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Regulars / Friday Mixtape

Friday Mixtape: Captured Tracks’ founder Mike Sniper’s mix of rarities that never made it

This week’s Friday Mixtape is by Mike Sniper, the mastermind behind Brooklyn-based label Captured Tracks.

In Mike’s job of founding and running Captured Tracks, a label which boasts signings such as Mac DeMarco and Diiv, he also constantly introduces us to new musicians to fall for, talking about upcoming artists as enthusiastically as he does the big names. In celebration of ten years of the label this week, Mike gives us a behind-the-scenes peek at the records he loves, but maybe didn’t get the success they deserved.

It’s Nice That: Why have you picked these songs?

Mike Sniper: All of the tracks I picked are some of my personal favourites that have fallen short of breaking out to a wider appeal for one reason or another. Some acts didn’t tour enough (or at all) and some broke up soon after the music came out. Two of them are from reissues that didn’t sell out; I’ll never understand why. The Outsiders is Adrian Borland from The Sound and it’s fantastic. Skylon is a special 7", the only thing the band ever recorded and was unreleased prior to the 7". Confused how that’s still around too!

INT: When or where should this mixtape be listened to?

MS: Maybe at home in utter confusion and despair.

INT: What song or album did you listen to as a teenager and why?

MS: Oh wow, this list would be really long. I mean, I did have that James Franco Rise Above experience in high school like he had in Freaks in Geeks. I was mostly listening to punk and post-punk from the 80s even though I went to high school in the 90s. Current bands I liked back then was stuff like My Bloody Valentine, Aphex Twin, Pale Saints, Fugazi. Anyway, the task was to pick one song or album. It’d have to be The Chameleons’ Script of the Bridge and the track Second Skin in particular. I mean, that song is so high school lonely guy it’s not funny.

INT: What Captured Tracks releases have you got coming up, who should we keep an eye out for?

MS: Keep an eye out for Drahla and Wax Chattels.

INT: What song or album is consistently playing in your office and why?

MS: This is a tough one. We keep it pretty fresh, play a lot of stuff. I was playing that Sharon Signs To Cherry Red compilation a lot. Whenever there’s new Cate Le Bon, it gets played a lot. Boring answer: test pressings.

INT: If a feature film about Captured Tracks was to be made, what song would be on the trailer and why?

Work To Do by The Isley Brothers with a one-shot panoramic of everyone in the office working because it’d be realistic and also stupid/funny. Plus I like that song. Not the Vanessa Williams cover though.