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  • Cassette releases

    As you may or may not know I make music with tape loops in old cassettes and I'm thinking in the not too distant future to try to make a release of some sort. Other tape loop artists I've seen make cassette releases, but I don't know if that's the way I want to go, I don't really see the point (even though I have seven very fetching unopened orange cassettes that I got for £1 in a charity shop that would be perfect for a limited physical release)

    I use tape because it's the only physical medium I can edit with a knife and a piece of sellotape, and in that respect tape is perfect, but for actually listening to music, cassette tapes are mostly horrible (metal tapes improve the audio quality but they cost a fortune these days and don't eliminate the other awfulness).

    What I'm wondering is there any reason for cassette releases other than the novelty value and some trendy nostalgia for the past?
    Ghost Signs - Ambient tape loops and guitars : https://ghostsigns.bandcamp.com https://soundcloud.com/xxiainxx http://facebook.com/xGhostSignsx

  • #2
    Originally posted by iainx View Post
    What I'm wondering is there any reason for cassette releases other than the novelty value and some trendy nostalgia for the past?
    Umm, no, not in my opinion.

    I've a box full of old Shrimper, Xpressway etc tapes (Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos FTW!) and I love rummaging through them but it's all nostalgia, have no desire to play them purely because of the format (really need to finish off digitising them...)

    I do however see them as a 'token', representing a release in the physical world (bit pretentious, sorry ). It's easy to get lost in the billion Bandcamp releases out there so offering something like a tape version (with download, natch) helps distinguish your release. I don't mean purely from a marketing viewpoint, but to help root your music, show you value the release beyond it being just another upload.

    I hope that made sense without offending anyone.
    Latest release: never to be repeated

    Hearthis | Soundcloud

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GaryG View Post
      so offering something like a tape version (with download, natch) helps distinguish your release. I don't mean purely from a marketing viewpoint, but to help root your music, show you value the release beyond it being just another upload.
      Yeah, but I'd prefer to do that with a CD
      For one thing, I can listen to it in the car easier
      Ghost Signs - Ambient tape loops and guitars : https://ghostsigns.bandcamp.com https://soundcloud.com/xxiainxx http://facebook.com/xGhostSignsx

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      • #4
        Another thing to consider; it turns your release into something collectable beyond a playlist on someone's iPod.

        I have considered tape releases of my back catalog; back then they actually WERE cassette releases (well, release in the sense of being finished projects--rare that more than 3 or 4 copies were ever made).

        I think those of us who actually did release stuff on tapes for decades get a pass on being called trendy...:D





        key for those who care (starting from top left to right):

        master mix for Elemental Phantastix Abstract Motocycle / multitrack for ontol photocopies

        master mix for ontol Last / master mix for A B D I Secret Voices tape 2

        multitrack for ontol Cassettera / multitrack for ontol Postlamp II

        multitrack for ontol Postlamp I / Cassette cover for Elemental Phantastix The Golden Age of Flappa (1984, undigitized. likely to never be, pretty esoteric)

        multitrack for ontol Photocopies / multitrack for Elemental Phantastix EP5 (first DX7 recordings)
        Last edited by aoVI; 11-07-2016, 02:49 PM.

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        • #5
          I think my only problem with a cassette release, and this is a purely personal thing, I haven't had a cassette player for many years now.
          >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<

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          • #6
            Originally posted by aoVI View Post
            Another thing to consider; it turns your release into something collectable beyond a playlist on someone's iPod.
            But surely that is still true of a CD?
            Ghost Signs - Ambient tape loops and guitars : https://ghostsigns.bandcamp.com https://soundcloud.com/xxiainxx http://facebook.com/xGhostSignsx

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            • #7
              Originally posted by synkrotron View Post
              I think my only problem with a cassette release, and this is a purely personal thing, I haven't had a cassette player for many years now.
              i'm actually in the same boat since my old boom box bit the dust a few months back...
              Latest release: never to be repeated

              Hearthis | Soundcloud

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              • #8
                Originally posted by iainx View Post
                Originally posted by aoVI View Post
                Another thing to consider; it turns your release into something collectable beyond a playlist on someone's iPod.
                But surely that is still true of a CD?
                I think so. I still see my downloaded albums as 'less' than the CD ones for some reason.

                But I do believe its not just about the medium that holds the music, having a release on cassette is a statement, more of an art object than anything else.
                Latest release: never to be repeated

                Hearthis | Soundcloud

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                • #9
                  Mr. G and I concur; that is why I called it a 'collectable' rather than a playable. :giggle:

                  Any physical media is going to be a draw for certain folks, including vinyl.

                  I used to believe if you went to a concert you had to get a t-shirt to make the experience complete. I am less object-oriented as I grew older.

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                  • #10
                    But... Very few people have a cassette player these days (at least that they'd want to listen to), so if it's a collectable, it's only to put on the shelf and look at, and you don't need to put any music on it in order for them to do that. You could just sell some blank cassettes
                    Bandcamp / Soundcloud / Website

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                    • #11
                      Most will order through a site where you also get the digital download along with the purchase or instead of buying the cassette. Putting it on the shelf to look at is pretty much the textbook definition of 'collectable'.

                      It is not for everyone, I acknowledge that.

                      But I do treasure my cassette copies of On Land, The Pearl, and Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy). E'G Records, distributed by Island who used to print the cassettes with the full album on each side. No flipping required. My blank tapes, not treasured as much. I also have a decent collection of acetate 78 rpm records along with a restored 100+ year old National victrola on which they can be played. It's been more than a decade since I played one. Treasure them? You betcha.

                      The value we humans ascribe to things is very mutable and often intangible. For some, the cassette bestows more value to the work.

                      Not everyone listens to the type of music I make--but you won't find me composing pop either.

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                      • #12
                        I have a coffee table and a cassette deck. A semi-decent Yamaha, not one of those auto-reverse monstrosities.
                        Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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                        • #13
                          The more I think about this, the more I'm thinking I'd rather skip the cassette and instead offer enhanced cover art, maybe a clever bit of paper art. Maybe in a format you can admire on your shelf.
                          Latest release: never to be repeated

                          Hearthis | Soundcloud

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                          • #14
                            The resurgence of tape releases is the most awful thing that could have happened to underground music.
                            It takes from the music LISTENING experience and makes it a fashion/trend statement.
                            I won't go deeper in the social analysis because I will surely get offensive in the eye of somebody.
                            Just don't.
                            Use tapes for all your other experiments, that is very nice indeed.
                            Venus Martian on bandcamp
                            My soundcloud page
                            Uvular Corrosion: a radio-mix style podcast

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by neuzd View Post
                              The resurgence of tape releases is the most awful thing that could have happened to underground music.
                              Don't fret, I've found the solution: http://www.ktsprod.com/

                              ;)
                              Latest release: never to be repeated

                              Hearthis | Soundcloud

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