Cassette tapes may seem like antique pieces from 30-ish years ago. We thought we’d never get to see or buy cassette tapes once CDs took over but fast forward to today and they’re still around. And we’re not talking about the old cassette tapes that are stored in your uncle’s basement, we’re talking about new releases from new artists!
What are cassette tapes doing now in the 2000s?!
Well, they’re making albums even cooler, that’s what!
Just take a look at how these albums have become way cooler because of the cassette tapes!
If you’re a musician today, you might want to try our cassette tape duplication and come up with a really badass album release.
Take a look at these albums with cassette tapes if you’re not convinced:
TYNEHAM HOUSE – TYNEHAM HOUSE
As featured on Creative Review’s iPad app.
I read ‘The Village That Died For England: The Strange Story of Tyneham’ many years ago. It’s a sad tale of the abuse of power by the British army on a small English village. It finds a slight echo in my own experience wherein the beautiful Yorkshire moor above my parent’s old house was peremptorily closed to public access without explanation and has stayed that way in all the years since.
The music here is reedy with the memory of lost summer days and distant tragedy and reminds me a little of Paul Giovanni’s wonderful soundtrack to The Wicker Man.
The musicians have chosen to remain anonymous. The design is a typical delight courtesy of this joint venture between Second Language and Clay Pipe Music.
The original run is sold out, but there’s talk of a small reissue – keep an eye on the labels’ websites – don’t hesitate to snap up a copy if you can.
Static Caravan Compilation Album
Here’s a lovely range of designs from the endearingly named Static Caravan. I particularly like the whimsical humour of the Teaism compilation.
From this selection kindly supplied by label owner Geoffrey Dolman, there’s no standard design ethos, but a wide range of approaches and a pleasure taken in formats e.g. transparent and white vinyl, orange cassettes, etc.
Most releases appear to be limited edition. Well worth checking out the label’s website.
LOST IN REFLECTIONS; FALL FALL FALL FALLING..; NO WORDS – DEAD LETTERS SPELL OUT DEAD WORDS
Thomas Ekelund was kind enough to send us a variety of work that he’s done under the Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words name.
Everything from button badges to stickers, 7″ and 12″ vinyl to cassettes and CDs are here. There’s a striking consistency across the different media that provides an entirely appropriate counterpart to Ekelund’s music which you can listen to on Virb.
1-3: Lucre/Teeth; 4: Hemispheres of Desolation; 5-8: Disciple of Nihilism; 9-10: Death Patterns; 11: Crucifiction; 12-14: Herald the Harbinger of Impending Acoustics, the Horseman who Revived Organic Institutions – 1-3: False Flag; 4: Dante Augustus Scarlatti; 5-8: Caleb Caudell; 9-10: Iw; 11: Unholy Triforce; 12-14: Hail Architeuthis
More loving wonders from the Bloomington Indiana-based label. Break the inverted black crucifix seal and thrill to the sheer bloody-mindedness of 80 kbps MP3s on twin 1.4mb floppy discs, sit staring uselessly at Crucifiction’s nail-pierced cassette and box, read about the discipline of nihilism, or marvel at the beauty of Hail Architeuthis! The choice is yours.
1-5: LITTLE ORPHEUS AND THE ROGUE LYSONS; 6-9: WORMS BENEATH THY COLD FLESH; 10-12 FAIR FIOLA – 1-5: LITTLE ORPHEUS AND THE ROGUE LYSONS; 6-9: PUSDRAINER; 10-12: FAIR FIOLA
I dare anyone to argue with the delight of Auris Apothecary’s releases. Take Little Orpheus and the Rogue Lyons for example: who else takes the care to wrap their cassette release in a warped and paint splattered 7″ single? Or who releases an ‘infinite loop on vintage Norwegian chrome tape containing 20+ year old data recordings from oceanographic instruments’?
I can still smell the dead earth smell emanating from Pusdrainer’s metal container which contents incidentally can be played back on any typical 4-track cassette recorder – that’s if the earth doesn’t screw the machine up first. Good luck with that.
Auris Apothecary produce small treasures made with care and imagination, each release is a delight.
Here’s what the label has to say:
Auris Apothecary is a not-for-profit micro-label hailing from Bloomington, IN which embraces obscure formats, innovative packaging and do-it-yourself ethics. We exist because fuck you.
We release drone, electronic, avant-garde, lo-fi, metal, punk and other varying forms of underground art from friends and family alongside artists located throughout the world.
With a general wrench-in-the-gears mentality to the modern commercial music industry, Auris Apothecary strives to create new forms of musical and sensory experiences through bizarre alterations of audio/video mediums and packaging that pushes the envelope of creativity.
All releases are strictly limited editions, distributed in Bloomington, IN record stores and online at the Phar
ORNITHEOLOGY – CHUBBY WOLF
Chubby Wolf was the solo project of Celer’s Danielle Long. Ornitheology is part of Will Long’s series of posthumous releases of her work. The combination of dreamy music, soft latex and the cassette cover’s downturned face makes for a subtly unsettling experience.
The design was commissioned by Danielle from the Parisian latex designers HMSlatex and it makes for another wonderful, unusual object that takes its place alongside Celer’s pyramids. Thank you Will and Dani.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.