Following the success of the annual Record Store Day over the past few years, which can perhaps be credited with helping the upsurge in vinyl sales, it’s now the turn of the good old cassette.
International Cassette Store Day takes place this Saturday and a large number of stores across the world will be joining in, from Houston to Helsinki, and somewhere called Kalamazoo. The London baton is taken up by Rough Trades East (Brick Lane) and West (Notting Hill).
A number of the world’s coolest record labels have eagerly signed up to help celebrate the glorious spools and those excellent twin tape players you could use to copy from one to another with ease. Perhaps a little too much ease, since it let a legion of school children share album purchases, so only one of them had to buy the latest Wedding Present album in case it was crap (which of course it never was). Remember praying that the new Throwing Muses long player was shorter than 45 minutes so you could get that and the Teenage Fanclub album on two sides of a TDK FE90?
4AD, Wichita, Domino and Bella Union are among the labels involved, while artists such as The Flaming Lips, Deerhunter and Suicidal Tendencies are releasing special cassette editions of albums that you can snap up on the day and add to the box of tapes you’ve lovingly kept under the bed for just such a day as this.
Rough Trade East will have a number of special performances on Saturday, including live sets from Bright Light Bright Light and The Proper Ornaments, plus a DJ Set from Jen Long.
Londonist fervently believes it is high time for the cassette — which must never be called ‘humble’ –- to return to the limelight. The scratchy comforts of a record and the crisp quality of a CD have their place, but which of those could claim to have a ‘good bottom end’, as Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream apparently described tapes to the organisers of the event?
Photo by author.