No Smoking Media is both a taste-curation project for its founding members and a regularly updated release aggregate, establishing its particular aesthetic via selective coverage of artists who we believe deserve recognition for their creative ability regardless of mainstream media coverage. In lieu of reviewing every album released and passing judgment, we will ‘judge’ simply by including albums we like and omitting other albums. Full-length album reviews will not feature a numeric rating system, and will be comparatively few in number; we will review only when we think an album is important enough to discuss, either in its success or failure to achieve artistic coherence. Our priority is that our blog pushes good, creative music regardless of popularity or press coverage — our ideal readership is one that values expanding its taste (but might be too busy to scan SoundCloud itself).
To emphasize our transparence, we will regularly be adding to our list of ‘essential albums,’ albums previously released which we think form a creative and coherent core of exemplary musicianship. Obviously, we can only release so many justified write-ups at a time, so the list remains representative rather than comprehensive — also, our taste is, like yours, obviously subjective. We try to justify all of what we publicize, but in the end, we are also only people like you, however unrelentingly self-educated and thorough we may try to be.