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‘Life has surface noise’

“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise. I said, ‘Listen, mate, life has surface noise.”

John Peel

Daily Prompt: Record

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Rough around the edges

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Things are more interesting and potentially more truthful around the edges. This applies to anyone, from politicians to musicians.

Politicians that speak the truth become outsiders. But politicians who abuse the ‘outsider’ status to pander to populist voters squander their authenticity. They can be as thoughtful as Bernie Sanders or as morally corrupt and downright offensive as Trump.

The artist also treads a fine line between a unique creative process to one that can become manufactured. Take the case of MIA; the Internet made her a star and removed her underground status along with it. Another case and point: Diplo, once a revered beat-smith from Florida, now produces hits for Justin Bieber.

The challenge for politicians and artists alike or companies like Apple, therefore, seems to be retaining their edginess despite a growth in popularity. Radiohead may be the paragon of balancing mainstream success while maintaining outsider status. By changing up their sound on each album, they’re able to appear credible to both the experimental listener and the person seeking the wisdom of crowds.

So how does a politician or artists push the boundaries without manipulating their uniqueness to the point of appearing fake? It depends on how honest they are in their approach. If the work is worth talking about, it’ll spread along with its originality.

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John Peel on discovering new music

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“I just want to hear something I haven’t heard before.”

John Peel

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John Peel on vinyl

John Peel: "Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't have any surface noise. I said, 'Listen, mate, life has surface noise."

“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs
are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.
I said, ‘Listen, mate, life has surface noise.”

John Peel

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John Peel
John Peel
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If it wasn’t for John Peel, there would be no Joy Division & no New Order.

Bernard Sumner

(via @keepitpeel)

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Best DJ of all time.  His collection. 
Best DJ of all time.  His collection. 
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Digitizing John Peel’s Record Collection

John Peel was the greatest DJ of all time. He introduced reggae to the UK and tempted his listeners with what he thought people would like rather than playing the sure hits.

The BBC and the English Arts council announced that they are digitizing his record collection, spanning 40,000 vinyl singles and 25,000 vinyl LPs.

Even though the actual music won’t be digitized, we’ll still be able to google away at his collection. I’m sure half is his collection can’t be heard or found. Peel went that deep into music.

One of the last records Peel made was a mix for Fabric, the progressive London night club. It might be the most educational record you’ll ever hear, combining rock, reggae, drum n bass, and commentary from Peel’s favorite football club Liverpool.

I miss Peel. I made a poster of him after he died. It reminds me to keep discovering.