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Cassette Dysons factory

Apparently it’s Cassette Day on September 7th 2013. We’ve had the welcome resurgence of interest in vinyl; now some bright young things are hankering after the analogue nostalgia of the musicassette and releasing their own material on tape once more, and they’ve decided to have a day (styled after Record Store Day) to publicise the craze. To me the cassette was always a bit of a two edged sword. Sure it enabled you to record bands off the radio and even (with care and subterfuge) at concerts, and they were excellent for keeping yourself sane at work. I wore out all my Cocteau Twins tapes in the darkroom at the printers where I was for a few years (I had the vinyl but they never copied well to blank tapes so I actually bought the official cassette editions of my favourites). But they was not great audio quality (certainly in the early 70s) and tapes were prone to damaging themselves in the compact mechanism. Even so, by the 80s most of the problems had been sorted and my Denon twin-deck machine still stands as testament to the dozens of promo tapes I used to rattle off and stuff into jiffy bags.
While I still love vinyl and understand the appeal, the awful little cards which served as cassette sleeves held no appeal and I had assumed the tape had been kicked into touch both by CD burning and digital file sharing. Certainly whoever owned this beaten up copy of Classic Soul (a 1997 collection by an imprint of Eagle Rock) appears to have agreed. I saw it lying on the floor of an abandoned factory canteen earlier this year, amidst a few discarded staples, nuts and bolts. It must have provided entertainment for staff in their lunch-breaks. Maybe after photographing it I should have picked it up and saved it after all…
There are a few weird and wonderful old cassette players from the Easy On The Eye archives up at ST33 if you fancy a look.

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