Interview with DJ Pain 1 [Podcast]

DJ Pain 1DJ Pain 1 is a prominent hip-hop producer, and over the years he’s worked with names you know like Young Jeezy, Public Enemy and Ludacris. He’s also a Madison local and active community member who volunteers for non-profits. We had the great pleasure of having him here at the Murfie office recently.

In this interview, he brings up some important topics—like the pressure that Madison police put on venues that try to book hip-hop shows. Unfortunately, the lack of hip-hop in Madison makes it hard for talented acts to really blossom in town. What you might not know about DJ Pain 1 is that his real name is Pacal Bayley. He’s a true lover of all dedicated musicians, a physical music collector, and a mushroom hunter—although he’ll never tell you where he finds morels.

Now, I don’t want to give away all the best parts. Here’s a transcript of our interview along with the recorded version (below) on our Soundcloud player.

Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Who: DJ Pain 1; interviewed by Kayla Liederbach
Where: Murfie HQ, Madison, WI
When: Wednesday July 1st, 2015

K: So I am currently in one of the Murfie warehouse rooms surrounded by discs with DJ Pain 1. Welcome to the office, first of all.

DJ: This is kind of surreal.

K: It is. Being surrounded by so much music kind of makes you think about all the albums that have come out over the years.

DJ: Well all I see is boxes, so I’m just smelling cardboard—and there are all these boxes with numbers written on all of them. It’s like musical coffins or something.

K: That’s one way to think about it, for the people who store their CDs here. We do have people who get their CDs digitized and shipped back to them. But I suppose it is a good resting place, and these boxes are actually like water resistant and temperature—

DJ: Oh they are?

K: Yeah we make sure everything stays nice and cozy in there. But you know there are a lot of things to talk about in music, especially someone like you who is involved on all these different levels. So over the years as you’ve gained all your experience, the music industry has changed a lot, especially recently, in terms of the way people listen to music, and the way it’s being released. So in your opinion, is the music industry changing for better or for worse?

DJ: I think it’s always a duality. I think access is a good thing, and access has been improving for decades now. And so what access begets is saturation. And of course it changes the landscape as far as fans are concerned and their expectations of artists. They expect a lot of music, and they expect instant access, and they expect free most of all. And so that’s not necessary a bad thing, because it’s forced artists to really adapt in new and innovative ways, whether it’s just challenging the traditions of a genre or finding new and exciting ways to market and promote themselves. So, it’s good for some and bad for others, I guess that’s a subjective question. And I don’t necessarily know, because I’m benefiting a lot from it—but then on a macro level the music industry is just kind of crumbling before my very eyes. At first that kind of scared me, but now I’m just sitting there looking at my watch waiting for it to happen, because I kind of can’t stand the paradigm. But it also every now and then lets me in through a door, and then I make some money and get some notoriety off it.

DJ Pain 1K: Well I like what you said about finding ways to adapt that are new and interesting. I feel like that’s gonna be the differentiator between people who succeed regardless of how the music industry ends up being. So what are some of the best ways that you’ve learned to connect with your audience and make a living?

DJ: I give a lot of stuff away for free. And maybe the ratio is somewhere around 10:1 or 15:1. 15 being what I give away and 1 being what I sell. It gives me more leverage for the people that are following me and benefiting from the resources I give out. So I don’t know if it works, but it’s worked for me in some capacity, so I’m going to keep doing it.

K: Well especially if your music is good and people like it.

DJ: Yeah with me I really speak more to the producer community, so: free resources for producers, a lot of video advice for just aspiring artists of all kinds, and streaming Q&A shows, panels, the professional development stuff that we do locally here. I’ve done it around the country too a little.

K: So you’ve seen Madison’s music scene, and you’ve also traveled to different places. How does Madison’s music scene compare to other places?

DJ: That goes back to the word access. I’m gonna use Appleton as an example just because it’s so close and it’s so much smaller than Madison. I mean, their population is a lot smaller than Madison’s. You know alone we have 40,000+ just students, just like a transient population, but Appleton has more venues, more music events going on concurrently, more music festivals, and just it seems that there’s more access. And I know that things have changed maybe in the last year or two, but when I go there it appears to me that they have more going on. When you come to Madison there are very few options as far as live music goes, and especially if you’re a fan of what people would consider—quote urban unquote—styles of music. That’s unfortunate. Because I mean the talent here isn’t any less amazing. And I’ve been all over the place and we have great talent here. But I think access and opportunity not only allows for sustainability, but it also promotes talent too, and growth too. I mean people feel boxed in here, so I don’t think we’re all growing as much as we could be.

K: You know, when you say that, I do realize I haven’t seen a lot of hip-hop and rap shows being promoted.

DJ: No they’re all banned, it’s banned. Name a venue and I’m probably banned from it.

K: Really! Majestic? Frequency?

Continue reading Interview with DJ Pain 1 [Podcast]

Audiophile Forums, Vol. 2

Forums are among the most useful resources out there. Technology and music are huge topics that audiophiles feel passionate about, so as you might guess, there are a ton of interesting discussions happening online.

We love finding out when our members spread the word about Murfie in forums. It’s fun to see ourselves named as leaders in cloud storage, FLAC music, CD ripping, low album prices and lossless streaming, As a growing company, we appreciate your support!

In our previous article we recommended Head-Fi, Hydrogenaud.io, SteveHoffman.tv and ComputerAudiophile for music lovers. This time we’re recommending four more, which would be wise to check out!

►StereoNET

News, reviews and info about Hi-Fi, Audio-Visual and consumer electronics.

►Reddit Audiophile

Trending audiophile topics ordered by popularity.

►AudioAsylum

An independent, user-supported resource about all things audio.

►AudiogoN

Music, speakers, digital, analog and more.

Buy FLAC music

Look no further.

Murfie might be the largest and most diverse source of FLAC music online. Every album in our marketplace is a real CD that we rip in FLAC format and send to you digitally. We’re not like other FLAC download websites—the music you’re downloading is from physical CDs you really own. The music will remain yours as long as you wish, available for future downloads and even FLAC streaming.

How to buy FLAC music on Murfie

1. Create a free account.

2. Shop the marketplace. Sort by genre, search artists and album names, and check out our cool collections of albums.

3. Buy your album.

Fill in your billing details if you haven’t already, and your info will be saved for future purchases. We accept US credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin.

Murfie

4. Go to your collection and search for the album, or click “Recent Activity” on the left sidebar of your collection.

Murfie

5. Click “Delivery Options” next to the album. Choose FLAC in the drop-down menu and click “Request Download”.

Murfie FLAC download

Your download will arrive via email. You can also click “Downloads” on the left sidebar of your collection to see when your downloads are ready. Here are FAQs about downloading music on Murfie.

Helpful tip: Stream the album before you request a download, to make sure you really like it. Because if you don’t, simply return the album within 24 hours for full credit back to your account. Here are FAQs about Murfie streaming.

As you can see, it’s easy to buy FLAC music on Murfie. In addition to getting lossless audio, you get to own your music, and that can’t be beat.

New to Me: Newly-found music gems (Vol IV)

Ah yes—the joys of diving into the Murfie shop and finding something surprising! Not everything we find is brand new. In fact, it’s especially fun when we discover music for the first time, only to find it’s been around a while! Here are some examples.

Brandon found Momentum by Joshua Redman Elastic Band

Momentum“I’ve been a Joshua Redman fan since 5-ever (because that’s more than 4-ever), but just recently found this album. It includes awesome covers of Led Zeppelin and Ornette Coleman tunes, and collaborations with Flea and Questlove. The album is all over the place; bizarre yet totally cool, and I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys funky jams!”

 

Andrew found Aphex Twin

Aphex Twin

“I had heard of Aphex Twin before this spring, but I had no idea what his music was like. I recently gave it a listen and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not generally a huge fan of electronic music, but I was intrigued by the wide variety of styles he incorporates into his ambient works. Though his album covers can be distracting (apparently Richard D. James has a penchant for faceswapping) some of his tunes make great background music for hunkering down and focusing on work.”

Steve found Awake by Tycho

Tycho“I stumbled across this the other day while seeking out new ambient music for programming. Turns out they were playing in Madison that night! The show was sold out :( But the album is still awesome. The title track puts me in a great mood and helps me focus hard on whatever I am doing.”

 

Kayla found Whokill by tUnE-yArDs

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“I’m late to the tUnE-yArDs bandwagon, but so glad to be on it! I found this album after hearing the song ‘Powa’ recently (total credit goes to Andrew!). I enjoy Merrill Garbus’ dynamic voice. She goes everywhere from a breathy lower register to way high-in-the-sky notes. Her music is quirky, catchy, and fun. Just what I needed.”

Have you discovered something that’s not all-that-new? Take a look and let us know what you find in the comments!

90s music gems, Vol. 1

When you think of 90s music, what pops up in your mind? Hootie & the Blowfish? Nirvana? Dare I say… Sugar Ray? :)

Back in the day I hosted a radio show called Freaks in Flannel. Despite the name, I tried to stay away from flannel and pop, and instead played a mix of 90s music that I acquired from my dad’s CD collection and the radio station’s library.

Here are some 90s music gems that I highly recommend, if you’re feeling like jumping back in time.

PortisheadDummy (1994)

Portishead DummyIf you haven’t listened to Portishead yet, do it now—right now! Dummy is the debut album from this England-based trip hop group. In a nutshell, Portishead’s music contains slower tempos, hip hop samples, and bluesy introspective lyrics sung by Beth Gibbons. Dummy contains some of their signature tracks, including “Sour Times”, “Wandering Star”, “Roads”, and one of my favorite gal anthems, “Glory Box”.

 

BeckOdelay (1996)

Beck Odelay

I’d confidently say that Odelay is one of the greatest albums of all time. Beck is pure musical genius, and this entire album lays it all out for you. His vocals are somewhat more spoken than sung, dense with rhymes reminiscent of old school hip hop. Odelay has a hip hop vibe, mixed with southern-sounding rock and plenty of samples and distortions. Amazing tracks on here are “Devil’s Haircut”, “Hotwax”, “The New Pollution”, “Novacane” and “Where It’s At”. This is a must-have in your collection—check out the full review here.

Fatboy SlimYou’ve Come a Long Way, Baby (1998)

Fatboy Slim

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably heard tracks from You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby played on radio stations and in clubs throughout the 90s. Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook,  is an English musician and DJ who masterfully uses samples and beats to create highly danceable tunes. Great tracks on this album include “Right Here, Right Now”, “The Rockafeller Skank”, and “Praise You”.

 

The Flaming LipsTransmissions from the Satellite Heart (1993)

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips are a bunch of weirdos. When they’re not tripping on acid, they’re writing quirky songs that range from super simple rock tunes to all-encompassing soundscapes. Transmissions is actually their 6th album, and it brought us the unforgettable tune “She Don’t Use Jelly”. “Turn It On” is another great track, very raw-and-gritty-sounding like the majority of their early work. This album is lovably odd. There’s a chance you’ll hate it, but maybe not!


Kayla Liederbach
@djkaylakush

Kayla manages social media and customer support at Murfie. You can hear her on the radio hosting U DUB, the reggae show, Wednesdays on WSUM. She enjoys hosting the Murfie podcast, cooking, traveling, going to concerts, and snuggling with kittycats.


Is hi-res audio worth the price?

As Onkyo plans to expand its hi-res music store to the US, it’s time to decide if hi-res downloads are worth paying more for than CD-quality files.

In recent times, we’ve seen more focus on the quality of music files online. For music lovers who enjoy digital music, this is a welcome change. Folks like musician Neil Young are taking a stance against the low-quality downloads that consumers are used to getting from online stores like iTunes.

“We live in the digital age, and unfortunately it’s degrading our music, not improving,” said Young.

To combat crappy digital music, Young launched his Pono device and its corresponding hi-res audio store online. Now, Japanese consumer electronics company Onkyo is planning to expand its hi-res audio store, e-Onkyo Music, to the US, and hopefully tap into the same audiophile market that prefers purchasing higher quality files.

CD-quality audio is better than low-quality files, and hi-res audio is considered to be even better than CD-quality audio in terms of bandwidth and dynamic rage. But when the two are compared in listening tests, even to high-bitrate mp3s, a lot of people can’t hear the difference. For this reason, the question of whether hi-res is truly “better” for listeners than CD-quality is still under debate. (Try comparing them for yourself!)

So how much do places like Onkyo and Pono charge for a hi-res album in FLAC format? Here’s an example, compared to the price on murfie.com for CD-quality FLAC.

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Pono eOnkyo Murfie
quality 48kHz/24bit 48kHz/24bit 44.1kHz/16bit
price $22.99 ~$31.00 $16.00

The Diana Krall album is a new release. How about building your back catalogue with an old favorite?

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Pono eOnkyo Murfie
quality 192.0kHz/24bit 192kHz/24bit 44.1kHz/16bit
price  $24.79  ~$30.00  $3.00

High-quality music is great, but it would be outrageous to pay for a hi-res album if you can’t hear the difference between that and CD-quality audio, which is already high. Some have even claimed that the hi-res movement is profitable trickery aimed at elitists and audiophiles.

Ultimately the choice is up to you, the listener. Find out what you can hear—and can’t hear—and make the choice that makes sense for you. When you choose to buy an album from Murfie, you’re buying a real CD that you can download (FLAC, ALAC, mp3, aac) and stream on different devices (320kbps mp3 or FLAC). Then choose to store the physical disc with us, or have it shipped to you.

For us, quality is key, along with providing access to your music that isn’t limited by any brand or device. Since everything released on CD can be ripped and downloaded in FLAC, Murfie just might be the largest source of high-quality FLAC music online. See for yourself!

Top 10 Most-Owned Albums!

For so long, the most popular album on Murfie—in terms of overall number in our ecosystem—has been Dave Matthews Band Crash. Today, a literal new paradigm shift is upon us, as information has unearthed about our new most popular album on the site.

(…and it’s leading the board by ONE copy! ONE!)

To please the list-loving humans that we are, here’s a list of our Top 10 albums on Murfie. Do you have these in your collection? Most are available right now for $1 – $3!

Achtung Baby #1. U2
Achtung Baby

431 copies

Crash#2. Dave Matthews Band
Crash

430 copies

Jagged Little Pill#3. Alanis Morissette
Jagged Little Pill

422 copies

Come Away With ME#4 – Tie! Norah Jones
Come Away With Me

416 copies

The Joshua Tree#4 – Tie! U2
The Joshua Tree

416 copies

Under the Table and Dreaming#5. Dave Matthews Band
Under the Table and Dreaming

384 copies

Unplugged#6. Eric Clapton
Unplugged

368 copies

Supernatural#7. Santana
Supernatural

351 copies

Cracked Rear View#8 – Tie! Hootie & the Blowfish
Cracked Rear View

347 copies

James Taylor Greatest Hits#8 – Tie! James Taylor
Greatest Hits

347 copies

Sufacing#9. Sarah McLachlan
Surfacing

344 copies

Legend#10. Bob Marley & the Wailers
Legend

343 copies

So what does this all mean, though? This list doesn’t closely correspond to the reported top selling albums of all time. Perhaps Murfie members are a group of like-minded folk, or perhaps we’re all around the same age, and have been exposed to the same big hits during our lifetimes. In any case, it’s interesting to make note of the patterns we see in our own music community!