Sunday, 8 September 2013

RANDOM MUSICAL ITEMS: My cassette collection

So yesterday (September 7) was Cassette Store Day, a kind of extension of the Record Store Day idea. It hasn't been that long since I last bought a cassette, although they tend to be stupidly cheap ones from charity shops and boot sales, purchased purely for nostalgic purposes. In the 90's I used to buy all of my music on tape, until about 1997 when I could afford CDs, although having said that I do remember buying a  cassette copy of 'How To Operate With A Blown Mind' by the Lo-Fidelity Allstars the week it was released, simply because it was on sale for only £4.99. But tapes provided an even more important purpose back then: for capturing all those great radio shows and songs that you couldn't buy unless you were very lucky. Listening to a couple of 'Now! That's What I Call Music' albums inspired me to make my own, massively improved compilations, which then became annual yearly 'Best Of''s. As technology changed, these compilations moved over to blank CD, and now they can even be streamed via the Mixcloud site...


God Is In The TV writer Mark Barton published a great article on Cassette Store Day, where he discusses his fondness for the format... "And now I’m getting all misty eyed reminiscing to hours spent rewinding and fast forwarding trying to find your favourite moments, using the tape count device as a means to aiding your guess work, then there was the un-joy of snapped, gnarled and chewed tapes – hours spent repairing them by hand with thin slithers of cello tape – strange as it may seem, it always happened to your favourites...". Lisa Jenkins, who also writes for GIITTV (as well as The Quietus) tweeted: "how i miss handmade mixtapes - written in biro, the old hiss, and made with love...". After informing her that I still had a few of my old home-made compilations, she replied "I still have some of mine too... It took proper love and dedication to make them.... They took ages!". I promised Lisa I'd upload some pictures of my cassette collection, as well as a few of the compilations I made back in the day...


What you see here is the drawer that contains all of my remaining tapes...

My 'Best Of 1998' tape, part one of two. This was only the second yearly 'Best Of' compilation I ever made...



From two years later, here's part two of the 3-part 'Y2KAOK' compilation from 2000. Note the somewhat mismatched tracklisting. Keeping up the tradition of crap titles, the following year's was called '2001: An Ace Odyssey' (groan)...

Mark Barton's Cassette Store Day article can be found HERE.

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