Cafe del Mar series - "Various Artists" or not?

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there’s been a disagreement on some edits related to releases of the Cafe del Mar series. We can’t seem to agree on a solution and would like others to chime in :slight_smile:

Now, most members of the series (see, plus a few others, have “compiled by $dj” printed on the cover.
The disagreement boils down to: Does this make $dj the artist of the compilation or is “Various Artists” with a relationship “compiler: $dj” more appropriate?

There’s a discussion @


"Café Del Mar" or "Café del Mar"?

(as a new user I can’t post more than 4 links to list all the edits, so here’re just the lists they’re in)

Edits in favor of artist=$dj:

Edits on favor of artist=VA:


If I’m looking for such a compilaton like “Café del Mar” I would never search for the compiler (like “Bruno”) as artist, because his/her work is “only” to select some existing songs, order them (untouched from the original artist) together to a compilation.

I don’t know the rules, but I would add an annotation or disambiguation “compiled by Bruno” and use “Various Artists”.


Personally I don’t think $dj as the album artist. Perhaps if it’s a DJ mix.
But the official position is that for releases with more than one artist you can put whatever you want as the album artist. If you want to put your shopping list there it’s OK.


In general we credit whoever is credited as the main artist. It’s definitely ok to credit DJ-mixers and even compilers (or recording engineers / collectors, for field recordings!) if they’re given a prominent credit. But in this case, looking at the cover, the credit doesn’t seem particularly prominent - it’s in tiny letters and it doesn’t seem to imply this is much of a “Bruno” release. So I’d think it fine to go for Various Artists in this specific case, even as someone who generally dislikes using VA - I think this is a “both options are correct” kind of edge case really.

"Presenters" as Artists!?

For an example of a compiled release where IMO it makes complete sense to credit the compiler, see this compilation by the Estonian president, where the main selling point of the whole thing is that it’s selected by him, and also includes his face as the main image in the cover.


More examples of release and RG artists who are not the performers:

My understanding has always been that Various Artists has generally been considered “the artist of last resort”. That is, if there’s no other plausible release artist then this might be the best you can do.

So, my question is, does it (ever/always/never) make sense to add VA to the artist credit on releases like these?

"And Friends" as an artist

I for one would never recommend crediting VA in addition to something else


I had set that as VA and a compiler relationship but I like this idea of setting compiler as artist as well.

I think I will revert sooner or later.

Uh? No discourse one-box?


For some reason it only worked for me with beta links. But let’s not go too off topic, start a new one or add a ticket if it happens consistently :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t do it either. If there is already another credit to it, what is the point?
There are situations like Mr Foo & Friends, but that is solved by credits being open ended nowadays

now I wouldn’t add other SPA’s either, like “[unknown]”, which I have seen and find grimacing in most regards, but I think most people disagree with me there :sigh:


I mostly concur. But series consistency pushes it to „use VA throughout“ territory for me.


Thanks for the input, guys!