This week’s Friday Mixtape is by Farbod Kokabi, one of the founders of Georgia-based record label Geographic North. Alongside scouting for musicians to put out, Farbod is also the masterful designer behind Geographic North’s countless brilliant sleeves and cassette tapes, often utilising geometric shapes alongside showing the designer’s flare for typography.
Below, Farbod shares a little bit of background on the label, what he’s been listening to recently, and explains his mixtape which suggests 12 female artists who could have composed the soundtrack for Blade Runner 2049.
Why have you picked these songs? What do they remind you of or make you feel?
If you ask me, Blade Runner 2049 is a bona fide sci-fi masterpiece. Yet – for all the dazzling cinematography, inventive world-building, and sheer audacity, the film’s score didn’t own the same ambition. So here are 12 contemporary artists at the top of their neo(n)-noir game I believe could’ve expanded upon the spirit of Vangelis’ original score in infinitely more inspired ways.
It’s no surprise female composers are radically underrepresented in Hollywood. When I noticed my initial list had a heavy female presence, I thought why not make the whole thing women?
When or where should this playlist be listened to?
No better time than now to soundtrack dystopia! Preferably somewhere smog-diffused.
What was the first record you put out? What made you want to start a label of your own?
Our first release arrived in 2008 courtesy of A Sunny Day in Glasgow as part of our 7-inch series You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever. Part druggy, shimmering psych-pop; part bliss-out house – you can’t lose.
My friends and I started the label straight out of college. Underground music and counter-culture had inspired us in such profound ways, we wanted to give something back.
What Geographic North releases are you excited about this year?
Earlier this summer we released a pair of debut LPs from Moon Diagrams and Hiro Kone, and we are winding down the year with cassettes from Café Ale (Balearic rhythms, shoegaze warmth, AM-radio sax), Jon Porras (super evocative Steve Reich-ian synth compositions), and Night Cleaner (proto-electronics from the underbelly).
Forthcoming in the new year we’ve got deep cuts care of Félicia Atkinson, Rafael Anton Irisarri, and M. Sage, as well as a ridiculously good Masks (ARP & Patricia) EP that I’m having the hardest time nailing the right design for.
What records have you been listening to recently? Is there any in particular you find good to work to?
Lately I’ve been crushing on Colleen’s A flame my love, a frequency. Somber, devastating stuff! I also love this new Pharaohs record In Oeland. It’s pretty much an existential surf record where the backdrop is equal parts Malibu coast and the planet Jupiter. All that good stuff you want to hear when you’re heads-down, zoning on a project.
If a film was to be made about Geographic North, what song would play on the trailer and why?
Yo La Tengo’s From a Motel 6 because we’re a tragic romantic comedy.
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