The Interdome - You may be a blogger but you ain't no dancer
Please Stop Film, Turn Tape Over, Press Play.
My friend Jon, otherwise known as Lateral Hyetography, in addition to recording his own music produces the all-cassette label Really Coastal.
When I was in LA recently, Jon hooked me up with everything he had in stock: Theo Angell's "First Recordings", Antique Brother's "Hot Shit", and Bird Names' "Recession Vacation". (Bird Names is another venture of which I think I know, maybe two? of the current contributors.)
The selected cover art I've stuck here from Really Costal's website probably gives you an idea of the aesthetic. Funny how cover art will do that. In my two years reviewing music for a college radio station, I really found it interesting how sifting through the cover art will give you a pretty good idea of what the band will sound like. Thickness of paper and quality of printing will clue you in to the production quality of the tracks, and originality and artistic quality of the images will be a pretty good indicator of what it will sound like, and how good of a specimen.
But that said, and with the connotations that "all-cassette label" necessarily bring with it, there is a sort of music that cannot be produced any other way. The recording medium is part of the experience, and this holds true for torrented mp3, HQ 180g vinyl, scratched CD, or pristine cassette. When I put in the Antique Brothers tape into my crappy van's tape player, the only part of the music system that still works, and peered out of the rain-blurred windows on my way to work at 5:30 AM on an autumn Portland morning, it was precisely right. The echoing hues of the the tape matched my landscape with a soundscape for forty-five minutes, and then the tape reversed, dragging the long magnetic filament back to its origin.
Perhaps tapes, and the sort of music that must be recorded on tapes, are not for most people. But then again, most well-crafted art rarely is. This music is art music, because it meant to provoke something, not correspond to whatever the consumer already feels.
"For centuries the situation in literature was such that a small number of writers faced many thousands of times that number of readers. Then, towards the end of the last century, there came a change. As the press grew in volume, making ever-increasing numbers of new political, religious, scientific, professional and local organs available to its readership, larger and larger sections of that readership (gradually at first) turned into writers. It began with the daily newspapers opening their 'correspondence columns' to such people, and it has now reached a point where few Europeans involved in the labour process could fail, basically, to find some opportunity or other to publish an experience at work, a complaint, a piece of reporting or something similar. The distinction between writer and readership is thus in the process of losing its fundamental character. That distinction is becoming a functional one, assuming a different form from one case to to the next. "
--Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction