UK indie dance gods Friendly Fires have been receiving rapturous praise for their entry in the popular 'Late Night Tales' series. Of course, it's not the first mix they've ever compiled.
A mixtape was always an indie boy's delight," guitarist Edd Gibson laughs, "if you were trying to impress a girl. Instead of talking or actually interacting with her, you could just make a mixtape from afar... I was so painfully shy that I wouldn't actually be able to ask afterwards whether it had gone down well. Sometimes, they would volunteer that they enjoyed it. Other times it was just never spoken of, which was really quite scary."
It's a scary process Gibson won't have to go through again. Now, upon meeting a girl, he can simply hand her a copy of 'Late Night Tales 30' and claim he made it for her. "Exactly!" he laughs. "That's all I want. And hopefully other people can just rip it off and pass it off as their own, and with any luck we'll put some awkward teenagers together."
More than just impressing gullible girls and awkward teens, however, the compilation — a gloriously eclectic selection, prone to taking left turns from proto house to art pop to anthemic porn disco — has been given the nod by the critics, even landing a spot in MixMag's list of the Top 10 compilations of 2012.
"Ooh, really?" Edd asks, genuinely surprised. “I had no idea about that. That sounds pretty good. I'm flattered. It's odd, actually, because it didn't feel like we were putting a mix together, as such. We were just choosing our favourite songs, and that was difficult when there were three of us trying to put an hour's worth of music together. We were all being quite selfish and just trying to include songs that we personally enjoyed. It took a lot of pushing and pulling... [but] it never descended into physical violence."
Despite having to incorporate three visions into one mix — and despite the legal hassles involved in clearing their chosen tunes — the end result is something that Edd is happy to call his own.
"I really like putting the compilation on [at home], actually," he admits. "It's rare that I would listen to something we've made, but I suppose in many ways we haven't really done anything, we've just been given this easy task of picking other people's music and putting it together. So it's a pleasure to listen to it again and again.
"You know, it's so hard to pick 20 of your favourite songs of all time, so you just have to pick what's exciting you at the moment. 'Late Night Tales' is quite a weird brief. We just thought of it as what you might like to listen to when you come back home after a heavy night, something that is a little more warming for the soul. I mean, there are thousands and thousands of compilations that we could have made, but this is the one that happened to fall into place."
'late Night Tales 30' Is Available Now.