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    Is it us or has everyone gone way more bonkers for Halloween this year than ever before? Whatever, we’re jumping on the bandwagon, and have put together a spectacular, terrifying mixtape for you. This year we decided to concentrate on a particularly fantastic sub-genre that is spooky, psychedelic songs from the 1960s. Back then countless bands were teaming up in groups and calling themselves things like “The Five Blobs,” “Don Hinson and the Rigamorticians” and “Frankie Stein” to deliver some of the creepiest, grooviest songs in existence. Even if you’re not that into it, putting this on at a Halloween party tonight for everyone to bop to is far, far cooler than just putting on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, again.

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    A couple of weeks ago as part of our Back to School month of features, we heard from various creatives about how they saw art and design schools around Europe. The piece added some useful context about the strengths of creative education in Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ireland, as well as the challenges facing art schools in those countries.

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    This week the whole of London has been going nuts for art – what with Frieze, The Sunday Art Fair and the Turner Prize all going on at once. None of these events would be nearly as good without a specially curated (sorry) mixtape that features strictly art-related songs. Think there aren’t that many songs about art? Think again, there are loads, and I’m as surprised as you are. If you think we’ve forgotten any gems just add them in via the comments box below and we’ll add them in. Happy art-ing everyone!

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    Earlier this week we covered Chelsea Louise Berlin’s fantastic book Rave Art which celebrates the flyers and invites that defined the acid house era in the 1980s and 90s. The article was a huge hit, bringing back some fond (and maybe quite hazy) memories for many readers, so with that in mind it was a no-brainer when it came to choosing this week’s Friday Mixtape.

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    A VERY special and timely mix from the guys over at Wonderland magazine this week. I am very pleased to tell you that today is 3 October 2014 – EXACTLY a decade since heartthrob Aaron Samuels asks Cady what day it is in 2004’s cinematic highlight, Mean Girls. Spooky huh? To celebrate this fact, and their utterly spectacular new Mean Girls-themed issue, the guys over at Wonderland have put together a mix of their “current favourite female musicians and female-led tracks.”

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    Shame on those who thought we couldn’t make a brilliant mixtape out of songs relating entirely to books. From Turn The Page by The Streets to Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel, this mix is in honour of the fantastic book fairs that are currently going on in New York and London right now. So if you’re in New York or London get yourself down to the Art Book Fairs this weekend and pick up a little wad of paper that’s going to potentially change (or just momentarily enrich) your life. Oh, and listen to this book-themed mixtape and if you think we’ve forgotten any just leave them in the box below!

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    The new issue of Printed Pages is fresh-ish off the press! For the Archive feature this issue we interviewed Teal Triggs, a writer, professor, educator and zine aficionado whose collection of printed matter rivals any we’ve seen. We were lucky enough to spend an afternoon excitedly exploring her collection of Riot Grrrl zines, which we photographer Samuel Bradley photograph en masse, so we thought it was only right that celebrate the launch of the magazine with a Riot Grrrl-themed playlist. It’s by no means exhaustive, so feel free to add songs in directly, or to comment with your suggestions below!

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    Howdy! The new issue of Printed Pages magazine is out, and we’re happy to announce that deep within its wondrous pages lies an in-depth article studying the impact of Americana on art and design. To celebrate the launch of the mag we thought we’d dedicate this week’s mix to Americana, and the seemingly infinite pot of inspiration that artists and musicians have been delving into through time that is the United States. Read along with your own copy of Printed Pages you can get from over here.

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    When drinking warm cider in a park starts to get boring it’s good to know that autumn is there waiting like a trusty friend in a really great jumper just around the corner. Did you know that the season is as treacherous as it is beautiful? More people step in dog poo in autumn than in any other months. Fact. It lurks beneath kickable piles of leaves. On the plus side it is well-known for its magic feeling of refreshment – a certain back-to-school vibe that makes new projects and friendships seem exciting and energised.

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    Great mix this week from the lady with the hair, Ella Eyre. Ella went to the Brit School and has since gone on to be a very successful singer whose collaboration with the likes of Rudimental, Wiz Khalifa and Naughty Boy have caught the attention of, well, pretty much everyone. Most of the world is talking about her hair (mainly on Twitter) and why not? It’s certainly the best hair I’ve ever seen. This mix from her is a good old fashioned combination of her influences and faves and is a perfect way to kick-start the weekend. Want more? You can read a fun interview with Ella over on Noisey

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    Most of London is dirty and smelly all year round, but lovely, pretty west London really only gets a good old fashioned soiling once a year for the Notting Hill Carnival. The August bank holiday is here and yes, it’s Carnival time. We were going to make an in-house mix but then we realised what a bad idea that was (we tend to listen to things like Bob Dylan and that weird song by Bill Wyman). In our panic we asked south London DJ Bradley Zero to help us out, and he’s given us a well-informed mix of songs to take us through until terrible Tuesday. He also included some snaps of his time in Dominica to go with the mix he’s put together, which you can see below.

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    Fantastic mix this week from London mix-merchants Shock World Service. “I find it difficult to sum up what the podcast is,” says creator Jon Averill. “On one hand the Shock World Service is just another mixtape. On the other it is more music and sound collage, music and spoken word interwoven with sounds and dialogue recorded around the city – best suited for long train journeys or flights, ideally late at night and played loudly on headphones.”

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    When reading some articles about Lianne la Havas it soon became clear that this incredibly talented woman has got an agenda to promote and champion female artists everywhere. She notes Laura Marling, Little Dragon, Erykah Badu as some of her primary influences, which bodes pretty well for the female-heavy mix she’s made for us today. Lianne’s put together ten tracks that deal with heartache, blues, dancing and attitude, and she’s also thrown in some Dizzee Rascal for good measure. Thank you Lianne, this mix is adding an extra layer of velvet to our Friday.

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    I think you’ll agree with me when I say there there is something magical about mixed-sex bands. Band of Skulls is Russell Marsden, Emma Richardson, and Matt Hayward – a band from Southampton who are now mega big and famous and touring all over the place. I always breathe a sigh of relief when a band sends through a mixtape and it’s full of gold – how shit would it be if a really great band had really, really bad taste in music? Anyway, Band of Skulls are into James Brown, Sister Rosetta Sharpe, Beastie Boys and Buddy Holly – which is a selection totally fine by our standards.

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    What a TREAT we have here! Ninja Tune artist and DJ Slugabed is here to make your Friday 88.8% better with a fun mix to get you through the last few hours of the week. Slugabed is the man behind south London-based label Activia Benz and has been DJing around the world for many a year.

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.