Mark Ronson & Madlib team with Coke to launch ‘Recycled Records’ campaign with new EP
A new project that likens music sampling to recycling includes an original EP created by celebrated musicians Mark Ronson and Madlib as well as a documentary film about the history of music sampling.
Coke draws parallels between music sampling and recycling in its new ‘Recycled Records’ initiative / Coca-Cola
The Coca-Cola Company announced today that it is teaming up with DJ Mark Ronson and rapper and beatmaker Madlib on a new project designed to promote sustainable consumption and recycling.
The initiative, coined ‘Recycled Records’, centers on the debut of a new original collab EP created by Ronson and Madlib that includes sounds of plastic bottles being recycled. The two artists sampled, chopped, looped, distorted and remixed a handful of mechanical sounds, vocals and ambient noises taken from Coke’s recycling program, which sees branded plastic bottles transformed into different branded plastic bottles across the business’s portfolio.
“A great sample doesn’t have to come from other music, it just has to make you move. Your ear is your greatest asset when it comes to finding unique sounds and chopping them together,” said Madlib in a statement shared with The Drum. “The thud of a plastic bottle going through a recycling facility is, in its own way, a piece of art.”
The project also includes a diverse sound library made publicly available through an online portal. Fans can access a variety of sounds and are invited to remix them to produce their own tracks using an interactive digital beat machine.
“Sampling is what my heroes did, and it’s now become an integral part of my own work,” Ronson said in a statement. “The creative process is filled with happy accidents… creators will find, you play with this beat pack a million ways and no composition will be the same. Now it’s time for the fans to recycle the sounds of recycling itself. After all, some of the most inspiring sounds we can use in music creation are from our everyday lives.”
The campaign is part of a larger effort to promote the beverage giant’s corporate sustainability goals, which center on its ‘World Without Waste’ initiative. Launched in 2018, the program sets out a handful of ambitious environmental goals, including making 100% of the brand’s packaging recyclable by 2025 and using 50% recycled material in all Coca-Cola packaging by 2030. In recent years, the company has prioritized the shift from green plastic bottles to clear plastic bottles, which is intended to increase the volume of recycled plastic that can be used in food and beverage packaging.
The new ‘Recycled Records’ campaign spotlights this progress. In an apt metaphor, Coca-Cola compared sound sampling in music to plastic recycling in a press release, writing: “The process of music sampling is ongoing; an old sound is used in a new track, which is flipped again into a newer track, and so on. When green plastic is recycled, it is usually turned into single-use items that do not get recycled again – so, it was time for a moment of clarity. Now Sprite, Fresca and Seagram’s clear plastic bottles increase the likelihood of them being remade into new bottles many times.”
To further promote the project and expand awareness of Coca-Cola’s recycling initiative, the brand is also releasing a short documentary film narrated by rapper, actress and entrepreneur MC Lyte. The film sheds light on the connection between the history of music sampling and the process of closed-loop recycling. In the documentary, viewers also get a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and production that went into ‘Recycled Records.’ They glimpse into the process of collecting recordings from facilities across the country and see exclusive footage of Ronson and Madlib working in their studios.
Starting today, fans can watch the film and try their hand at mixing and production with the ‘Recycled Records’ beat machine at cokeurl.com/greentoclear.
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