follow us in feedly
Download 30 bewildering gigabytes of music cassettes from the experimental 1980s underground
12.04.2015
11:10 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
1980s
cassettes


 
Today, the concept of putting your music on cassette tapes seems quaint, but in 1985, cassettes were the primary medium of exchange for those creating original material in the experimental music underground.

At the Internet Archive, you can access a trove of 30 gigabytes of underground music dating from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s that originally had been committed to cassette and distributed in that form. According to the information provided with the archive, the genres include “tape experimentation, industrial, avant-garde, indy, rock, diy, subvertainment and auto-hypnotic materials.” However, a good portion of the archive “defies category, and has therefore not been given one.”

Warning: every tape is represented as a single mp3 file, and the music is completely unlabeled and untagged—that is to say, there is no artist or track information, except where it has been listed on the cassette cover, which are small and hard to read. If you like the element of surprise in your music, this archive may be for you, because there’s little way to know in advance what each cassette contains. I sampled some of the music and it reminded me quite a bit of listening to the legendary free-form radio station WFMU out of Hoboken.

If you want to download the entire archive, you can do so here, although it comes with a warning that this is a “very inefficient way to browse this collection.” If you’d like to sample individual cassettes, you can do so here.

Most of the tapes in this library were donated to the project by former CKLN FM radio host Myke Dyer in August of 2009. The original NOISE-ARCH site was hosted and maintained by Graham Stewart and Mark Lougheed.
 
via Factmag

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Paintings of vintage cassette tapes by ‘Sir Horace Gentleman’ of the Specials
06.19.2015
11:33 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
The Specials
cassettes
Horace Panter


 
When the Specials’ self-titled first album, produced by Elvis Costello, dropped in 1979, it instantly became one of the founding documents of the ska revival movement, or 2 Tone, as it became known. The band had a remarkable run of hit singles from 1979 to 1981, with both “Too Much Too Young” and “Ghost Town” hitting #1 on the U.K. charts before the group broke up. Terry Hall , Neville Staple and Lynval Golding would go on to form Fun Boy Three, whilst the Jerry Dammers-led contingent pressed on as The Special AKA, releasing new material through 1984, including the influential hit single “(Free) Nelson Mandela.”
 

 
Before he even became the bassist of the Specials, Horace Panter, who went by Sir Horace Gentleman, had a degree in fine art from Lanchester Polytechnic, and he apparently imbibed a solid sense of the pop aesthetic in addition to considerable draftsmanship skills. From 1998 to 2008, Panter was “Head of Art” at a secondary school. Panter lists as his influences “Peter Blake, Kenneth Noland, Wayne Thiebaud, and Joseph Cornell as well as the naive style of Henri Rousseau.”

Panter’s pop art paintings cover a wide swath of ground but I found his series of cassettes the most amusing. Most of the canvases are about three feet wide, and many are available for purchase.

Clicking on any painting will yield a larger image.
 

Prince Far-I
 

One Step Beyond
 

Gangsters
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Don’t call it a comeback: International Cassette Store Day is coming!
07.19.2013
02:01 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
cassettes

cassette
 
Record Store Day is great. I love records! They’re warm and beautiful and have giant sleeves for awesome art and you can do colored vinyl and weird inserts and cool fold-ins and I love every crackle and pop and they’re just really goddamn magical, okay?!?

However... records are also delicate, cumbersome to transport on tour, and expensive. Tapes are the true format of the proletariat musician! You have a physical product that’s cheap as hell, sounds pretty good and has a lot of cool potential for inserts and packaging. For punks especially, cassettes never really went away. So I for one am thrilled about the announcement of National Cassette Store Day, September 7th.

From the website:

No longer the inadequate, younger sibling of Vinyl and CD, the humble Cassette has been making a resurgence of late. Proving that cassette tapes are not just for those of us who remember buying Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ with birthday money, or making lovingly compiled mixtapes for the object of our teenage affections. International Cassette Store Day 2013 is a celebration of a physical product that is accessible, fun, cheap and still going strong in the turbulent current musical climate.

This event sees limited releases from its organisers - SEXBEAT (Fucked Up), Kissability (tbc) and Suplex Cassettes (Fair Ohs, Proper Ornaments); as well as classic albums reissued in this fun format by Transgressive (At The Drive-In, Pulled Apart By Horses), Bella Union (The Flaming Lips), Domino (The Pastels), 4AD (Deerhunter), Wichita Recordings (Hard Skin), Burger Records and many more. Other labels involved spreading the Cassette love with limited releases are Jade Tree, Mirror Universe, Reeks of Effort, Art is Hard, Faux Discx and Tie Dye Tapes and more to be confirmed.

Participating stores will be announced next week, but there are initial commitments from Rough Trade East in London, Burger Records in Orange County, Silent Barn in Brooklyn, and a to be determined shop in Tokyo.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Peter Murphy shills for Maxell cassette tapes
07.14.2010
01:07 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Bauhaus
Peter Murphy
cassettes
Maxell

image
 
Here’s a classic British TV commercial from the ‘80s starring Peter Murphy from Bauhaus. You can read on the Internet that he was on the label, seen above, and in the print ads, too, but was that really Peter Murphy, too? I think it’s someone else.

Peter Murphy’s birthday was July 11. He’s 53 now and still looks like this. I guess drinking the blood of vestal virgins keeps you young, eh?
 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment