Shfl: Albums recommended by humans

Shfl is a system for discovering music, one where every album has been recommended by a human. It is a simple random sampler, built from crawling album reviews, albums recommended by other musicians, and lists made by individual music obsessives. There is no machine learning, no neural nets. Shfl doesn’t try to figure out other people whose taste is similar to yours, it doesn’t profile you, it just shows you an album, selected at random, that another human thinks is great. Since the sampler is not biased by algorithmic decisions, album popularity, or anything other than your own choices, your chances of finding something amazing that is new to you are pretty high. It's kinda like leafing through the ‘staff recommendations’ stack at your favorite record store. Except, you know, on the internet.

You can tell Shfl what kind of music you want to be shown. You can decide that you only want to be shown doom metal from the 90’s, brazilian jazz, avant-garde electronic music, greek folk music from the 20’s, some of Pusha T or Bjork’s favorite albums, albums on Sasha Frere-Jones’ or Ted Gioia’s year-end lists - any attribute of an album can be made into its own little sampler, and combined with other attributes. Shfl is designed to make it easy to go down almost infinitely many musical rabbit holes. It is easy and fast to change what kind of music you want to see - if you want to know more about controlling the sampler, read this.

There’s also album recommendations at the bottom of every album page. These are also randomly sampled, from other albums that share a subgenre and are recommended by at least one of the same people that recommended the album you’re looking at. They are ranked by popularity from least popular to most popular, so there should almost always be something there you’ve never heard of.

Each album is linked directly to whoever streams it (usually Apple Music or Spotify), and also to every review or list that recommended it. Also we link directly to Bandcamp and Discogs if we can, so that you can buy a physical or digital copy of something you love. I personally like to buy a digital copy of an album on Bandcamp if I can, that money usually goes straight to the artist.

That’s it! I hope you find some great music.