A Little Bit About My Music Taste

A Little Bit About My Music Taste

Crimean Spring

I first started taking music seriously when I was 13. Before then, my music taste was whatever Dad had on his iPhone and random catchy tunes on the radio. It all changed when I was gifted my first music player: an iPod Nano 6G.

For the first time in my life, I had a device that was entirely dedicated to music. It was pre-loaded with some of the freshest songs of all time, all mashed into one playlist, "Bike Mix". Artists like Eminem, Lana Del Rey, Sting, and ABBA made regular appearances on that playlist. I listened to it religiously, and even played some of my favourite songs to my Mom (she wasn't impressed by Eminem).

However, a year later, a new discovery would change my views on music once and for all. It was when I moved to Russia that I discovered VK. Nowadays, VK is a neutered version of what it was before: free, unlimited music that was accessible anywhere and at any time. But back then (provided you installed a third-party client like VK Coffee) you could even listen to all of your music offline. VK was a safe haven for music pirates, and its vast library and social functions made music discovery and sharing actually enjoyable.

This was when my music taste started diverging from the mainstream. I started exploring a lot of obscure genres. Aided by various music sharing groups, my music taste got a lot more personal. I started looking for songs that I would genuinely enjoy. No longer constrained to ABBA and Eminem, I started getting very picky about what I would listen to. Horrible 128kbps YouTube rips no longer sounded good enough, I wanted to listen to music in the highest quality I could get. This is because music started meaning a lot more to me than before. It went from just some random activity I'd do sometimes to what could only be described as a passion.

However, all good times eventually must come to an end. Just as I started truly exploring my music taste, VK introduced severe restrictions on music playback. Background playback was axed, a lot of music was placed behind a paywall, and they made an aggressive push to kill off third-party apps that made sure only VK's official client could play their music. This was a complete 180 in VK's stance on music freedom, no doubt spurred by various copyright holders that just about had enough of VK's piracy problem.

Immediately, lots of people, including me, moved their music off of VK onto various platforms. On the 16th of October 2017, I created @musicugolnik. And since then, it has turned from a simple music dump into something to cherish.


Kaliningrad House

I created @musicugolnik with the intention of it being a dump of all of my favourite tracks. Because of this, you can track (pun unintended) how my music taste has changed over time. In its early days, @musicugolnik was a mess: rock, rap, pop, miscellaneous songs. Everything was shoved into one place. This was a time when I was discovering my music taste, and it hadn't fully solidified into the 2-3 genres that it is now.

As my music taste solidified, I discovered several things:
1) SMLoadr exists, and it lets you grab FLAC's from Deezer. They're insanely high quality, and even sound great when blasted from a Bluetooth speaker (the same can't be said for most YouTube rips...)

2) Spotify is actually an amazing tool for music discovery. Sometimes it mucks up, but for the past couple of months about 90% of the music I listen to has come from Spotify's recommendations.

3) "Quality > quantity" is the best motto to live by. 2019 @musicugolnik is hyper-curated, and I only post music that fits the following criteria: Good, high-quality, is something that I'd listen to on repeat while doing homework, fits the now-defunct *ugolnik brand (see @musicugolnik2 and @musicugolnik3), and is something I don't mind spamming my friends with.

4) People's opinions don't matter. Only YOU should have a say in what you listen to. If other people like your music, that's just a bonus, not a requirement.

5) I really fucking love indie stuff, especially indie rock.

Sidenote: I don't listen to most of the old songs that are on @musicugolnik anymore. This doesn't mean they've horrible or anything, but I've just sort of grown out of them. I keep them around mostly for archival purposes, but some of them are in horrible quality. The 10-20 songs that I really love from that era have been reuploaded in FLAC, and the rest have been sitting dormant ever since.

All in all, music truly means a lot to me, and it's something that I try to share with as many people as possible, even though not everyone obsesses over rock like I do. This is also why I will keep updating @musicugolnik in the future, because this passion of mine is something that I'd like other people to share, and opening my music taste up to the world is the most effective way of doing that.