If you do, you’re not alone. There’s a whole subculture of music fans and recording artists (and as to be expected, hipsters) who not only trade and collect cassette tapes, but are keeping the format alive. And, like vinyl, there’s a movement among indie bands to release albums and material–sometimes exclusively–on audio cassette.
REC-STOP-PLAY is a documentary that explores the resurgence of cassette tapes and chronicles two indie bands in the process of recording a cassette tape release.
Focusing on the continuing trend of cassette releases out of Ottawa and Montreal, REC-STOP-PLAY follows Archery Guild and Aim Low as they record a split cassette release, while also talking to the labels themselves about a subculture that not only refuses to die, but continues to (arguably) thrive.
Here’s the trailer:
I have to admit, I do sometimes get nostalgic for cassette tapes. I have Fisher Price to thank for my first exposure to the magic of magnetically coated plastic tape, and this ugly brown hunk of plastic was my first-ever tape recorder:
(By the way, if anyone reading this has an MP3 of the original demo tape that came with this toy, please holler at me!)
I remember holding this thing up to the radio to record my favorite songs from Casey Kasem’s Top 40 countdown (analog piracy!) which meant all my music had this dreadful hissing noise running through it and odd bits of old commercials. What I wouldn’t give to still have some of those tapes; there were some hilarious ones where my mom was yelling at me in the background because I didn’t do my chores. I would also lay awake at night in the dark listening to read-along adventure books, which was one of my favorite things to do.
I later upgraded to one of these pastel beauties:
This isn’t my photo, but it might as well be because I played the shit out of that Ace of Base tape in 1994. There’s just something satisfying about pushing down on big, clunky buttons to play your tapes that you just don’t get with digital media. Funny thing, I still have that Ace of Base tape stashed away in a shoebox somewhere, along with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie soundtrack cassettes, among other gems.
The thing I miss most about cassettes, though, is making mixtapes. The ones I made featured random samples of cartoon theme songs, funny movie quotes, my sister and I making fart noises and other asshattery interjected between songs. Good times.
Figures the Mixtape Memory Stick at ThinkGeek is constantly out of stock.