Hey, music geeks! Can someone please explain the recent retro-fetishization of the cassette tape? When and where did this trend begin?
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a show in the East Village featuring a neo-psychedelic electronic act that answered to the name Motion Sickness of Time Travel
. At the end of the performance, I went to the table near the entrance and asked if they had any CDs. They didn’t have any CDs. What they had were cassette tapes.
My mind was blown. I could not for the life of me understand why anyone who had a choice would spend perfectly good money on a cassette tape. I had grown up with that format in the 1980s. I remember that my first tape was Motley Crue’s Shout At the Devil
. I also remember this:
Casette tapes sucked
The sound was about thirty percent hiss. You couldn’t cue particular songs. And if the tape player was having a bad day, it would eat your purchase. As soon as the CD made its appearance, I hopped on that bandwagon and never looked back.
I’m guessing that this is some kind of artistic choice. That’s the only explanation that makes sense in a world with easy access to MP3s, CDs and vinyl records. If this is an artistic choice, can someone please explain it to me? What is the aesthetic reasoning behind the use of cassette tapes in a market with far superior formats? When and where did this trend begin?
Many thanks in advance.