Glasgow record label 12th Isle have been a firm favourite in the It’s Nice That office for a while now. You’ll often find us slaving away at the coalface of contemporary visual culture with RAMZi’s gloriously wonky Pèze-Piton LP playing away, and down the pub we have rows about what the best track on the Palta Og Ti På Den Tolvte Ø EP by Danish duo Palta & Ti is.
With that in mind, we asked 12th Isle main man, and graphic designer, Al White to cherrypick a selection of tracks that he often finds himself zoning out to in the studio. And on the night bus, too.
It’s Nice That: Why have you picked these songs, what do they remind you of or make you feel?
Al White: The playlist is based around the type of thing that I mostly listen to while working in my studio — podcasts and hip hop make up the majority of rest right now. The tracks are mostly pretty minimal, melancholic and a bit trance inducing, for me at least. They leave a lot of space to think which I need and just set me in a good head space. The selection I made isn’t for obscure music people, it’s just stuff that I have listened to loads while I draw or make posters or whatever and most of these tracks have done the rounds. I spent a bit of time making sure the playlist flowed properly. Hopefully it can serve the same trancey function for someone else.
When or where should this mixtape be listened to?
AW Aside from the instudio…on the night bus, trying to sleep, or tripping.
What song or album did you listen to repeatedly as a teenager and why?
AW Very hard to pick one, but Cannibal Ox’s A Cold Vein is definitely somewhere near the top. EL-P’s cold weirdo production with the ghetto sci-fi rap from Vordul and Vast Aire is perfect. Hashed in maths with one headphone up the sleeve. The song Pigeon was my favourite back then I think. Maybe still is.
What’s on the horizon for 12th Isle?
AW Loads of records lined up, parties, more garments, mixes. I just need to find time to sit and do all the artwork to be honest. Next up is an LP from our friend in Portland, Best Available Technology. It’s probably my favourite thing we will have done.
If a feature film about 12th Isle was to be made, what song would be on the trailer and why?
AW Not so much a song but a sonic masterpiece in its own right: the audio from the YouTube video ‘you want see state of our wes’, pitched down 10%. Why? Because it leaves a lot of big questions unanswered and that’s what you want in a film trailer I reckon.