Do We Reel-y Need This?


Do We Reel-y Need This?
A Pro-Tape Debate

The first Cassette Store Day is occurring on Saturday September 7th 2013. This has led to wild debate and much scrutiny on the actual point of having a day dedicated to cassette releases. Allow me to weigh in.

When I was eleven, I spent most weekends in Woolworths trying to decide whether it was Digimon action figures or Pokemon cards that I would get in exchange for my hard-earned pocket money. I also really wanted the CD version of Blink 182’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket. My mother said this was pointless, as I only had a tape player. I don’t know what my fascination was with the physical product but even then, as a typically weird kid of eleven, I felt that music was more than the sounds. It’s the smell, the touch and the sense of ownership.

Cassettes have been described as nothing more than a souvenir; Secondary to CD’s because of their impracticality, inferior to vinyl because of the sound quality. These would be valid arguments and I could understand the annoyance at an International Cassette Day, but with MP3’s a reality, those criticisms become obsolete. Nothing is easier than downloading, nothing sounds better than digital. With that in mind, surely all physical music, be it CDs, Vinyl or even the damned Tapes be nothing more than a souvenir. To proudly own, hold and smell. To display, gaze fondly at and show-off. To remind you of the wonder of a particular collection of music, just like that painted rock reminds you of that delightful weekend in Bognor.

Cassettes also offer a viable option for struggling musicians. Cheaper to produce than both CD and Vinyl but still a physical product to sell, thus trumping solitary MP3’s, Cassettes are a brilliant prospect that’s finally starting to get recognition. This will only improve with the publicity garnered by a worldwide event, such as Cassette Store day. So consumers get their physical product, one with an air of mystique about it, and musicians get to sell their music and maybe even turn a profit.

There can only be winners with Cassette Store Day. We haven’t even mentioned the extra revenue that independent record stores, the true home of the physical product, will receive. So, if you’re for it, go down and buy a tape. If you’re not, go and buy some vinyl. Just remember why we all do this.

After all, if Pi deserves its own day, surely Cassettes do as well.


~ by justdip on 05/09/2013.

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