Monday 14:00 - 16:00
Brian Tappert brings you Traxsource Live mix show each week he will present the most important forthcoming #RealHouseMusic releases plus exclusive Mixes from the worlds finest Artists and DJs. Every Monday 14:00 - 16:00
Traxsource co-founder Brian Tappert talks selling underground dance music in the Internet age
With the extraordinary popularity of such online music marketplaces as Beatport and Juno it can be easy to forget that not too long ago, a digital music store, particularly one targeting a DJ clientele, was simply without precedent. And yet this was precisely the case in 2000 when Soulfuric label boss Brian Tappert first began to formulate a vision for what would one day become Traxsource.
“There was a growing digital demand for our own music, which we were watching be filled by pirate sites, and the current distribution networks were saying real DJs play vinyl and we knew we needed to do something,” Tappert tells DJ mag Canada.
“There was no existing business model to view. Nothing to look at and say let’s do this, there was no Beatport or iTunes or anything as of yet. In fact, the whole idea of selling music in digital format online was considered quite insane,” continues the Traxsource co-founder.
After more then three years of development, Traxsource launched in October of 2004 and has been quietly cultivating a devoted following ever since. Navigating through the site, it’s easy to tell why. To the extent that such a thing can be said about a website, Traxsource exudes sincerity. It’s a digital DJ’s wonderland filled with the freshest underground house, soul, and techno selections, maintained and operated by a staff whose passion for the music clearly matches that of their patronage.
With the site’s intuitive, user friendly structure, finding your way around is a breeze. The precisely constructed interface contains primary headings for Top 100, DJ Top 10s, Genres, Featured, Just Added, News, and My Traxsource.
Users can become site members for free and are provided with a customizable experience including their own personal settings, wishlist, account profile, purchase history and access to the Traxsource newsletter. The site even contains a “Keys” heading which lays out all of the keyboard shortcuts to make your stay as convenient as possible.
In terms of the music itself, the genre list is clearly weighted towards house and soul music with no less than nine separate designations of house-music sub categories. From soulful house, to jackin’ house, to classic house, Traxsource has all the bases covered. But their techno list is equally impressive, with a more than respectable selection of soundsystem bangers and warehouse burners as well as a plethora of minimal, leftfield, and lesser known releases. Additionally, the site includes handpicked weekly selections from different genres compiled into the Traxsource “Essential” series, which works as a worthy adjunct to the DJ charts and most popular lists also featured on the site.
“We’re passionate about the music we get behind and still curate everything in a very old fashioned way: we listen to it,” explains Tappert.
It’s obvious that appealing to the most popular and commercially viable of EDM tastes is far from Traxsource‘s modus operandi, but as far as Tappert is concerned, this is precisely the status that they’re going for.
“Let’s face it, McDonald’s sells the most hamburgers in the entire world but does that make them the best?” he asks. “We are the last place on earth where the little guy gets the same shot as the big guy, based solely on the music. That’s something special which has been lost in today’s ultra homogenized and monopolized world, and in particular the music industry,” says Tappert.
The roots of Traxsource’s unique, music-first mentality comes in no small part from Tappert’s own seasoned background in the EDM scene. Not only has he been a label boss and digital music merchant, but he also started out as an early purveyor of the electronic underground.
“Growing up in N.J., I began DJing in the mid-’80s, just around the time the early hip hop culture was forming and DJing was quite a unique thing, not like today. Then around 1986 I was bit by the house music bug which has turned out to be the love of my life,” he recalls.
“As time passed I ventured into production and ended up releasing on influential labels throughout the early-’90s like Strictly Rhythm, AM PM, Suburban, Bassline et cetera, before going on to begin our label in ’96, Soulfuric Recordings with my partner Marc Pomeroy.”
With such an impressive musical milieu under Tappert’s belt, the question arises: Was the development of Traxsource the reactionary impulse of an experienced house addict dissatisfied with already established services such as Beatport and Juno? As a matter of fact, this wasn’t the case at all.
“We were actually around before both, although BP launched officially a few months before us. It had nothing to do with any other stores, it was like they say: necessity is the mother of invention,” says Tappert.
“In order to survive we knew we needed a way to keep selling our music and we put our head down and got serious about solving this problem. It was actually Axwell who put this idea in our heads. Around 2000, he said to me ‘don’t worry someone smart will figure out a way to make money from mp3s’ and we laugh about that to this day.”
After a decade in operation, Traxsource marches on, maintaining a strength of vision and self-determination that grants it a distinguished position amongst the persistently expanding EDM web market. So to what can we ultimately attribute Traxsource’s long-standing endurance? In Tappert’s eyes, it’s all about staying legit.
“Traxsource is simply devoted to being the destination site for house music fans who desire more than the ‘mainstream’ experience. It’s just what’s in our blood and we will always be right here, keeping it real, and doing things from the heart,” says Tappert. “It’s really amazing how much the industry has changed in 10 years’ time and we could not be happier to be exactly where we are today.”
Sourced from djmag.ca