Liner Notes 03: Hidden Gems
Catalog
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Alex Siber
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December 19th, 2022

Give the Gift of Cratedigging

No stone left unturned, no song left unheard. 

Vibrant waves of independent artists — from São Paulo to Lusaka, Cairo to Chicago — have withstood crypto's fault lines to drop forever records in web3. Rising up to greet them? Music lovers who know artists deserve more than penny fractions. Collectors have purchased original one-of-ones from 75% of the sound benders on Catalog. We’re proud of that number, but anything less than 100% means we've still got work to do. 

This newsletter, our last of the year, celebrates (1) incredible records in search of their first collector (2) ultra-curious explorers and supporters of overlooked art (3) drinking water, in that order. We've assembled a handpicked list of 50 hidden gems — H20 sold separately — along with a one-line ode to each featured piece, written below. Our small contribution to an ancient tradition.

Way back when, our ancestors smacked different rocks against cave walls to unearth new frequencies. Then (skipping 1000s of years of history) our elders sifted through dusty vinyl to isolate the perfect loop.

Some risked their computers' lives not too long ago to download mystery files on LimeWire. There's the identity-shaping ritual of making a musical scavenger hunt out of SoundCloud likes. Or the ageless act of tracking down the origins of a DJ set snippet. And here we are, in 2022, immortalizing it all onchain. Look at us. Always digging.

PSA: Every day is Bandcamp Friday at Catalog: artists always keep it all. Doesn't matter whether Mercury's in Gatorade or there's something to celebrate. 100% of sales go to the music makers. Show them love 👇

The Growth Eternal: “Transitioning”

Enough heartwarming chords to thaw frostbite (or start the day right).

ari rivera: “laura” ft. jerod

Ari's tender six-string confessions to Laura spark a pop rock supernova.

Lionmilk: “the valley of water”

Regenerative music — like wide-eyed butterflies fluttering from chrysalis.

Shacar: “Black Superhero Music”

Melodic affirmations that infuse more energy than a mutant spider bite.

McClenney: “SOS”

Cupid points arrows at his own heart when he hears this R&B slow jam.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

Sullivann: “Palisade”

A haunting powerhouse ballad about divisions that splinter our peace.

slenderbodies: “be my love”

An acid-washed invitation to hold hands in a kaleidoscopic solar flare.

Lady Light: “Isho Isho”

Ancestral spirits join forces in this percussive ode to Barotseland, Africa.

megiapa: “A Practice”

A simple, sweet mantra for walking out your door to face the world.

Kacy Hill: “I Couldn't Wait (Demo)”

Featherlight keys glisten as Kacy accepts short-lived companionship.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

Mark de Clive-Lowe: “Akatombo”

Crystalline piano folk tale that glides like snowfall over Mt. Kurumayama.

Carissa Visionary!: “River My Tears”

A hypnotizing reminder that healing's hydrologic: you get what you give.

Vitalii Dominichenko: “∆˚Eternity”

An ancient Armenian duduk drives this medicinal vibration from Ukraine.

Jonti: “Silence of the Dawn”

Five weightless records merge to form an IMAX-rivaling odyssey.

Theodore Grams: “Compass & Square”

Orchestral raps about stressful nights bleeding melatonin banks dry.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

Homeboy Sandman: “Dream Merchant”

Combat grooves & dungeon loops score an oath to never call 5-O.

Dutchmassive: “Dream Suite” (Prod. Sweatson Klank)

Grounded boombap channeling Tibetan monks & King Tut on indica.

Upper Reality: “Call You Back”

Float through the lush reveries of a mind shedding colonial doublespeak.

SOFA: “FRIENDS!”

Drake should have had this on that dance album — his loss, honestly.

WATA: “Lesson 52”

A sound bath with more levitational pull than a 4D tractor beam.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

QRTR: “Ritual” ft. CSLTY

Foot-chase-paced breakbeats spiral out of ambient sonar intermissions.

Adder: “¡Lucha!"

A spine-tingling bounce-back song forged from the fires of heartache.

Isai Morales: “A Falta de Pan, Tortillas”

11 lunar records comprise one cruising coming-of-age soundtrack.

Discokid900: “Meta Juggler” ft. Matter Mos

A boogie-down lady's anthem shouting out Lebanese belly dancers.

Maeko: “Cool"

A stadium-ready tune for folks struggling to smile through winter blues.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

Mareko: “Mom's Spaghetti”

A double shot of Jersey confidence with raps that prance like Ja Morant.

Allan Kingdom: “I GOT SHIT TO DO”

Minnesota's Peanut Butter Prince leaves any & all distractions on read.

Xcelencia: “$BANCO”

Lustful reggaeton good for parting Miami clouds and cashing out.

Cesrv: “Dom Dom"

UK bassline meets São Paolo primetime in this sweat accelerant.

3Phaz: “Red Signal”

If atoms collapsing inside the Hadron Collider made electronic music.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

April Roots: “RUMBLE”

Catch these grunge poetics in a rebel speakeasy resisting Big Brother.

Zeroh: “Black Sky”

Like a crackling thunderstorm summoned from Hades incantations.

dvdv & Poly Armour: “Distance”

Sprawling vocals hover above a glitched patchwork of celestial synths.

REINEN: “MOVING ON (CRYSTAL WATERS)”

Ward off lingering exes with sage and this triumphant breakup rave.

Elujay: “Tentoes”

Unofficial R&B theme song for touching grass in turquoise climates.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

wilter: “coming home”

The acoustic peace that comes from transcending depression's talons.

Tulile Siyumbwa: “Not My Fault” [Trigger Warning]

A survivor's tale packed with self-affirmation and swelling harmonies.

Troels Abrahamsen: “Impossible Positions”

Skittering trombones and 10 ominous words conjure an imminent crash.

Pearson: “Your Love”

Satin-smooth serenade with more sway than lighters in the air.

Tepu: “don't wave goodbye”

Wraps warning shots at society's elites in the sounds of a fairy tale.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

Pozibelle: “Trees”

Guaranteed to set the party off for mycorrhizal networks under our feet.

TiKA: “DON'T BE AFRAID” ft. HMLT

A timeless, tender embrace of the growing pains that unlock true love.

Kasbeel: “Reflejo”

Amped enough for NASA to blast it while averting a meteor strike tbh.

VHOOR: “1Dez”

Bring the Brazilian club to your earbuds with this dance floor torcher.

MONDAY!: “Red Eye”

Every line hits like a hollow tip in this quick dose of hip-hop excellence.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

Matt FX: “Vaquero”

Bottles the joy of horseback riding in Tepoztlán with synthetic euphoria.

Jack Larsen: “Spirit”

A hair-raising locomotive opus about drowning in American grandeur.

Haich Ber Na: “Think About It” (MTMBO Remix)

Trance grooves built for dazed movements at a graveyard waltz.

Numa Gama: “Nas Folhas”

Relinquish your human allegiances and join the plants of Rio de Janeiro.

Brian Hargrove: “Heart”

A restorative piano solo mirroring our role in life — like petals in the wind.

Collect these records in our Hidden Gems space.

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