Illustrated Tapes 022: Play
Curated by Conor Jatter
Conor is a designer and illustrator based in South East London.
Happy New Year, Conor! Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?
Thank you! My tape is inspired by a sense of playfulness and fun. I’m working on several projects at the moment, one of which is a course on clowning and improvised comedy, and those two words keep popping up the most. For me, it’s important to keep a sense of playfulness in everything I create.
So this selection is of songs that have recently inspired me to be playful, or have a sense of play about them, or that I’ve been having a lot of fun playing out when DJing.
How did you go about the artwork?
Like most of my artwork, I created it quickly, trying not to care too much about what I was creating, just doing it for the fun of it and drawing in time with the music. I love drawing and animating to music, and often set myself the challenge of creating something during the duration of one track which I often post on my Instagram.
I drew a few illustrations while listening to my selections and the one I ended up choosing was made in 9.30, while listening to Hafi Deo, halfway through the tape.
What are your fave album covers, records with a great music and artwork combo, or musical projects with a visual component?
I’m a huge fan of the label Awesome Tapes From Africa and the accompanying artwork. They so often have such a great sense of movement, gorgeous (and sometimes wonderfully clashing!) colour palettes and most importantly, they’re fun! You can see a great example of all that in Obaa Sima by Ata Kak which is on the tape. There was a far more eloquent and interesting article covering Awesome Tapes From Africa’s artwork on It’s Nice That recently, should you be so inclined.
Ata Kak - Obaa Sima
2015, Awesome Tapes From Africa
Design: O-A. De-Graft Johnson
I’m also a huge fan of Gaurab Thakali’s work, which can be seen on the equally fantastic We Out Here compilation on Brownswood.
Various Artists - We Out Here
Artwork Gaurab Thakali
What did you listen to growing up?
I grew up listening to a wide range of music my folks would put on. I guess the artists I remember most vividly are my dad playing Frank Zappa and my mum playing Kate Bush. They also both loved Tom Waits, and the album Mule Variations also has incredible artwork, with Tom looking like a character in one of his own songs.
I think Zappa is definitely one reason I’m into both comedy and music. His work ticks so many boxes - incredibly technical and serious at one end, and stupid and playful at the other. Sometimes all of that at once. Amazing sleeves too! Them Or Us, Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witchand We’re Only In It For The Money stand out in memory.
What’s happening in your creative world at the moment?
I head up design over at the brilliant Soho Theatre, and outside of that plenty of comedy and playing records at weird bars. I guess the biggest event coming up is my comedy group, The RH Experience turning 10 years old on the 1st February, and we’re throwing a big party to celebrate. We’ve got some of our favourite comedians supporting, a big show from us and myself and other DJs to close. Come along and laugh and dance with us!
Where to find Conor:
Mandrill - Can You Get It
Chaka Khan - Like Sugar
Disclosure - Ultimatum
Om Alec Khaoli - Say You Love Me
Junior Byron - Trying To Hold On - Original Mix
Steve Monite - Only You
Tabu Ley Rochereau - Hafi Deo
Jake Sollo - Tinini Yanana
Kiki Gyan - Disco Dancer
Ata Kak - Obaa Sima
Ebo Taylor - You Need Love