The sound of graph paper
October 2, 2013 6:01 AM   Subscribe

GaMuSo is an application of BioGraph-based data mining to music, which helps you get recommendations for other musicians. Based on 140K user-defined tags from that are collected for over 400K artists, results are sorted by the "nearest" or most probable matches for your artist of interest (algorithm described here).

A previous post on the use of the API: The Geographic Flow of Music
posted by Blazecock Pileon (17 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome! a music site without all that music.

It pretty much nails a one artist match, but is arguably just as good as the searches built into most services. I'd really wish that it understood the cross section of my music. Giving me 'Lazlo Bane' as a top response to 'Colin Hay' is pretty standard fare (Lazlo Bane recorded the themesong to Scrubs. Colin Hay had a strong acoustic solo resurgence thanks to scrubs). Even 10-15 deep finding Joshua Radin doesn't seem that tough. Repeating in with 'Immortal Technique' and finding 'Michael Franti and Spearhead' twice in the top 8 isn't surprising, or Sage Francis in the top 10...

Now find me the intersection of music between Colin Hay, Immortal Technique, Common, and about 500 other artists, and pretty much you've built my pre-exisiting Pandora profile seeds, and the expanded seeds I've since fed into groove shark to give me basically every song available online for the artists I like... and suddenly we're back to a point where GaMuSo is interesting, but until it is actively writing music which fits in my tastes.... the existing tools already work.

Don't get me wrong - its actually very cool and very straightforward and it seems like it would be handy at building stuff out in grooveshark rather quickly. Plus I like the paper end of things, very handy.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:24 AM on October 2, 2013

I give up -- what's "nouncore"?
posted by escabeche at 6:32 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Interesting how many polish artists are on the list when you search for Gil Scott-Heron.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:34 AM on October 2, 2013

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I searched for Dethklok and got the keyword "blacker than the blackest black times infinity." Best.
posted by Mooseli at 6:41 AM on October 2, 2013

The little flow charts helped me appreciate how exactly this site managed to fail to recommend me anything enjoyable.

1. Location tags ('Brighton')
2. Broad genres and classifications ('indie rock', 'fun')
3. No analysis of the actual music involved (understandable)
posted by Quilford at 6:56 AM on October 2, 2013

Excellent! Slacker has been pissing me off with their Acid Jazz station which doesn't actually play acid jazz, and attempts at plugging in a few artists I remembered the name of resulted in more smooth and lite jazz than any man should have to cope with while not in a dentist's waiting room. Now I will plug in ALL THE ARTISTS, as well as those from a few related genres I really enjoy, offered up at the top of the artist listing.

If that doesn't work, I'll give up and switch to Spotify. (Last.FM does not offer downloadable content for offline listening and I've got a monthly 2GB mobile data limit and a 2hr commute.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:10 AM on October 2, 2013

Wow, how did it guess that "not techno" and "new favs" are some of my favorite genres?

Following some tags led me to "underapreciated bands" (sic) and "people who are freakier and folkier than motherfucking devendra banhart" and "a campire and a tent and a flashlight and some matches and a tree and that river and my glasses and a spaceship and a really really big bear but the bear is really really far away."

Yeah, no.
posted by Foosnark at 7:21 AM on October 2, 2013

My favourite tag so far is "as if a creepy bug was singing beautiful songs to you on your daily walk".
posted by fight or flight at 7:25 AM on October 2, 2013

I put in Comus and got "beating a goat."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:49 AM on October 2, 2013

Maybe I just don't get it, but how is this different than the "Similar Artists" list that shows up when you look at an artist's page on
posted by Gev at 7:53 AM on October 2, 2013

cited 2 times
posted by zscore at 8:00 AM on October 2, 2013

I don't know how calculates "similar artists," but for the people I've plugged in, the two lists are very, very different. I wish I could say how useful it is, but that'll take some time:'s own "similar artists," mostly makes me say "of course." This service mostly makes me say "Huh? Who?" so I'm going to have to go listen.
posted by tyllwin at 8:01 AM on October 2, 2013

As an example, BTW, I threw in Tori Amos, because I know what to expect from most search engines. I'd expect it to kick back Kate Bush. A nod when it gives me PJ Harvey, though I don't hear it. (And's similar artists acts just that way.) Bonus points if it gives me Vienna Teng.

This, instead, grabs the "piano" tag and answers with Vienna Teng, and a host of male semi-classical pianists.
posted by tyllwin at 8:12 AM on October 2, 2013

"sorry, we cannot recommend music with respect to gary numan and tubeway army because we do not have enough data"

You had one job, GaMuSo. ONE. JOB.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:11 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Okay, on reloading the site, it actually found Gary Numan. However, its suggestions (e.g., Visage and Heaven 17) were pretty much what I get from anyway, and their insistence on lowercasing everything is pretty damned aggravating.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:19 AM on October 2, 2013

sorry, we cannot recommend music with respect to gary numan and tubeway army because we do not have enough data

You know, it wasn't until the last few years that I realized it wasn't Gary Numan and the Two Boy Army.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:20 AM on October 2, 2013

"sorry, we cannot recommend music with respect to mc solaar because we do not have enough data"

That surprised me.

Actually it worked fine on Albert Ayler. And Zap Mama.

Not on Zenzile, Steve Lawson, Matt Stevens, Robert Mitchell (3io, Panacea, Courtney Pine and ...), (and also, fwiw, not on my own band, not that I was expecting that) but we're all on

I guess it's all about making it to the Official Top 400,000...

posted by motty at 3:08 PM on October 2, 2013

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