Want to find music similar to what you already enjoy? Musicplasma creates intriguing music maps revealing connections between musicians, styles and musical epochs.
Musicplasma is similar to the Kartoo meta search engine. Enter the name of a musician, and you'll see a collection of colored balls featuring musician names or bands as search results. The musician you searched on is at the center of the map, and closely related artists are positioned nearby. The size of the circle around a musician's name indicates popularity.
Clusters of musicians or band names indicate related styles, such as jazz, rock, blues and so on. Some clusters show musical epochs, such as the 60s, 70s, 80s, etc.
Some maps, particularly for popular musicians or bands, can be quite extensive, spreading beyond a single screen. Click the center of any sphere to make that musician or group the center of the map. You can also zoom the map in or out by mousing slowly out from the center of a sphere and clicking when you see a "Zoom +" or "Zoom -" message appear.
For many musicians, you'll also get a brief discography with links to Amazon to buy music. These discographies are nowhere near as comprehensive as those from the All Music Guide that I wrote about back in May, but are still moderately useful.
Musicplasma is primarily geared toward contemporary music, though you can get some interesting connections between classical musicians and popular music. Much to my surprise, Musicplasma says that Neil Young is vastly more popular then Beethoven, and the two are connected by only two degrees of separation, through Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman.
Musicplasma's primary value is as a discovery tool. For just about every musician I tried, I found some unfamiliar names offering some new music I'm now enjoying exploring.
Musicplasma is available in English, French, Spanish and German -- just click the flag icon to change the interface language.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.