Any tapeheads or people who like cassettes?

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Do you like listening or recording w tapes? Where do you get them? And how do u listen

also if anyone in Seattle knows where to get a Walkman that’s solid

spacedaddy, Monday, 1 July 2019 20:28 (four months ago) link

been playing cassettes since i was a kid, i'm sure like many here. you can pick up excellent domestic tape decks on ebay for very cheap these days - technics, etc. walkmans a little harder to find cheap. i have a friend who runs a tape label in london, and a cassette store just opened (?!) in an independent mall in manchester, here. it's kind of surreal to me that the medium's still kicking, but it's cheap and easy. i have a stash of 20 odd blank SA90s i used to use for four track recording, now just sitting around. once upon a time i considered archiving my entire FLAC collection to cassette, but... eh. i think it's nice to pick up used gems these days when you see em around. i miss four tracking. magnetic tape is special, economically viable, and (personally) way more fun than the royal pain in the arse of vinyl, but that's another conversation, isn't it...

meaulnes, Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:09 (four months ago) link

I buy a lot of cassettes from Discogs vendors. There are about 15 or so who regularly sell stuff I dig for $1-2 a pop, so I load up usually with 1-2 items that are more expensive and a clutch of cheap cassettes, and usually some cheap CDrs too. It's usually noise/drone stuff, but hand-manufactured runs of 5-15 cassettes are the common currency for that culture and there's a lot around.

My tape deck is a Tascam 122 mkIII that I bought refurb'd on eBay. The gears tend to wear out, so the seller had replaced a few -- my previous 112 had developed a nasty gear click, and I'm terrible at this kind of repair.

Sassy Boutonnière (ledriver), Tuesday, 2 July 2019 07:16 (four months ago) link

Buy a ton of tapes at shows from touring bands. It is a good and simple way to help support them, especially for (as noted above) experimental / drone / improv / general weirdo stuff that I tend to go to a lot. I definitely try to support touring bands / musicians and as turnout is often low at these shows I try to throw some extra cash their way by buying something. Tapes are great in that they are typically cheap, but also I find a lot of music sounds great on tape to me (especially in this realm). I have had the same tape deck forever, but my walkman broke a long time ago. Probably thrift stores and Goodwills are still OK places to find them (though maybe that ship sailed like 20 years ago, who knows), otherwise I think eBay would be it.

grandavis, Tuesday, 2 July 2019 15:38 (four months ago) link

I do a lot of thrifting for cassettes, and they're still out there in force, but I've found that the more of a shambles the store is, the better chance of interesting tapes. The well-organized thrift stores have either no cassettes or boring ones.

Sassy Boutonnière (ledriver), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 07:04 (four months ago) link

Same as grandavis, I'll often buy tapes to support touring bands on the DIY circuit when I see them. I like that tapes are a relatively cheap & easy way for bands on that level to get music into a physical form, especially since pressing vinyl grows to be more expensive and more of a pain in the ass for small bands. I've seen lots of bands sell download codes as physical merch, like printed on an air freshener or bottle opener or something, and while I admire the idea I still would rather buy a real tape with a d/l code included.

One Eye Open, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 14:03 (four months ago) link

Late last year a friend of a friend invited me to join a yearlong mixtape exchange thing that he was organizing with about 40 or 50 different people around the country, all randomly getting matched and sending each other tapes throughout the year, and I've gotta say it's been a ton of fun making mixtapes again and hearing other people's weird mixes, I wanna do it every year now.

One Eye Open, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 14:07 (four months ago) link

This is of interest, how can I join?

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 14:26 (four months ago) link

Artists who release ONLY on cassette are pricks

why

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 04:11 (four months ago) link

used tape decks are cheap still, right?

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 04:11 (four months ago) link

Who wants to buy one for the sheer purpose of being able to listen to one specific artist

Fuck Trump, cops, and the CBP (Neanderthal), Friday, 5 July 2019 04:16 (four months ago) link

This is of interest, how can I join?

― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, July 3, 2019 9:26 AM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

would be down for an ILM mixtape exchange, would be down even to organize one if there's sufficient interest

budo jeru, Friday, 5 July 2019 04:18 (four months ago) link

one specific artist?!?!

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 04:32 (four months ago) link

I have bought like 4 tapes in the past year from different artists, I probably have like 20 on my Discogs wishlist. I only like bad electronic music though!!

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 04:33 (four months ago) link

I dunno if artists who release only on compact cassette are pricks, but this game goes a lot deeper than just the compact cassette form factor. There are folks now regularly releasing on microcassettes, for example. There are folks selling new 1/4" audio reels. I recently bought a recording-package that included 2 1/4" tape loops, intended to be eaten after listening. I know that some folks have been inspired by Techmoan and have released new recordings on DCC. There's a lot of attention to the concept of recording-as-artifact, and at the very least, it affords an opportunity for creative packaging.

Sassy Boutonnière (ledriver), Friday, 5 July 2019 08:47 (four months ago) link

Putting aside the "supporting bands" aspect, I really don't get this nostalgia for cassettes : I have such terrible memories of dealing with them as a kid/teenager.
The tapes torn/going all messed up out of the damn thing, the songs cutting at the end of a side or alternatively the minutes of blank before the other side, finding a track or listening to it on repeat (which is a thing I do a lot), rewinding/fast forwarding... with a pen !
And the sound was awful (dolby noise reduction !).
I get many nostalgias but really not this one.

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 5 July 2019 09:12 (four months ago) link

oh they're a good time... when you leave off the noise reduction!

Yes decks are pretty cheap. All the better if you are handy and deal with one of the many eBay sellers who don't know how to ship anything. Of course buy local if you can. There's a surprising amount of info on deck models online when you Google them. Generally one tape decks are better made than doubles.

I flipped a late model Nakamichi last year. While I got to play with it, I couldn't believe how nice it was. I couldn't tell what I recorded from its source.

I'm down for a mix swap

maffew12, Friday, 5 July 2019 11:23 (four months ago) link

new releases on DCC is where I draw the line though...lol

maffew12, Friday, 5 July 2019 11:26 (four months ago) link

Finally sold my mid-'90s Nak the other week. Still have my gf's twin-deck JVC. We actually made each other mixtapes a few years back - got to use that ceramic-shell Sony SMMST C90 for something special at last :)

I saw a DCC deck in a secondhand hi-fi store in St Leonard's a few months back. The guy just had the one demonstration tape with it.

Michael Jones, Friday, 5 July 2019 11:51 (four months ago) link

Ha, nice Sony tape. The market for fancy blank tape is hilarious. I wish I had known about it when a guy I bought a deck from had all these type IV (metal) tapes kicking around, wondering what he was going to do with them. It genuinely didn't seem like he would have dreamed looking up such a thing on eBay, and neither did I.

I'd just had my type 2 tapes kicking around in a bag for too long. I made a terrible lampshade out of a handful of transparent ones and thought, wait a minute, I love tapes.

maffew12, Friday, 5 July 2019 11:58 (four months ago) link

There should totally be an ILM mix swap! Alternately, when the guy I know starts a new one in a few months I'll try and post about it and get some ILM in the mix

One Eye Open, Friday, 5 July 2019 12:38 (four months ago) link

ugh I dream of a nice nak

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 13:43 (four months ago) link

This thread really should have been called "What's Yr Take On Cassetties?"

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 5 July 2019 14:03 (four months ago) link

we tried a mixtape swap on the now-dead I Love Vinyl board, it didn't really get of the ground but I'd be down to try again

sleeve, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:03 (four months ago) link

see also:

cassette tapes are the new vinyl

Cassette Only Labels S/D

sleeve, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:04 (four months ago) link

I liked tapes a lot but mostly because they were cheap and convenient. They're no longer convenient. I have some nice recordings of just layers of tape hiss or, with video, multi-generational loss; I do like the artifacts (unlike the artifacting with early online video, which I never got into and just looks cheap and shit).

I still have about 30 tapes (out of hundreds, I had a large number of bootlegs) sitting in my closet but I don't have anything to do with them.

Un Poco Loco Moco (rushomancy), Friday, 5 July 2019 14:14 (four months ago) link

I've thrown all my cassettes away a while ago. Even the ones with my first demos and gf's mixtapes (that might have been a mistake)...

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:26 (four months ago) link

Artists who release ONLY on cassette are pricks

― And according to some websites, there were “sexcapades.” (James Morrison), Thursday, July 4, 2019 9:16 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

why

― brimstead, Thursday, July 4, 2019 11:11 PM (ten hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Because they're deliberately creating artificial exclusivity around their music with no practical or economic reason afaict.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 5 July 2019 14:38 (four months ago) link

so what? why does music require a "practical or economic reason" to exist?

sleeve, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:40 (four months ago) link

making music isn't the thing that makes them pricks

Un Poco Loco Moco (rushomancy), Friday, 5 July 2019 14:41 (four months ago) link

just buy a tape deck, jeez

god forbid someone releases something that can't instantly be heard via digital means

sleeve, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:43 (four months ago) link

Artists who release ONLY on cassette are pricks

― And according to some websites, there were “sexcapades.” (James Morrison), Friday, 5 July 2019 02:16 (twelve hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

I used to do that, but hey it was 1975 for gord's sake...

Mark G, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:47 (four months ago) link

Because they're deliberately creating artificial exclusivity around their music with no practical or economic reason afaict.

The purely digital experimental music landscape is completely saturated, and it's nearly impossible to become visible without some gimmick. Releasing on tape only in ultra-limited editions (5-10 is common) does function to get one's product more notice than in the endless sea of digital releases. Cassette releases indicate some level of artist commitment to their contents, and the packaging is often interesting, in contrast to the endless churn of digital. I mean the downside to being able to release an album for $0 on bandcamp is that everyone is doing it, and it's that much more difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Cassettes may be chaff too, but at least they're something that someone has believed in enough to fabricate a container for.

Sassy Boutonnière (ledriver), Friday, 5 July 2019 14:56 (four months ago) link

so weird... it’s just music. who cares what format it’s on??? where’s Marcelo Carlin???

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 15:05 (four months ago) link

“Waaa I can’t not-listen to this while I post insightful comments on ilxor.com”

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 15:06 (four months ago) link

it’s not a gimmick.... some people think tapes are neat... we should grow up!!

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 15:06 (four months ago) link

Anyway I don’t know why you haters are posting here

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 15:08 (four months ago) link

I’ve only bought a digital release once and it’s because the tape was out of print (eleventeen eston)

brimstead, Friday, 5 July 2019 15:10 (four months ago) link

last tape I bought was back in May/June, this lovely new United Bible Studies release:

https://www.discogs.com/United-Bible-Studies-Porti-Sepolti/release/13543451

on the great Sloow Tapes label

sleeve, Friday, 5 July 2019 15:15 (four months ago) link

I bought a Peter Rehberg tape-only release because it was super-limited and I like him, even though I don't have a tape deck and have never heard it.

van dyke parks generator (anagram), Friday, 5 July 2019 15:19 (four months ago) link

Not a hater at all here! I love cassettes. However, my hobby is digitizing tape-only and other analog-only releases, so perhaps it's a hide-and-go-digitize game for me. I only have a listening setup for digital, so if I'm going to listen to a cassette or an LP, I gotta digitize it anyway.

Sassy Boutonnière (ledriver), Friday, 5 July 2019 15:27 (four months ago) link

I bought a used Nakamichi a few months ago and have been getting back into tapes. They have a satisfying clunkiness. They are toylike, standing up in their cases like action figures, and for me they marked the transition into adolescence (late '80s, early '90s). Their limited fidelity can make certain elements stand out in the mix; e.g., I bought a bunch of old Sonic Youth tapes and their cruddiness seems to make particular guitar tones "speak" differently. They aren't great for everything — I splurged on the recent release of Björk albums on tape, and Utopia is an incoherent mess. It might be that it could have been better mastered for the medium, though, instead of just being manufactured as a collector's object.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Friday, 5 July 2019 15:39 (four months ago) link

I'm not a hater - honestly I kind of like the white label no artist/no title DJ releases for offering a viable alternative to music as commodity, records that resist being pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. I don't think it's necessarily wrong to release music in whatever format makes you happy. It's just that deliberately releasing music on obscure formats exponentially increases the chances of you being Jack White.

Un Poco Loco Moco (rushomancy), Friday, 5 July 2019 18:51 (four months ago) link

I have the little feat “waiting for Columbus” tape, it sounds pretty good on my late era Walkman. Also have the f’ing Pointer Sisters “break out” and Toto IV

calstars, Friday, 5 July 2019 19:27 (four months ago) link

Cassette labels/artists get flack for being "deliberately obscure" or w/e but I've always sort of had the opposite view, cassettes seem to be a very populist format of releasing physical music, in the sense that cassettes have got to be the cheapest physical format for bands & labels to produce, and anyone who doesnt have a means of playing cassettes can get their hands on a used walkman for like $10 without v much trouble. Releasing music on floppy disc or DCC or whatever is another matter, but releasing new music on cassette in 2019 still seems fairly user-friendly to me. Very few local bands in my town release music on vinyl anymore due to the high cost and insane turnaround times, whereas you can get 50 cassettes professionally duped for next to nothing and sell them for $5 ea and still turn a profit, and not have to wait 11 months for the pressing plant to finish with all of next years Record Story Day product

One Eye Open, Friday, 5 July 2019 20:42 (four months ago) link

1994 called

calstars, Friday, 5 July 2019 20:52 (four months ago) link

holy shit, I have a lot of CD's to sell it!

maffew12, Friday, 5 July 2019 20:55 (four months ago) link

lol

sleeve, Friday, 5 July 2019 20:55 (four months ago) link

one eye open totally otm about why cassettes are worthwhile. it has very little to do with fidelity - at any rate, cassettes sound great if you record and play them back properly.

meaulnes, Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:32 (four months ago) link

lol cassettes are not an "obscure" format.

i have a huge collection of tapes, buy them all the time. i even have a few of the kind of fancy tape cassette wall display things.

my audio setup in the sitting room includes a DJ mixer (which serves as a pre-amp), with a JVC tape deck on one channel, record player on another, and 1/8" audio input cable on the last.

needless to say, i hardly ever use the 1/8" cable to connect my computer or iPod. it's all tapes and records.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 6 July 2019 16:00 (four months ago) link

but yknow, i also don't use any streaming music services, still have an enormous VHS collection, and have a flyer/handbill collection that goes back to 1996. the archival spirit in me is quite strong.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 6 July 2019 16:02 (four months ago) link

finally, i have a box of blanks in storage, would love to get on a mixtape club with fellow ilxors.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 6 July 2019 16:03 (four months ago) link

I collect thethem sparingly! Started recording music at a young age by layering vocal and keyboard tracks on a dual cassette boom so always a huge soft spot. I have a dual cassette Sony and a couple walkmen!

surm, Saturday, 6 July 2019 16:12 (four months ago) link

just buy a tape deck, jeez

god forbid someone releases something that can't instantly be heard via digital means

It's just why make yr music available ONLY on a patently inferior-sounding medium that gets worse every single time you enjoy it? Make it available on bandcamp as well, don't be a shit.

For the folks complaining about tape-only releases: How often is it that you come across a cassette-only release that you are stymied by, or is this largely a theoretical irritation to you?

Sassy Boutonnière (ledriver), Sunday, 7 July 2019 09:20 (four months ago) link

Tapes don't get that much worse over time, do they?

Mark G, Sunday, 7 July 2019 11:53 (four months ago) link

I mean

surm, Sunday, 7 July 2019 12:21 (four months ago) link

Disintegration loops, hello? The muddying of the sound quality is kind of the point. There is an empirical beauty to that which changes shape just by playing it. It's super fucking cool.

surm, Sunday, 7 July 2019 12:22 (four months ago) link

Also, in a time when finding shit is so easy if the breeders, for ex, put out a tape only ep i would so hunt it down
Anything that puts the experience back in listening to music is worthwhile
It's like when ppl ask me why I listen to transistor radio over spotify radio. Like really?

surm, Sunday, 7 July 2019 12:28 (four months ago) link

musicians can release their music however they please you entitled babies

Vape Store (crüt), Sunday, 7 July 2019 13:02 (four months ago) link

crüt otm

sleeve, Sunday, 7 July 2019 15:13 (four months ago) link

crut is right on!

brimstead, Sunday, 7 July 2019 20:04 (four months ago) link

"Disintegration Loops"-ing a tape takes a long time tho, and it also depends on the binder used. Many tapes survive for decades in good shape, even a half-century. Here's Hainbach performing some interesting procedures on tape to pre-age it, and the results are quite nice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVy9ABT5-iY

Sassy Boutonnière (ledriver), Sunday, 7 July 2019 22:50 (four months ago) link

Cassettes circa mid-80s were they only way to access (via Sony Walkman) the highest fidelity of eg. Trevor Horn, Jean Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield, Prog & New Pop-type stuff. They could sound better on vinyl, but only with expensive systems. Cassettes from that era still hold up imo and are worth seeking out if they are in that particular genre. I have a few dozen in regular rotation and buy a few each year from local bands because I mostly listen to things on physical format at home, and no-one makes CDs now.

everything, Monday, 8 July 2019 00:06 (four months ago) link

For the folks complaining about tape-only releases: How often is it that you come across a cassette-only release that you are stymied by, or is this largely a theoretical irritation to you?

5

i only listen to digi p much but, man, house sitting with this sonos bluetooth spotify setup rn and it’s giving me HAL vibes. the potential for shitty corporate gate keeping in streaming seems really high. im actually missing iTunes which i hated

there’s a reason people are going back to physical media ...

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Monday, 8 July 2019 01:10 (four months ago) link

https://data.whicdn.com/images/131608390/large.jpg

stan by me (morrisp), Monday, 8 July 2019 01:18 (four months ago) link

where are my dat people

alomar lines, Monday, 8 July 2019 02:58 (four months ago) link

I ripped 30-year-old TDK "normal metal" cassette tape a few months ago, it sounded amazing and looked beautiful in my WAV editor program (Hanatarash 3 on one side, assorted Whitehouse on the other yeah 80s)

sleeve, Monday, 8 July 2019 03:39 (four months ago) link

I always enjoyed tapes back in the day; I figure using them now would feel like writing correspondence on an electric typewriter or something, but I think it’s truly cool that artists & listeners are still into them.

I don’t really do vinyl anymore either, but honestly I’d probably choose tapes over vinyl if my lifestyle allowed for f’ing with a quirky music format (and if cassettes were enjoying the popularity of vinyl — wouldn’t that be cool? new prerecorded cassettes in Target, etc.)

stan by me (morrisp), Monday, 8 July 2019 04:08 (four months ago) link

They were selling tapes recently in the retro/throwback section at Target. I found a Bob Marley title and was like, "What year is this?!".

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 8 July 2019 05:20 (four months ago) link

Wow I didn’t imagine this many response! I’m so clumsy at replying here but I am reading them and they’re so great?

spacedaddy, Monday, 8 July 2019 06:16 (four months ago) link

This is of interest, how can I join?

― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, July 3, 2019 9:26 AM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

would be down for an ILM mixtape exchange, would be down even to organize one if there's sufficient interest

Yes!!

spacedaddy, Monday, 8 July 2019 06:17 (four months ago) link

okay so far i have:

Camaraderie at Arms Length
maffew12
One Eye Open
sleeve
the table is the table
spacedaddy

anyone else interested in an ILM tape swap ?

budo jeru, Monday, 8 July 2019 06:40 (four months ago) link

They were selling tapes recently in the retro/throwback section at Target. I found a Bob Marley title and was like, "What year is this?!".

i knew this would happen. amazing, really. but also kind of sad. but also lucky in a way ...

budo jeru, Monday, 8 July 2019 06:41 (four months ago) link

5's not bad. I mean we could be talking 50 here.

Sassy Boutonnière (ledriver), Monday, 8 July 2019 18:11 (four months ago) link

If you have to listen to a lot of music, switching formats and systems a lot is a good idea. Do you ever get that thing where you go round to a pal's house, they play a record and you think, 'God, this sounds amazing, why don't I listen to this more often?' My suspicion is that this effect is partially due to your ears not being used to their system/the format they've played it in. I like to listen to a few cassettes a month, just to do a kind of crop rotation on my ears. Also, I'll happily switch formats between artists I'm really into - CD one time, MP3, the next, vinyl the time after.

But also tapes do actually suit the kind of music that tends to get put out on tape... modular synth stuff, drones, lo fi black metal, HC etc.

The main thing however, afaict, is that if you're the kind of musician who values releasing physical music (and there are a lot of reasons why it's a good idea to release physical & the tape vs. digital argument is a bit redundant anyway because most cassettes come with a DL code) but you're skint/ just starting out/ doing quite esoteric or underground or experimental music then putting out tapes is the only game in town currently. The jump up in cost between putting out 250 12"s or a bunch of lathe cut 12"s over putting out 50 cassettes is massive and increasingly unaffordable to most unsigned bands/acts who aren't about to do a big tour or play live all the time.

There probably was a time when some people were putting out cassettes because it was an exclusive/exclusionary/hipstery thing to do but that was more like 15 years ago. 40,000 cassettes were sold in the UK last year and 175,000 in the US but these are just industry figures and will not include bedroom run tape labels of which - and there's an absolute avalanche of them pouring through my letter box - there are a lot of. This is, for the most part, not some fashion statement - it's a totally legit way of documenting what you do and getting it out there cheaply. And there's a community aspect to it.

I think when I realised that my favourite song of 2013 had come out on cassette, i just thought, 'Fuck it' and went and bought a cassette deck. I got a reconditioned Nakamichi CR1-E for one or two hundred quid. Bargain. I could have kept on listening to it on YouTube but there's something not quite as good or satisfying about that. Clunk click every trip.

Doran, Monday, 8 July 2019 18:54 (four months ago) link

Sorry, meant to post this here. Katie Gately - Pipes. If it wasn't for cassettes this probably wouldn't have come to my attention and that would have sucked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M32PxeWrTFA

Doran, Monday, 8 July 2019 18:56 (four months ago) link

cassettes are very popular in the synthwave scene.

as others have said, I have too many painful memories to ever revisit the format.

though I am in the process of clearing out my attic, so will be looking through my cassette boxes any day now, and will be probably getting the urge soon enough.

mark e, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 09:07 (four months ago) link

OK, did not know that cassettes were still so cheap to produce.

one month passes...

Cassettes are one thing, but this is just rude: https://pitchfork.com/news/elephant-6-documentary-is-out-nowon-vhs/

Stub yr toe on the yacht rock (morrisp), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 05:18 (two months ago) link

By 'rude', i assume you mean awesome.
(though I might hold out for the inevitable daguerreotype/gramophone version)

enochroot, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 15:41 (two months ago) link


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