Since the beginning of hip hop and turntablism, the best DJs have been the best crate diggers, people who would spend hours flipping thru old vinyl, unknown titles, rare cuts, and sometimes seriously out-of-fashion, embarrassing old records for those brief moments of music that when looped, could be spun into modern magic.
At the same time, hip hop sampling has also been a minefield for copyright law, so much that modern DJs shy away from sampling lest they spend months and or years seeking clearing rights.
Artist and computer scientist Brian Foo knows where there are plenty of crates that have yet to be dug: the Library of Congress. Already the author of several projects that turn data into music, Foo received a grant from the Library this year to do something amazing with their collection and offer it to the public.
Citizen DJ is the result and currently you can play around with the beta version.
Sound sources come from the Library's many collections: Edison sound recordings, Variety Stage recordings, Joe Smith's interviews with early 20th century celebrities, a collection of American dialect recordings, government information films, and their more modern free music archives.