This week’s Friday Mixtape comes from record sleeve masters of the north, DR.ME. If you’ve got a penchant for sleeve design, the studio is one you’ll certainly be familiar with due to its roster of brilliant artwork.
DR.ME’s success of working in record design – a dream job for many the young budding designer – could be put down to the fact the you can tell they’re proper, proper music fans, picking apart lyrics and extending meanings from song to sleeve.
In a Friday Mixtape first, DR.ME have made us an actual continuous mix which you can listen to below so all you have to do is hit play and sit back.
Why have you picked these songs for this playlist, what do they remind you of or make you feel?
The tracks we have selected are all by artists we have had the honour to work with since the studios inception in 2010. Choosing only ten was hard, so the tracks we chose have been personal highlights throughout the last seven years. They remind us of the journey the studio has been on from then until now; from Evian Christ in 2010 to working with Mick Jagger in 2017 and tracks from artists who are friends before clients, like Menage A trois, Missing Places and John Talabot. It’s always most rewarding when you work on a project and the music is actually something you are really into and you continue to listen to even after the work has been completed, that’s these tracks.
When or where should this mixtape be listened to?
The mix is in essence a trip through time, so we imagine it’s best listened to when on some kind of trip; night walking through the city with headphones, taking a ride at sunset in snowdonia, or stoned and alone. It’s definitely starts in summer and ends in winter.
What do you listen to while working in the studio?
We listen to a lot of mixes in the studio. In the mornings Charlie Bones Do you! radio show on NTS is a regular go to. Music is important to our creative practice, so is pretty much constantly on in the studio favourites being Yung Lean, Bing and Ruth, Durutti Column, Cass McCombs. We find instrumental music works for working, mixes are good because you can discover new tracks almost everyday and don’t have to always think about what to put on next, useful while working. Here are some personal favourites: Ocean Recordings, Jorkes, and Fret.
What’s your process in designing record sleeves?
Normally we begin with a conversation with the artist about what the particular body of work is about, then we have the music on repeat for around two days while we experiment with various medium, eventually ideas start to develop inspired by repetitive listening of the tracks. When we have a few directions that we feel happy with then we ask the artist for their thoughts, more often than not the piece you almost don’t include in the ideas is the one that always gets chosen.
What posters did you have on your bedroom walls when you were younger?
If a film about DR.ME was to be made, what song would play on the trailer and why?
Jay Z – My 1st Song from The Black Album.
Two reasons really for choosing this song. One, is that every year we make an “unachievable” list of studio goals and the first one in 2010 we put “work for Jay Z”. That never quite materialised, but in a weird roundabout way we ended up working for him but not by casting some models for a video shoot when he played in Manchester. So, Jay Z has been involved with the studio since the beginning really. Second reason is just the lyrics are something that has stuck with us since the beginning especially the intro by B.I.G “treat everything like its your first project ya know, stay hungry, stay humble…”
Washed Out – I’ve Been Daydreaming My Entire Life
Ishinohana – Lucía (John Talabot’s Sunset edit)
Ménage à Trois – Thank You
Talaboman – Safe Changes
Missing Places – The Room
D/R/U/G/S – Love/Lust
Evian Christ – Fuck It Non Of Y’all Don’t Rap
The Haxan Cloak – Dieu
Holy Other – Nothing Here
Rolling Stone – Waiting On A Friend
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.