John Peel’s virtual record collection springs to life, debuts first weekly batch of 100 LPs, flexes in the mirror

John Peel's virtual record collection springs to life, debuts first weekly batch of 100 LPs, flexes in the mirror

We drooled over it earlier this year, and now the John Peel Archive is alive on the internet, all tarted up and decreasing productivity in some of the most soul-crushing sectors of our global workforce. From May to October, the faceless BBC/Arts Council archivists will upload 100 albums each week from the massive 25,000 LP/40,000 single collection, so right now you’ll only be able to co-opt Peel’s tastes up to Adam & The Ants. Still, with one click, each album can be streamed in full via Spotify, so 100 separate album spins a week (plus ads!) should keep most people busy.

Though still in its infancy, it’s already very clear that the Archive is a serious venture, with a fantastic interface (I’m giggling just running the cursor along the spines of the records!) and professionally produced extras, such as documentary-style “featured artist” videos — where underappreciated sing-song weirdos of yesteryear smile into the camera sporting enormous white beards and brag about how John Peel liked them. Along with the record collection itself, you can roam around Peel’s room and check out photos, radio shows, and streamable Peel Sessions by a million bands. It’s sorta like that Gorillaz online world, but instead of driving a jeep with Dan the Automator and unlocking hi-res Damon Albarn images, you just take your shoes off in John Peel’s room and mess around with whatever you want!

• John Peel Archive: http://thespace.org/content/s000004u/index.html

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