In my last post, about concept albums, I lamented how concept albums tend to adhere to being listened to all in one sitting rather than a “collection of singles” whereby most will just pick and choose as they go. That’s all especially true in this digital age, where playlists via such outlets like Spotify are all the rage; who really has time to sit down and listen to an entire album all in one sitting?
This thinking, at least as far as I’m concerned, is why I still love physical media.
Well, I mean, there’s a lot of reasons why I love physical media. If you’ll allow me to pull back the curtain a bit: when I’m not randomly stumbling around the internet, and pretending to know what I’m doing/talking about, my full-time job in the “real world” is that of a digital archivist. Trust me, I believe in digital preservation and the benefits that digitization can bring to the table of history.
However, I also cannot deny my allure and reverence for the physical as well.
There’s just a sort of indescribable feeling that you often feel when you hold something physical in your hands. In terms of music, it’s almost a ritual: take the media out, put it in the player, sit back, and listen to the contents of that media all the way through. After all, you can’t really skip around when you do so… okay, maybe you can with CDs but that’s honestly where this whole digital mess started. Analog requires you to sit down, shut up, and just listen to it all.
I’m simply saying, in a way, that such a process makes you appreciate the music a little bit more; needlessly skipping over tracks isn’t doing anyone any favors! Hey, you never know, you might just discover a new favorite that wasn’t included on some digital playlist. Besides, on top of that, I just love physical media because it truly feels as though you’ve bought real stock in an artist that you can display:
That right there, above, is my current synthwave cassette tape collection as of this post. That tape deck, above all the tapes, is my most recent acquisition. Ironically (or unfortunately) enough, ever since I started to buy synthwave cassette tapes back in 2016, I’ve gone through a few cassette tape players which have all broken in one way or another; no one ever said that keeping old media alive was easy and/or cost-effective! That said, here’s hoping this new one lasts!
Mostly because the last one that I bought was well over a year ago, if not longer than that, so I really haven’t had a way to actually listen to any of these tapes. Regardless of that, I kept buying tapes! Which is often the Catch-22 of synthwave cassette tapes: the limited edition nature, where there are often only a set amount made, and so you’ve got to be quick or you’re shit out of luck! Annoying at times, I’ll admit, but also understandable; it ain’t cheap for an artist to independently produce tapes. Hell, for the most part, they take a bit of a loss.
Regardless, I love them and I appreciate when they’re made. In fact, just this past Bandcamp Day, I made sure that a good number of my purchases were cassette tapes so that the artists could get all their money back for said investment. Speaking of Bandcamp, and past purchases, I actually only found out recently that you can go back and see every single purchase you’ve ever made along with details such as the date, what you bought, how much you paid, etc. Pretty neat!
Anyway, all of this made me think: now that I can listen to my cassette tape collection again, and I feel like cassette tapes deserve much more of an appreciation than they sometimes receive (other than being simply collectables), I thought that I would start a new sort of feature on this website. I’m not entirely sure on the frequency of such, but I’m hoping for at least once a week, whereby I will pick a cassette tape and then talk about it a bit in terms of not so much the music really but more the tape itself and my thoughts/experiences with it too.
How will I choose which cassette tape to talk about? Eh, I’ll just do so randomly!
Yup, I’ll just pull one out of this box at random and then go from there! Why not?
I was going to start doing so right here, right now, in this very post… but then I figured that this should really be more of a standalone introduction to the whole concept if anything. That said, look out for the right proper beginning of this endless endevour soon enough and thank you, as always, for having a read! ❤