While we always head to the record store to go crate digging, you can always find some gems digging online. Here are 26 great “spots” courtesy of Hip Hop Rally (RIP).
There’s nothing better than walking into a record store and feeling the polypropylene record sleeves beneath your fingertips. But sometimes that requires travelling miles and if you’re on a budget, that might not be financially viable. Fortunately, a concept known as “e-digging” exists which is effectively online crate digging. This idea may be frowned upon by some producers due to the quality of the samples but it serves as a means to an end and as long as you make sure samples you find online are AT LEAST 256 kbit/s, it should sound fine. Opinions on that differ, as you’ll notice when reading the article below, but we’ll stick to our guns on that as purveyors of the Sampleface Way of Life. The main places to look are YouTube channels and *vinyl blogs, the latter of which provide albums, usually of the best possible quality and some rarities for sure.
UPDATE: As Hip Hop Rally no longer exists, we’ve decided to post the list here to save you a click. And if you can, buy the records too.
- Drew Smith: a wide range of music from the 50s-80s
- Vinyl Frontier II: anything you can think of – pop, rock, funk, soul, jazz, electronic
- Subrhythmic: Skylar’s Life & Crates: as he says himself, “a crate digger in the classic sense – my natural obsession with music was further fostered through sample culture and classic hip-hop (1986-1997)”
- Ciabbill: foreign records. I’ve founds some cool sounds here
- Batch Music Library: Crate digging for groove, sounds & obscure. An “open repository of samples, breaks and unusual rhythm”
- Polido Nobre: a great collection of bossanova and easy listening music
- Smell The Crates: high-quality records in here, buncha good ’70’s stuff
- Obscure Sampology: Vinyl excavation. Obscure samples. Rare Rhythms and drum breaks from around the world
- William S. Fischer Price: European crate digging stuff. Lots of jazz oddities.
- Soul Strut Vinyl Archive: a treasure trove of soul, funk, jazz, and pop.
- Pharomba: if you like trippy sounds to sample from, this is your spot.
- dyvelsten: HEAVY / PROGRESSIVE / PSYCHEDELIC / ACID / FOLK / ROCK.
- Ricardo Maraña: European stuff – exotica, pop, easy listening, rock, electronic.
- Soul On Your Side: if you like soul records. This is that deal.
- Psychedelic Guy: psychedelic rock: synths, guitars, drums, organs. Trippy
- Rocking All Life Long: rockabilly, rock’n’roll, hillbilly, country, roots blues, R&B.
- Vinyl Frontier: I’ve been exposed to some awesome music here.
- Yahuhol Vinyl Rip: a wide range of music from all genres with a focus on Japanese imports
- Blaq’s Lossless Worldwide: lossless 12″ records of all genres.
- Soul Funk 80’s: soul, Funk, Jazz, R&B from the 70’s and 80’s
- Into the Rhythm: lot’s of Jazz records. But really a bunch of everything.
- Lossless World: jazz, blues, you name it. They got it.
- Never Enough Rhodes: dedicated to the Rhodes Piano: chords, keys, etc.
- Derek’s Daily 45: the entire blog is dedicated to cool singles.
- Vinyl Genius: a bunch of gems.
- Funk My Soul: another great resource.
(Also check our 21 ways to take your e-digging to the next level.)
*Please note, vinyl blogs usually provide links to illegally download albums which we do not condone.