Joshua Ellis Presents Dbasr

Most of you are familiar with the work of Coilhouse contributor Joshua Ellis. Perhaps you read his excellent article “Dark Miracle: Trinity, The Manhattan Project And The Birth Of The Atomic Agein Issue 02, or “Children by the Millions Wait for Alex Chiltonin Issue 04. He’s also been published in Mondo 2000, Make, and countless other fine publications. Additionally, he’s a musician and a web designer.

Josh has just launched a new project called Dbasr – a free, open-source content management system for musicians and other rich media artists. Dbasr aims to do for musicians what WordPress did for writers and artists – create a decentralized, customizable platform with an emphasis on flexible design options and usability.

Josh is uniquely qualified to undertake this sort of project owing to his experience as creative lead and co-founder of the now-defunct Mperia, a BitPass-founded, DRM-free online music store launched in the early 00s. Josh has described it as “a sort of radical iTunes where any artist could create a profile, upload their music, choose a price for each song and album, and sell it using BitPass’s payment system.” For complex reasons beyond the developers’ control, Mperia folded after four years. Since that time, Josh has been keeping an eye on more recent online stores and promo websites. He’s been doing his homework on interface and user experience, and has some excellent points concerning the various options musicians and fans currently have for presenting or perusing music online:

MySpace is ugly and clumsy, and music is shoehorned in as an afterthought to what the site was designed for […] Facebook is even worse. Music is just not what these sites are meant for. There are music-specific social-type network sites for bands, such as ReverbNation and Bandcamp. These are great tools for what they do, but I think they miss the point. Musicians — really any kind of artist — need their own unique presence online. Their web presence needs to match up with their individual aesthetic, and they need to be able to interact with their fans and publish work in ways that they and their fans choose.

Agreed.  A truly elegant, intuitive, multifunctional interface for presenting or buying independent music on the web has yet to surface. Click here to read what Josh has to say about his concept. Could DBASR could be be the site we’ve all been waiting for?

If you’ve enjoyed Josh’s work for Coilhouse, we’d like to invite to pitch in and help him devote himself to this project as if it were a full-time job. There are three ways that you can help – by donating to get the project going, contributing your coding skills, or simply spreading the word.

Questions? Opinions? Share them in comments.

Comments are closed.