Automatic for the People

PeopleJust when we thought, in the words of Barenaked Ladies, it’s all been done, in the way of streaming services, a new kid comes to the party by way of The National and Bon Iver.

As told to The Guardian recently, The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner have teamed up with pal Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, in other circles) to launch P-E-O-P-L-E, born of the 2016 Berlin festival of the same name.  The two have partnered with entrepreneurs/hoteliers Berlin hipster hoteliers Tom and Nadine Michelberger in the creation of what they’re calling a “publishing platform.”  Off the bat, tuned in Redditors are comparing it to BandCamp, but notes though “you can’t buy or download the music.  It’s about “streaming and discovering.”  Others have commented on the unique perspective the space offers non-musicians to get inside heads (and ears) of their favorite musicians. Currently, it’s not yet open to the masses, but, like Soundcloud, as Tom Michelberger shares, it’s “also not fully curated.”

True to their festival roots, the founders of people are promoting the launch by way of a week-long residency in Berlin featuring approximately 160 artists.  The event promises known and unknown music with “the work itself lighting the way.”  (Performers expected include Damien Rice, Nick Zinner, Lisa Hannigan, Anaïs Mitchell, Canny Leaneagh (Poliça), Camilla Staveley Taylor (the Staves), Kurt Wagner, Erlend Oye to name a few.

Bryce Dessner shared, “It’s trying to deformalise some of the artifice and structure that goes into releasing music, and to get a little bit closer to the creative and collaborative process, and to the people.”

Peeps can geek out to the lo-fi beta version of the site now, with the full launch happening in August. promises “We want to create a place to evolve and share ideas around the year. That’s why we are in the process of building our own digital platform where the music from recordings, sessions and live events as well as visual art, podcasts and essays can find a home. For all the raw, the unpackaged, the experiments and the evolved ideas.”

In a statement, the team promises “We are a steadily growing group of international artists who have come together to create and share our work freely, with each other and everyone. We call it PEOPLE. It was born of a wish to establish an independent and nurturing space in which to make work (generally around music) that is collaborative, spontaneous and expressive in nature and where all unnecessary distractions or obstacles that get in the way are removed.

PEOPLE is for the benefit and development of the artists involved and just as importantly, for those who would like to access and enjoy the output. It is as much about the process of making work and showing all that openly, as the final outcome.”

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