1. Mix

    Last night It’s Nice That and INT Works had a party to celebrate our new studio. We had a keg, pastel-coloured cups and a whole load of old friends round and it was wicked kewl. The playlist we put together was an absolute banger, and we’ve edited it down today to give you a small slice of the music that makes us want to get drunk, dance, say inappropriate things and touch each other. Enjoy!

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    They might seem like a load of gobbledygook, but the words Shapeshift, Trumpalump and GOB all have one thing in common; they’re singles by UK rapper and hip hop artist DELS, wordsmith and It’s Nice That Friday Mixtape-creator du jour. We have it on very good authority that he’s been known to dabble in graphic design and filmmaking too, which makes DELS alright in basically all of our books.

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    Happy Friday from us and the guys from very cool and very great record label, Bella Union. The label, formed in the 1990s by Cocteau Twins represent some of the bands and artists that we listen to in the It’s Nice That studio all day, such as John Grant, Van Dyke Parks, Father John Misty and The Walkmen (youuuu’ve got a neerrrveee to be assssking my favouuuur!) And so it is with deep pleasure that we welcome the team at Bella Union with their truly wonderful Friday mixtape created especially for us. Kevin Ayers, Elvis Presley, Heart AND Harry Nilsson spell sunny Friday afternoon in our books, so turn it up.

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    How cool is this? London-based man-band Bombay Bicycle Club have made us an absolutely smashing mixtape to accompany your Friday and weekend. Jack Steadman, Jamie MacColl, Suren de Saram and Ed Nash collectively write and play songs that are at once heartbreaking and uplifting, a bit like Homeward Bound. Their mix, however, is a tropical cocktail of cross-continental tracks including bangers from Donnie and Joe Emerson (classic), Frank Zappa (wahoo!) and everyone’s favourite old crooner, Charles Bradley. A big thanks to these busy boys for making our weekend substantially better.

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    Who better to give us a mix than the man in charge of A&R at the legendary Warp Records? Embarrassingly I had to look up what A&R meant when Stephen told me that’s what he did. Turns out it stands for “artists and repertoire” which basically means that Stephen spends his time scouting new talent and overseeing their climb to fame like some sort of lovely, knowledgable father-figure with a good taste in music. Despite his busy schedule of sorting out what music we’re all going to listen to in the future, Stephen’s kindly put together a mix of Friday-themed music. Unsurprisingly it’s really good and very, very cool. Enjoy!

  6. Mixtapelist

    Great news! The first album by Icelandic cool-masters Kiasmos is out super soon, and to celebrate, the magnificent pair have made us a fantastic Friday mixtape! Kiasmos is a project that brings together our favourite composer Ólafur Arnalds and Bloodgroup mastermind Janus Rasmussen in a seriously magical match. Their mix has something for everyone, from the melodic and magnetic Jon Hopkins, to the majestic Bat for Lashes and some glorious pop-trash to boot. Fill your ears with the enthralling assortment of soundscapes here!

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    If you’re anything like us when it comes to music, you happily eschew all things super cool and underground (gabber, anybody?) in favour of letting Christina Aguilera and Usher blare out obnoxiously over the studio sound system. And in a glorious celebration of our unashamed love of pop music, this week Japanese-American singer-songwriter Kina Grannis has put together a Friday mixtape for us! Woooo! Crank it up and croon along, and enjoy every single glorious “ooooh.” Happy Friday!

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    Wow, what a treat this is! Singer, songwriter, comic-book maker and generally nice guy Jeffrey Lewis has made us an extra special It’s Nice That Friday mixtape! He’s even kindly told us a little about each song that he’s chosen. Turns out Jeffrey’s taste in music reflects his own, something that I really love in a mixtape. From Gravediggaz, Lou Reed and spoken word to psychedelic Christian music from the 70s and more, this mix is Jeff through and through and is the perfect accompaniment to your Friday, nay your entire weekend. Let’s all take a minute to be thankful that we’re all on the planet at the same time as this guy.

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    What could be better than a design studio that not only provides the public with cutting-edge designs and album artwork than a studio that also provides their fans with the music they’re listening to while they make them? New York studio Mogollon, founded by Francisco Lopez and Monica Brand in 2004, have got a tasty portfolio of young, colourful work that is accompanied by a number of popular mixes they’ve made. They’ve kindly gifted us our very own, extra special, It’s Nice That mix tape – so crank it up and hear what kind of stuff those design cats across the pond are into.

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    Here’s Asian Dan, the man without whom I would have no laughter in my life, for Dan is the creator of LE MEMÉ, the best online sick-bucket archive of images that make you lose all hope in the human race. Brown Cardigan’s weird cousin, if you will. As well as this, Dan’s also a DJ and makes his cash by appreciating and gathering music and turning it into mixes for the baying public. We appreciate his choices for us today, Janet Jackson and James Taylor in the same playlist can only be a good thing. Take it away, Asian Dan!

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    Spare a thought whilst you sit in a dreary city for those youngsters at Austin Psych Fest, hanging out in the dappled sunlight with pockets full of hallucinogens and painfully ringing ears. Yep, it’s that time of year where if you’re not at the festival, the best you can do is watch it on telly or listen to the music and dream. We’re not jealous or anything, at all, no way, we’re quite content to sit here at work and listen to a mixtape of the best bands playing at the hippy-fest right this minute. Close your eyes, get your headphones and your Out Of Office on and try to imagine you’re wearing tie-dye by a river with a bunch of really, really cool people listening to some incredible music. Or at least try.

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    Cornish Ninja Tune singer songwriter Fink has kindly made us a Friday mix! If you know Fink’s music then you’re going to absolutely bloody love this, 12 tracks of his personal favourites to get you through this afternoon. It’s got everything: BB King, Paul Simon, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell and more. He’s got a new single out called Hard Believer which you can listen to over here if you prefer his own music to his recommendations. Until next week!

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    Here ya go! Another installment from the music men at the ever-brilliant NTS Radio, this time from Shane Connolly (or Shamos), creative director of the station. “I run a night called LIFE which has been running for almost three years where I invite record collectors and music lover to play the music they love,” Shane tells us. “This mix is quite different to what I play out, but is definitely music I love and listen to on my own so this is a good chance to play it.” It’s Bank Holiday, so it’s the perfect time to make a fresh batch of coffee, get the daffodils in the vase, put your feet (no shoes) on the sofa and turn this up.

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    Ever heard Anna Calvi sing? It feels like you’re on Odysseus’ ship being led to the rocks but you don’t mind about your imminent death one bit because her siren sound is that brilliant. Anna famously taught herself to sing from scratch in her kitchen when her parents were out, and has since stunned audiences all around the world with her tremendous, booming voice and terrifyingly beautiful face. To celebrate the launch of her new single Piece by Piece she’s kindly made a mix for us this Friday, and it is bloody brilliant. She’s chosen the likes of Pixies, Cocteau Twins and Ennio Morricone for us today – thank you Anna! Enjoy.

  15. Mixtape-list

    This week we had a belter of a playlist lined up, and then we had a bit of trouble uploading it in time – so you’ll have to wait until next week to give it a listen. BUT, every cloud has a silver lining guys, because in lieu of a playlist from musical experts we’ve decided to bring you right into the bosom of our studio with one of our absolute favourite personal playlists. The lovely Liv Siddall put it together many months ago and since then it’s been on constant rotation during office hours. In fact we’re listening to it right now! So go ahead and put your feet up, get this bad boy on the stereo and perhaps pretend you’re here with us, whiling away Friday afternoon with 145 tracks of incredible psych (and some punk and shoegaze etc.). Catch you next week you cool cats!

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    What a treat, here we have Otis Marchbank’s Friday mix specially made to make your afternoon that much better. As well as putting this fabulous lump of music together, Otis has also made us a rather nice zine which you can see below. Accompanying a mix with a zine? Uh, that is definitely what we are into, top marks! You may have heard Otis on NTS Radio’s “bi-weekly confederation of weirdos” Pipe Down show before today, and if you haven’t then pull your finger out and be sure to check it out. Thank you NTS! And thank you Otis!

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    What a treat we have here ladies and gentlemen! The hungry, hooting, howling young men that make up Wild Beasts have graced us with one of the best Friday mixes we’ve had yet. Listen closely and you’ll hear the sounds that have inspired the band of late, from legendary, feminine wailing by way of the Cocteau Twins to a beautiful Sexual Healing cover from the lovely Kate Bush. Once you’ve finished weirding out to this, check out the new Wild Beasts album Present Tense. It’s really, really good, if you’re into that kind of thing. Which we are. A lot. Thanks, boys!

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    We’ve been fans of Rose Blake’s illustration for a long time, everyone has right? But did you know that as well as being ace at drawing, Rose also has an absolutely BANGING taste in music? If you’re into deep house and happy hardcore then you may not think so, but if – like me – you feel like you were unfairly born into the wrong era and you’re happiest hanging out with a bunch of dads (and friends of dads) then this is for YOU! Once you’ve finished shimmying your shoulders to Kevin Ayers, Elvis Costello and the Everly Brothers, go over to Rose’s side-project Studio Music where you’ll find mixtapes from some of the best creatives in the world. Take it away, Rose!

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    Now THIS is a Friday mixtape. We asked model and DJ Jack Guinness to make us a collection of Friday songs after having a look at his blog and seeing he was an R Kelly fan, which is possibly the most legitimate reason for asking someone to do a playlist, ever. He’s put together some absolute classics starting with the sultry, summer evening vibes from The Zombies and finishing with last-tune-at-a-wedding banger Place Your Hands by Reef. Not sure if Jack actually does DJ at weddings, although he has notoriously DJ’d for Arnold Schwarzenegger. What a beard, what a guy.

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    We’re all big Micachu fans at It’s Nice That. The London-based producer and experimental musician caught our attention last year when she decided to make 10 music videos inspired by her housemates in one go for her new album. It’s Friday, and she’s kindly taken time out of her day to make us an exclusively reggae mix. So go get a beer, tell your girlfriend/boyfriend you love them, and turn it up.

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    Woo! Another mixtape from someone recommended by NTS Radio. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: NTS are much cooler than us, so this kind of help with Friday mixtapes is incredibly helpful. This week they’ve asked artist and NTS contributor Joane Skyler (real name Jason Kerley) to contribute a mix for us, and what a mix! His/her first release was described on Boomkat as “a 30-minute odyssey that glides into the hardcore continuum and re-shapes various forms and formulations of electronic music along the way.” The music he/she has chosen for us today is a heady, abstract mix of sounds that come together to resemble a shoe-gazer disco at Willy Wonka’s factory. You’ll find the mind boggling track list below.

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    Just as no one likes a smug couple on Valentine’s Day, no one wants a down-in-the-mouth “poor me, poor me, pour me another!” single person either. We’ve all got to live together today folks, and what better way to help it all run smoothly than two novelty playlists? Our mixtapes this week have been decided by committee, with the whole of the It’s Nice That Studio and Twittersphere submitting songs to go on two different mixes, the first being #Couples, the second being #Singles. Which is better? You decide. For us the singles one has got a certain je ne sais quoi, but maybe that’s because it features a song entitled Red Right Hand.

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    This is probably the first time we’ve had an actual pop star on It’s Nice That, how exciting! Her name’s Indiana and she’s from Nottingham, she had a show in trendy new bar Oslo in Hackney last night and she’s set to conquer the world with her lovely, 80s-inspired, synthy….music. We’re art and design journalists, okay? Anyway, anyone that picks Wicked Game by Chris Isaak is a friend of ours, so without further ado, here she is with a Friday mixtape to brighten up your afternoon. Turn it up!

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    This Friday’s mixtape comes from Mark Jasper of Sound Savers fame. Sound Savers is an analogue and digital recording studio and rehearsal space in Hackney, London. Together, three friends help bands record the albums that will one day (hopefully) make budding musicians rich and famous. Mark also does a fortnightly radio show on NTS and plays in the lo-fi guitar band Witching Waves. I’ve actually just had a listen to them, they’re really good.

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    A very special mixtape for you this week from young whippersnapping band, Big Ups. The band, formed in 2010, is made up of Brendan Finn, Joe Galarraga, Amar Lal, and Carlos Salguero Jr. They’ve been signed to Tough Love records and their “blend punk, post-punk, metal, and indie rock” songs channel worldly topics such as science and mood swings. This mixtape is one of the best we’ve had so far, and is the perfect accompaniment to your grizzly Friday afternoon. Especially if you like Weezer or spent your youth playing guitar in your garage with (or without) your friends.

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    Earlier in the week we asked you to submit your artwork for a chance to be involved in the wonderful Secret 7" project which for the past two years has taken some of the world’s best songs and asked people to design record sleeves for specially printed vinyl in aid of War Child. If you haven’t entered yet, do it now. If you already have then sit back and press play on this fantastic mixtape curated by the man behind Secret 7" himself, Kevin King. This mixtape is a selection of songs that Kevin would like to give the Secret 7" treatment to in the future. Go on, Kev! Go onnnnnnn.

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    Yep, you’re back to work. You’re poor, wet and cold and with a long expanse of grey ahead of you…But cheer up! It might never happen! We’ve put together 12 songs all with underlying themes of “new” or “return” or “back”. Apologies about the Take That, but you know what? We do want you back, and we want you for good. Put it on the office stereo and watch those frowns turn upside down.

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    Don’t you find that most Christmas mixtapes are grating, antisocial and depressing? We’ve gone out of our way this year to make a lovely festive mixtape that you can play in a room without anyone being forced to reach for the booze to kill the pain. Yep, we’ve got Charlie Brown, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and Nat King Cole in this merry assortment of loving songs. Let this be the soundtrack to the best Christmas of your lives. Take it away Charlie Brown…

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    We’re going to keep celebrating the launch of the Winter issue of Printed Pages until we’re vomiting sand, so you’d better get used to it. At least in this celebration you get the added treat of music, sweet music. For this issue we commissioned It’s Nice That Graduate and all-round talented, magical man Edward Monaghan to create a visual mixtape for us. He selected five of his favourite songs and set about illustrating each one with spectacular results.

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    Woo! What a treat we have for you this week as Stephen Bass, co-owner of record label Moshi Moshi, has contributed by far the coolest mixtape we’ver had yet. In Stephen’s words, Moshi Moshi is “an independent record label and management company which has been swimming against the tide and trying to bang square pegs into round holes for 15 years this winter, balancing art and commerce and trying to enjoy it.” His mix of cellos, jazz and electronic dream music has been compiled today with a friday afternoon in mind. So, without further ado, here he is.

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    After handing over our Friday Mixtape to the guys at NTS Radio last week we decided to treat you to our own studio’s taste once more. Look, no one said we were really cool and into trendy music, we’re into art and shit, yeah? Deal with it. This week we’ve got Jon Grant who got the top spot on the Rough Trade albums of 2013 list some Black Sabbath and some Tom Waits. What more could you ask for?! It’s Friday afternoon, crank. it. up.

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    From time to time we’re going to be handing over our Friday Mixtape to friends of ours so they can share their musical inspiration with you, our dear readers/listeners. First up we are delighted to welcome the fine folk of NTS Radio, and in particular Heather Weil, one of those behind the fortnightly show Black Impulse. She is on a mission to broaden your audio horizons, so over to her…

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    We realise that sometimes the music we play in the It’s Nice That headquarters isn’t that “cool” so this week we’ve opened it up to our Twitter followers – yippee! The difference in quality is nothing short of astounding, and the wake up call to just how on the pulse we are in terms of popular music is more than a little unnerving. So here we are, a trendy playlist to dance walk you through the afternoon straight on to the dance floor. Bags on the floor, everyone in a circle, here we go…

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    What a whopper of a mix tape we’ve got for you this week! It’s Friday afternoon, it’s going to rain soon, so here we prescribe you with a healthy dose of R.Kelly, the Arctic Monkeys, Bjork, Panda Bear and the wonderfully named The Flamin’ Groovies. So what are you waiting for? Beers in the fridge, back on your chair, start digesting that overindulgent Friday lunch and crank this mother flipper UP.

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    This week’s mix tape starts off with the first track on The Streets’ debut album which, when things get a bit stressful in the It’s Nice That office, always seems to get played to pump us all up. Maybe it’s because it reminds us of being all razzed up in the sixth form centre. We hope it has the same effect on you. Aside from that this week we’ve got some Roxy Music, some Cat Stevens and some psychedelic spooky stuff to get you in a halloweeny mood. So what are you waiting for? Lock the dial and crank it up!

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    Right now in the studio we’re listening to Peg by Steely Dan and I’m here like “Why didn’t we put this on the mixtape?” But it’s too late, the mixtape has spoken. This week it’s a collaborative effort from all the music lovers at It’s Nice That. The selection is, as always, odd, but whoever said we were DJ’s? We’re a bloody publishing house, alright? Anyway, the tunes this week range from the new Kwes album to some early Rolling Stones to some flirty Snoop Dogg. Tantalising? You betcha. Crank it up and have a great Friday afternoon.

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    Oh hey guys! What better thing to do on a cold Friday than to put this playlist on for your colleagues and have a good old sing song to some classics ranging from Seu Jorge to David Bowie to Kevin Lyttle (don’t pretend you don’t remember the dulcet tones of Kevin). So all you gotta do is press play, sit back and enjoy your Friday afternoon with twelve songs to drive you slowly into the rabid jaws of the weekend…

  38. Mtain

    What a week! And what better way to round it off than with some slamming tunes. This week we’ve got an absolutely banging playlist with such hits as Pulp’s Sorted For E’s and Whizz, followed by some trippy Donovan track where he witters on about how much he loves his shirt. We end with an absolute banger from a 1990s girl band that isn’t The Spice Girls. Can you guess what it is yet? Don’t pretend you don’t know the whole intro off by heart. All together now!

  39. Mixtape-list

    Your fingertips are bleeding, you’re suffering from malnutrition and dehydration, your brain feels like a shrivelled baked potato…it’s Friday afternoon! We’ve put together some fun songs to accompany that final push of the week, so send the youngest person in the office/studio/workshop to go and buy some beers, and get these 12 terrific tracks on the stereo for the rest of the day.

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    This week we were all talking about Tim Peake being the first UK astronaut to visit the space station out in…outer space, so in honour of his bravery we decided to make our monthly playlist SPACE themed! Not necessarily all relating to outer space, some of these songs hark back to the feeling of being in a teenage bedroom, getting out and about in the great outdoors or even just being in your trusty old house. Apart from Holly, our intern, she chose Modjo’s “Lady (Hear me Tonight)” because that would be what she’d want to hear if she was flying through space on her own. Fair enough. Here it is!