Following the success of last year's event, Cassette Store Day is back this Saturday, 27 September to remind us of those gloriously unprophetic claims from a few decades ago that home taping would kill music. Music is just fine, despite piracy-related scare stories and terrible U2 albums they can't even give away. And one of the pillars on which it has rested for eons certainly deserves its annual hoorah.
Cassette Store Day is a global event to celebrate the format, with shops from Copenhagen to Quebec signing up to take part, while London's end is held up by four stores. The Rough Trades of W11 and E1 remain laudably committed to events like this, Flashback in Crouch Hill is the third London store lining up special releases, and the HQ of the London leg of Cassette Store Day will be Lion Coffee + Records in Clapton. Lion will have DJ sets from Marshall Teller Records, Suplex Cassettes and Kissability, and a special in-store appearance from Lauren Aquilina at 1pm on the day. Who is Lauren Aquilina? This is Lauren Aquilina.
Of course, Cassette Store Day is mostly about the special tape-based releases that the organisers arrange with various artists, and there's no shortage of them for this year's event. By our count there are 115 crackers on the full list of releases, including the work of Ash, The Wedding Present, Cloud Nothings, These New Puritans and almost certainly 111 more unless there are any repeat offenders. Oddly there are at least two Mexican shoegaze bands on the list (Play Tonto and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, in case you were wondering, and you were).
We like to pick a London representative for things like this, and we've unearthed an artist named Syd Kemp. It turns out Syd is the purveyor of some fine semi-psychedelic indie rock, and now you can get it on cassette it's surely about time to dust off the Walkman. Here's his single As I Don't Get It from earlier this year.
Incidentally, if you like a bit of that, Syd's playing at The Social on Oxford Street on 1 October.
Cassette Store Day also has an afterparty at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, with live music from Warmhammer, Psychic Markers and Keel Her. Entry is free from 8pm and it's over by 2am.
Even if it's rifling through the dodgy looking box of tapes in the local Sue Ryder's, it's worth spending a few minutes this weekend remembering how many of us grew up with tapes as companions. Better yet, get yourself down to one of the stores involved this weekend and pick up one of the special releases and take it home smugly, only to remember you've not had a tape deck for years.