posted with the artist’s permission.

Orgy In Rhythm

Multiple bloggers writing about old and rare jazz, afro and Latin albums.

Pitchfork Media

What to say? Increasingly dissed, Pitchfork still delivers on many levels.

Pretty Much Amazing

Daily mp3 updates, podcasts, mixtapes covering everything from LCD Soundsystem to Vampire Weekend.


Mostly mainstream pop, but famously tongue in cheek.

The Quietus
Rock, pop and so much more. One of the UK’s best new music blogs.

Resident Advisor

Alongside FACT, RA is one of the most reliable sources for electronic grooves.

Said The Gramophone

One of the world’s very first MP3blogs. Posts “really good songs” daily.

Slutty Fringe

Lots of hot electronic music of the dancefloor variety as well as the odd yacht rock tune.

Smithsonian Global Sound

A treasure trove of ethnological recordings and an incredible resource for world-music fans. Everything from Indian ragas to throat singing bands (plus or Alan Lomax’s field recordings of American folk artists).

Scads of soulful rarities and hip hop from professor and journalist Oliver Wang.


Streaming access to a mindblowing amount of music, all legal and all without charge (though with ads).


Lots of news and MP3s on music of all kinds, from Phoenix to Devendra Banhart.


Nearly four million tracks. Allows you to stream, compile playlists and send recs to friends. Plus no registration!

You And Me On Jamboree

Old School Jamaican Music: Ska, Rocksteady, Early Reggae, Calypso, Dub, Soul and some Roots Reggae.

Community Connection

Interested in the connection between music and travel? Hop on over to BraveNewTraveler and have a look at 8 Reasons We Love Music on the Journey.

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