Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, DJs and Producers, pirates and consumers. If you’ve been chilling on Crossfadr, you’ve probably seen my articles here and there with some quirky statements and eye opening facts. As a journalist/producer/DJ I like to try out and experience everything I can, within reason, so I can live my life to the fullest. There’s so much going on around us and we have so many choices and options to take in each step of our lives. So today I’m going to continue on with my “Experience” series and delve deep into “Stompy,” the digital music site that is slowly gaining momentum in the EDM world.
Regardless of what I say and what I feel about certain sites, I always recommend you try them out anyways. You don’t have to necessarily buy something but just browse around and see if anything catches your eye. My opinions, while honest, can be biased at times because I am human and I already have preferences in my mind in reference to what I want from a service or a site. That may not be everyone’s standard and that’s totally fine. I just want people to definitely know that every site I review is worth a shot and who knows…you might find something I missed that really rocks your mind.
A Little History
Okay so I won’t throw anymore boring, heartfelt, and precautionary words out there since I think I might be starting to make you guys nauseous. So why don’t I jump into some Stompy knowledge (cue clapping.) Stompy headquarters is located in beautiful San Fransico, California, which is very close to the city Oakland, California, where I was born and raised. It was founded by two individuals, Preston Lytton and Jonny Phelps, both of whom love great electronic music. Before Stompy became an internet based digital music site it was mainly used to promote various club nights in the bay area. See Lytton and Phelps were knee deep in the electronic scene and together they threw down some of the hottest club nights in the area. They coordinated legendary parties that garnered tons of attention and ultimately brought the face of House music smack dab into liberal California. Remember before then House Music was confined to Chicago, Miami, and NYC.
As the success of the two buddies spread, they decided to take a step towards becoming digital. Around 2003/2004 Stompy began to offer digital music, with House being the sole driving force. Instead of blowing up the television with cheesy ads that made no sense, Lytton and Phelps took it a step further. They toured and brought along their software and engines so people could check out Stompy online whilst hearing said tracks in the club. It was a brilliant marketing tool and it ultimately created the buzz for the business.
Website Layout and Functions
So now that you know a bit of history let’s check out the site itself. Stompy went through a lot of changes over the years. In fact, around the year 2000, the site was nothing more than a glorified flyer used to advertise club nights and other parties in the local area. It wasn’t until late 2003 into early 2004 that we began to see a somewhat shop-like configuration for the website.
Now the website back then wasn’t something really hot or beautiful. It was like the rest of the sites online at the time…very basic but with some personification to keep it from being totally blasé. You had your sparkling disco ball rotating on the left side of the page with artist and label spotlights on the right. Everything was pretty labeled correctly with no major color clashes that distracted from reviewing certain material. Overall it wasn’t the best site but its layout was effective for moving around and exploring.
Fast forward to present day and let’s check out Stompy site again. Big changes! Now we start to see vibrant colors that reach out to us without blinding us. This is important because nobody wants to be overloaded with images when the page finally boots up. I believe Stompy has found the balance because I’m drawn to the site but I don’t feel like I’m going to get sick because of too many flashes or crazy sounds. It’s mellow and it works.
Plus, Stompy has some pretty useful links on their sites. Besides the usual links to the music they offer, I also saw links to beat makers, artist spotlights, label spotlights, questions/concerns, Youtube Videos and interviews. In essence you get your standard set-up plus a more in depth look at the people who provide us with some great music. The best part was the fact that some of the labels and artists in question weren’t even hugely famous. They were just regular men and women who enjoyed the art, perfected it to some degree, and made a small dent in the House community. Any site that contributes to the underground scene is definitely something worth checking out.
This is the part where everyone decides right then and there that this may or may not be their choice place to purchase tracks. With that said…I’m digging Stompy’s approach to music on their site. I didn’t have to do much to get what I wanted and I enjoyed what I got. See Stompy caters to great House music but it isn’t all main-stream. In fact, if you’re a mainstream headliner type of person…you might not enjoy this site. I didn’t see Deadmau5 or Guetta thrown up every five seconds like they were some type of EDM American Eagle models. Nor did I see Tiesto’s face on every promotional item. This made me smile…in fact…I think I didn’t stop smiling throughout my entire time on that site.
See Stompy isn’t relying on big name artists to sell their music for them. When you deal with sites like Beatport and DJ Tunes you are constantly thrown these huge people who have literally over flooded the market with their sound. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s also not the best approach. Sometimes the visitors need to figure out for themselves what they like. It’s easy to get pressured into liking a certain sound because that’s the IN thing, but perhaps there are greater sounds out there that tend to get overlooked or overshadowed by their massive counterparts.
The whole idea behind EDM music is that underground sound that you don’t often hear in the clubs or on the radio. You might only find that sound in the middle of a corn field raving like you just don’t care. You might only find that sound twenty feet below ground sweating in a room packed with the most bass crunching speakers you’ve ever heard. Its new, it’s exciting, you’ll get pumped when you hear it and you’ll leave with an experience that you may never forget.
So with that in mind I was stoked when I browsed through the hottest singles on the site. I enjoyed getting a taste of deep house, funk, electro, minimal, tribal, disco, soulful, broken beat, and down tempo. I’m not a fan of the short preview time you get to try out tracks but I do like the pricing range which falls anywhere from 1.49-3.00+ depending on exclusivity of the track. Check-out was pretty easy with most major credit cards being accepted; although that stupid charge most sites tack on for buying less than $10.00 worth of music is bugging me. However, not openly accusing me of being a diabolical online pirate kept my mood in check. So overall it was a laid back experience that didn’t rouse any strong emotions this time.
So in conclusion this glowing blue kitty will definitely have to give Stompy a 4.5/5 stars for their digital music website. This site is made for House lovers who dig a nice sound that isn’t always appreciated around the world. Some of the best tracks on the site were from small indie labels that packed a huge punch. The fact that smaller producers and DJs command this site in terms of musical output makes me want to do a back-flip. It’s awesome! As a producer/DJ it’s great when people play your music or love your set, so it’s even cooler when they buy your music without being pressured into hearing big name acts. I think any site that caters to the underground movement is truly legit about EDM and they will always prosper. I mean just look online at some of the reviews the actual Stompy club gets. People flock to it time and time again to hear great music and dance their troubles away. So I tip my hat off to Preston and bow to Phelps for delivering a product to the people that totally represents what EDM stands for today. Thanks guys!