Top 100 Influential Music Sites in the World

Welcome to the latest edition of the Style of Sound 100, a compendium of the most influential music sites in the world.

In this update, you’ll find plenty of household names as well as a few new comers who have inched their way into the list.

Recently, we’ve seen quite a few sites attempt to mimic the Style of Sound 100, but to be frank, their lists don’t really reflect reader engagement and instead rely on stats like site visits, Facebook followers and other vanity metrics which are quite easy to game.

Over the last five years we’ve fine tuned our methodology, using tools which accurately measure the total annual number of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Linkedin shares generated from each music sites’ overall editorial coverage.

When music fans regularly share a site’s content over and over again, the more influential it becomes, helping the site become ubiquitous – and trusted – through what are essentially word of mouth recommendations.

To secure a spot in the SOS 100, a site’s overall content will have had to generate at least 242,500 shares over the year.

Whilst our method is by no means not 100% fool proof, it is currently the best measure of global music influence to date.

Who’s included in the SOS 100?

  • Online publications focusing primarily on music reportage
  • Sites which have regularly published content over the last 12 months (from April 2016 – April 2017)

Who’s not included?

  • Lifestyle magazines, radio stations, TV sites, newspapers, forums, online boards, and music aggregator sites (however there are a few exceptional cases which made the list that break this rule)
  • Online music shops and streaming music services
  • Anyone who’s been a fuckwit about this list 😉

The Bug vs Earth: Concrete Desert

Concrete Desert Sounds like

Album Description

Like master painters exploring a subject over a lifetime’s work, Kevin Martin and Dylan Carlson – The Bug and Earth, respectively – have each been mining and defining their genres for more than 20 years. They’re united by an interest in – really an obsession with – heaviness. They search for, examine and break the boundaries between beautiful and ugly, minimal and maximal, light and dark – but The Bug and Earth always make music that is heavy in the most thrilling of ways.

Earth, and its founding member Carlson, first appeared in the early ’90s, and came to prominence with their Sub Pop release “Earth 2”. An exercise in SLOW distorted droning minimalist riffage, their debut was the blueprint for what Dylan coined at the time “ambient metal,”– a style still being pushed forward on his latest Southern Lord release “Primitive And Deadly.”

Kevin Martin’s career spans the same timeframe. Techno Animal, Ice, God, Razor X, King Midas Sound, and of course the The Bug moniker. All of which explore(d) the fringes of experimental and heavy music. With his recently released “Angels & Devils” LP receiving high praise across the board, he once again put his sonic stamp on the here and now with his collaborators Liz Harris (of Grouper), copeland, Miss Red, Gonjasufi, Flowdan, Death Grips, Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu), and Warrior Queen.

These two uncompromising outsiders met via the visual artist Simon Fowler (Angels & Devils.) Simon arranged for Dylan to come to a King Midas Sound gig, but Martin’s trademark use of a powerful strobe light meant that the epileptic Carlson couldn’t enter the room. Undeterred, Carlson featured King Midas Sound’s music in a podcast, and the pair eventually decided to collaborate around “Angels & Devils.”

The anglophile Carlson had long admired Martin, and other British sonic experimenters like Spacemen 3 or Pentangle. In turn, Martin understood the genius in Carlson’s deconstruction of metal, and Earth’s boiling down of the genre to its core, elemental riffs. Martin saw that he and Dylan were both “wanderers,” and “misfits in the world we live in.” They were both huge fans of dub and the Velvet Underground, and they discussed how those influences could provide a combined template for something entirely new.

When they finally began to record, it quickly became apparent that the music they made together needed room to stretch out and “drone,”– to be its own thing. Two tracks eventually emerged, “Boa”&”Cold,” and were released as a standalone EP, with Dylan’s signature guitar sound weaving seamlessly around some of Kevin’s most destructively heady bass explorations. Martin had decided to exclude those songs from ‘Angels & Devils’, as he felt “They had developed a singular life of their own, outside of the identity of that album.”

Ninja Tune asked The Bug and Dylan Carlson to perform live in LA around the label’s 25th anniversary, and Martin and Carlson took the opportunity to further the recording project in person. So The Bug vs Earth project holed up in Daddy Kev’s legendary LA studio, with DJ Nobody engineering, for two very long days. Those recording sessions have resulted in the masterpiece that is “Concrete Desert.” Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s urban dystopias, and the Californian dream capital’s sordid, fragmented underbelly, Martin says that the album is in some ways a Los Angeles-set companion piece to “London Zoo.”

The record’s beautiful, chiming melodies are like shards of sonic light, glowing in currents of heavy bass darkness. There are pulsing soundscapes, ambient pinks and whites, and irresistible grooves. This is music that grips you entirely, and catches you in its lava-flow – an astonishing, primal album of vast depth.

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com

Bonobo: Migration

Migration Sounds like

Album Description

New music from Simon Green aka Bonobo is always an event, but when it heralds the arrival of a whole new album (his first since 2013’s “The North Borders”), it’s really something to get excited about. The masterful, magisterial “Migration” is Green’s sixth album and it’s a record which cements his place in the very highest echelons of electronic music and beyond.

Lead track ‘Kerala’ was the first track Green recorded for the new record, putting together a rough version of it on the tour bus while DJing across the States in 2014. It’s both a classic piece of Bonobo music and a development, all arpeggiated, twisted, layered strings and shuffling dancefloor rhythm. The music gradually builds until his introduction of a sample from RnB singer Brandy, itself cut up and dealt with as a further texture, with the whole sitting in a sweet spot of uplifting euphoria that he’s so adept at finding. The hypnotic video (also released today), has been directed by Bison (Jon Hopkins/London Grammar/ Rosie Lowe). It compliments the shuffling arpeggios and beats perfectly by creating staggered loop effects where the lead Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace/Inside No. 9) battles through a mysterious, distorted reality with a meteor flying overhead.

In particular, there is a theme on the upcoming album of migration, eruditely put by Green as “The study of people and spaces,” he expands, “It’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and affect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.”

Indeed there is a “transitory nature” to the album, not only through its themes, but also through its guests and found sounds. Michael Milosh, from the LA group Rhye, for instance, is originally from Canada and recorded his affecting vocal on ‘Break Apart’ in a hotel room in Berlin. Green, meanwhile built the structure of the track during a transatlantic flight. Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker), on the other hand, is from Australia, but a shared love of disco brought the pair together for the hugely emotive ‘No Reason’. Nicole Miglis of Hundred Waters, originally from Florida, delivers a superbly understated vocal for the glistening textures of ‘Surface’, while Moroccan band Innov Gnawa, based in New York, provide the vocals, on ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’. Additionally, Green has used a sampler (“but not in a big boomer, wearing a cagoule kind of way.”) and woven found sounds such as an elevator in Hong Kong airport, rain in Seattle, a tumble dryer in Atlanta and a fan boat engine in New Orleans into his intricate sonics.

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com

Teen Daze – Themes for Dying Earth

Themes for Dying Earth Sounds like

Album Description

Teen Daze (Jamison Isaak) is a British-Columbia based artist and producer. He released his fifth LP Themes For Dying Earth on February 10th through his new label, FLORA.

After last year’s foray into vibrant indie-pop, Themes finds Teen Daze returning to more ambient, electronic production with new insight: “I learned so much from the experience making Morning World, it would be a step backwards if I didn’t apply it.” This comes through in songs like “Lost”, “Rising” and the first single, “Cycle”, which fuse the synthesized sound of early Teen Daze records with the live energy of his more recent works. Themes is also distinct in its collaborative nature. Jamison has worked with other artists in the past, but never to this degree and expanse: “Making the last record alongside other people helped me realize that inviting additional minds to the creative process brings out the best in me.”

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com

Moiré: No Future

No Future Sounds like

Album Description

When Moiré decided to call his second album No Future, he wasn’t trying to make a political statement so much as state the obvious: If humanity keeps heading down the hateful path outlined by certain right-wing political figures and recent political events, we might as well hit the nearest self-destruct button.

“It’s not just about the West, either,” explains the London-based producer. “It’s the way the whole world thinks. It’s almost like we’re in this mad cycle. In a way, we have no choice—we either adapt to the situation or we’re dead. That’s it.”

Today’s musicians are faced with a similar now-or-never situation: they can either experiment and evolve or get brushed aside by the Next Big Thing in an industry that’s as flippant and fickle as it’s ever been. Moiré welcomes this challenge with a record that’s avant-garde and accessible, possessing a punk spirit without stealing its sound wholesale. No Future builds its story on the back of halogen-lit hooks and left-field dance loops instead, leaving a trail of breadcrumb-y beats for guest vocalists like MC DRS (a longtime collaborator of LTJ Bukem) and post-grime poet James Massiah. They both tackled the album’s loose themes without being told about them beforehand. They simply got it. Immediately.

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com

Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage

Reassemblage Sounds like

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Album Description

Reassemblage is the second studio album of Portland, Oregon duo Visible Cloaks, consisting of musicians Spencer Doran and Ryan Carlile. The record is named after Trinh T. Minh-ha’s 1982 documentary film of the same name, since both works observe its subject matter without showing meaning to it. Reassemblage departs from Doran’s past hip-hop releases for a more high-quality style inspired by the works of Japanese synthesizer music acts such as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Ryuichi Sakamoto, all of which were featured on Doran’s 2010 mix Fairlights, Mallets & Bamboo.

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com

Matthew Dear: DJ Kicks

Matthew Dear’s DJ Kicks Sounds like

Album Description

A man of many musical hats, Texas born, Detroit raised Matthew Dear has a wide reaching discography that takes in face melting techno as Jabberjaw, dark avant-pop under his own name and intricate minimal as Audion. Often with a gothic slant and full of curiousness, his pensive but playful music is an intoxicating distillation of many different influences, often with his own stylized vocals at the center.

“There are snippets of friends and family strewn throughout the mix. A lot of the vocal interludes you hear are from a portable recorder I’ve carried with me over the years.”

As co-founder of both Ghostly International and Spectral Sound, Dear has also been responsible for some of the underground scene’s most exciting new music, plenty of which appears here. Now more than 15 years, five albums and 20 EPs into his esteemed and always evolving career, Dear is exactly the sort of fascinating character that makes the very personal DJ-Kicks series so special.

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com

The XX: I See You

I See You Sounds like

Album Description

I See You is the third studio album by English indie pop band the xx. It was released worldwide on 13 January 2017 through the Young Turks label. It is the follow-up to Coexist, and is their first release in more than four years.

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com

Kelly Lee Owens: Kelly Lee Owens

Kelly Lee Owens Sounds like

Album Description

Even in the increasingly crowded field of electronic music, Kelly Lee Owens’ debut album arrives as a wonderful surprise. An album that bridges the gaps between cavernous techno, spectral pop, and krautrock’s mechanical pulse, ‘Kelly Lee Owens’ brims with exploratory wonder, establishing a personal aesthetic that is as beguiling as it is thrillingly familiar.

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com

Throwing Snow: Embers

Embers Sounds like

Album Description

‘Embers’, the new album from Ross Tones aka Throwing Snow, is a conceptually imaginative and musically atmospheric recording that draws stimulus from laws and patterns of the natural world. Excelling creatively from the freedom and restrictions of applying aspects of these elements, ‘Embers emerges vividly from the processes employed in its creation.

DISCLAIMER: While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this page, the Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of this information and any damages or costs incurred by that. The Style of Sound does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are completely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. The Style of Sound does not assume any responsibility or liability whatsoever for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment and use this information at your own risk. Please contact us with any questions or queries about the content on this page. ©2017 by Style of Sound. All Rights Reserved. https://styleofsound.com