The Ultimate Peel Session
Legendary UK DJ’s record collection available online
It’s like this: If you were a fan of indie music in the past 40 years and had even a passing familiarity with British rock culture, you will be aware that John Peel was one of the essential cosmic gateways to discovering the sounds you absolutely needed to hear. His BBC radio show ran for xxx years and granted exposure to countless underground artists—he spun their records, he had them play live in the studio (do a search for Peel Sessions sometime), he championed them during the years leading up to the current era, during which “indie” is not just a description of a band’s aesthetic/cultural status, but a viable commercial genre. When Peel died last year, he left a huge void in the world of music discovery. Now, however, his ghost will live on in the form of his legendarily massive—and characteristically well-indexed—record collection, which is being archived online via an amazing website called The Space.
As Stereogum reported, the project renders Peel’s office in a digital mode, showing photos, old broadcasts, and the like. But the treasure lies in his records, which are catalogued alphabetically, rated by the man himself, and accompanied by a Spotify link. This seems like the most fitting tribute possible to a man who spent his adult life on the front lines of making music available to a world of curious and adventurous listeners.