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Justin Vernon & the Dessners release new EP, launch online music platform

Big Red Machine

Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron & Bryce Dessner (The National) are launching a new free online music platform called PEOPLE. It officially launches in August, in conjunction with the second PEOPLE Festival in Berlin, but a beta version is up now. One of the many projects on the platform is a new EP from Big Red Machine, the new collaborative project from Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner (which features Bryce Dessner, Phoebe Bridgers, Richard Reed Parry, Lisa Hannigan, Kate Stables, Brad Cook and others). There’s also music from Polica, This Is The Kit, and more, and lots of other Dessner and Vernon-related releases, including a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Memories” by the Dessners, Matt Berninger, Sufjan Stevens, Doveman, and others. All projects HERE. Here’s more info:

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.

This August 12th to 20th will come together in Berlin for a week-long residency. On the 18/19 August, the doors will open for two days of public performances, where we share our findings across seven Stages of the Funkhaus. It’s about new material, collaborations, unique arrangements and dissolving borders. The Funkhaus, built in the 1950’s, is the historic site of the radio and recording HQ of the former East German Republic. It’s a maze of studios of varying sizes and allows for an unrivalled sound quality in performance as well as a wide range of audience numbers. One of the aspects of this event is that no timetable will be communicated. The aim is to provide a situation where an audience member will not know what they are going to see until they sit down and the lights come up. With this arises the possibility to be genuinely surprised, moved, or opened up to something new. It liberates the artist and audience alike from preconception or expectation. Attached the list of artists participating for the week.

The PEOPLE Digital Platform

Building on this physical encounters, we want to create a place to evolve and share ideas around the year. That’s why we are 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. Just like the gathering, this too is an artist-lead, independent environment which uniquely offers the opportunity to the contributors to provide all the rich context to all their work that appears there.

Earlier this week, Big Red Machine shared the theme music for WYNC Studios’ “American Fiasco” podcast about the 1998 World Cup. You can hear that below.

Tune in to PEOPLE here.

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