Tape It! Some random thoughts on tapes
A while back I saw a post by someone, I can’t remember who, asking ‘where the demise of digital sales (Spotify) and the rising price of vinyl leaves today’s producer or DJ’, presumably deep in shit was the general tone.
I’ve been known to rant a bit about ‘the gentrification of dance music’ as I see it, and how the working class have been priced out of rave culture, not having the necessary spends to meet the rising cost of vinyl, synths and other equipment but that’s another post altogether.In response to the question, my immediate thought was TAPES!
Tapes are the perfect answer to this problem. Tapes are versatile. Sales of tapes are on the up, they are comparably cheap to produce, they have a wealth of packaging options, you still have to interact with them and they sound fucking lovely. Obviously, they are a sack of shit for djing, I won’t pretend otherwise but they are the other analogue format and one that shouldn’t be ignored.
At Cambrian Line, we get a few people mailing from time to time to ask, ‘when’s the wax dropping?’ or ‘Tapes? What about vinyl mate?’ For me the answer is simple… I love vinyl, but I grew up with tapes, I didn’t get into music through clubs or raves, I started raving relatively late (1998). I wasn’t always a DJ and cassette, not vinyl was undoubtedly my entrance into music and music production.
Much as I might have wanted to I couldn’t grab the 7” I bought from Our Price and listen to it on the train, I couldn’t enjoy it down at the beach or in the forest and I definitely couldn’t make the weird elaborate ambient experiments that tape allowed me to have fun as a youngster.
Now don’t get me wrong I love vinyl, I love them pops, I love that crackle, I love digging in the back of the charity shop and coming up with gold but I also love a good tape and for me they encompass everything that I think dance music should be about, total independence, punk/DIY ethic and of course piracy.
So where does the demise of digital sales and the rising price of vinyl leaves today’s producer or DJ? For me, hopefully buying a fucking tape deck.
Theres Some Nice tapes around ….