DJ Basilisk

is creating Ektoplazm



About DJ Basilisk

is the world's largest distributor of free and legal psytrance, techno, and downtempo music. Founded in 2001 by DJ Basilisk, Ektoplazm specializes in high-quality Creative Commons-licensed content from netlabels and independent artists, all released in MP3 and lossless CD-quality FLAC and WAV formats. Since the project began more than 27 million releases, 200 million tracks, and 6 petabytes have been downloaded by music lovers all around the world. At peak capacity the site serves up a new release almost every day of the year, but not without an extraordinary investment of time, money, and effort. None of this would be possible without the generous ongoing support of music fans like you!

Oh, and in case you haven't heard of Ektoplazm, here's five hours of music from the site to set the mood :)

I suppose I should introduce myself! I am generally known by my DJ name, Basilisk, but you can call me Alexander. I have been single-handedly operating Ektoplazm for much of it's decades-long history as a free music distribution portal. To catch up on the story so far I highly recommend reading the beginner's guide to Ektoplazm to understand my motivation in devoting so much time and energy to this project.

The short version: back in the late 2000s I decided to apply a lot of what I had learned from reading about free culture and digital music distribution to the global psytrance culture. I wanted to offer labels and artists a viable alternative to the traditional music industry with its shrinking profits and limits on creative expression. The concept caught on by 2010 and since then I've hardly been able to keep up with demand. I handle anything and everything that needs to be done behind the scenes: processing applications, preparing release packages, writing and editing promo text, translation, rights management, promotion, design, development, mixing, compiling, server administration, customer support, and much more. This doesn't leave me time for other work; Ektoplazm is actually my full-time job!

Ektoplazm serves up an incredible amount of free music but hosting isn't cheap. I pay around $300 every month just to keep the site online—down from $500 prior to 2019 thanks to migrating to a new hosting environment—and this expense is unavoidable. Many people come to me with suggestions to reduce this expense but I am committed to maintaining existing levels of service and there simply isn't anything less costly that doesn't involve risks I am unwilling to take with this project. That includes cloud hosting, CDNs, BitTorrent, ending support for WAV packages, and so on. Ektoplazm is too important to cut corners to save $100 a month—and with a fanbase in the millions it shouldn't be necessary. (And to be clear, I pay for resources, not bandwidth!)

There is also my time to consider. I don't have any expectation that I should be compensated for my hard work on Ektoplazm (though that would be nice) but I have to pay rent and eat, among other things. I have undertaken some unusual steps to reduce my cost-of-living while working on this project but the unvarnished truth is that my work on Ektoplazm has been funded with mounting personal debt. I don't like talking about this openly because I do not want it to seem like I am trying to make anyone feel guilty for not donating—that would be completely contrary to the spirit of the project—but it should be said. I trust that my years of service and unwavering commitment to Ektoplazm have demonstrated that I'm not in this for the money. I am genuinely passionate about seeing this project through to the next level.

I also ran a crowdfunding campaign in 2012 that was surprisingly successful but have not yet delivered on a new version of the site for reasons that have been outlined on the Ektoplazm blog. Some early mistakes and my inability to find the right developer to work with left me with few options apart from admitting defeat—so I decided to learn the necessary skills to complete the project myself, which has naturally taken a lot longer than initially expected. My day-to-day work on the project entails stocking the existing site with new releases (up until 2019 anyway) as well as working hard on code and design behind the scenes. So here I am, still dedicated to realizing the vision of Ektoplazm 2.0 in 2021!

Make a monthly commitment to support what I do here on Patreon! Your contribution will help keep the free music flowing and the redevelopment effort fully funded. Only through community support can this project reach its potential!

Ektoplazm has inspired an incredible outpouring of love and appreciation over the last decade. I am deeply thankful that this project has inspired so many and hope to continue working toward a better future for independent and underground music for years to come!
57% complete
Once base costs are covered the next step is being able to pay for new development work, which is gravely needed. This work is already under way, but I still have to pay rent and other necessities while I work on updating the site. Every little bit helps :)
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