February 14, a date on the calendar you either look forward to or dread…
Ahhhh to be in love! The birds are singing, the butterflies are in your stomach and there’s not a trouble in sight.
But let’s be honest, sometimes (OK lots of times) that love stuff doesn’t go to plan and it’s not all roses, chocolates and Hallmark cards. So keeping this in mind, Cool Accidents have got everyone covered this Valentine’s Day no matter what your Facebook relationship status tells us.
With the help of Everyone’s Mixtape and Mark Drew we’ve put together a website where you can create a customized playlist to send to that special/terrible someone in your life. It’s pretty simple, just log in, give your tape a name, choose your music from Youtube, Soundcloud or Vimeo and send it to that person you love to love or love to hate.
Now… If only love was that easy. Click HERE to get started!
“What is it about the cassette that won’t die? It is obsolete, clunky, it’s sound is unpolished, atmospheric and flat but the blank cassette enticed us with it’s possibilities and it was portable so we could take it anywhere, record anything and maybe it’s because of this freedom or maybe because of nostalgia but the cassette has quietly begun it’s comeback”
In case you don’t know, we’re big fans of cassettes here at Cool Accidents (have you seen our logo?) and we just stumbled on a project that we really want to see get up and running over at kickstarter.com.
A couple of New York filmmakers have set about making a film about cassettes and they need your help (yes you… we just did our good deed!)
Here’s the scoop via the guys themselves -
A few months ago, the term cassette tape was taken out of the Oxford English Dictionary.
It may seem ironic, then, that the cassette has experienced a quiet comeback over the last few years, as independent labels issuing tape-only releases have begun popping up around the world.
What better excuse to take a look back at this beloved musical format?
As recorded sound continues its love affair with the downloadable, ethereal digital file, the tangible artefact is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Help us celebrate the A Side, the B Side, the mixtape, and the whole of cassette culture by supporting Cassette: A Documentary. We’ll look at all parts of popular culture influenced by the cassette, including hip-hop and B-Boy culture, indie rock, home recording, and beyond.
We’ve already conducted a number of interviews in the UK, and with your support we’ll be able to speak to manufacturers, musicians, and historians around the world. Along the way, we’ll stop in Zimbabwe to cover the recent boom in cassette culture there.
Support the guys by heading over to their Kick Starter page HERE and don’t be shy, any donation is appreciated and time is of the essence!
Bruce Milne and Andrew Maine’s Fast Forward cassette magazine documented the post-punk scene of the early 80s. The tapes interspersed interviews with music and were packaged with printed artwork in a soft case and distributed through record shops. In that pre-internet era Fast Forward helped spread sounds and ideas among music communities. Archived it offers a valuable resource for people interested in post-punk - Greg Wadley
If anything reflects the ebullience of the ‘underground’ in this era it is Fast Forward, a bi-monthly magazine on audio cassette edited by Bruce Milne and Andrew Maine alongside designer Michael Trudgeon. Fast Forward ran to13 issues between November 1980 and October 1982,[i] one of those innovations that was almost too simply brilliant for anyone to believe it hadn’t been done before - and there was discussion at the time about a forerunner, Bill Furlong’s Audio Arts.[ii] Maine and Milne were RRR presenters who had access to material via radio and Milne’s Au Go Go/Missing Link connections, as well as the mere fact they were known about town. They had planned a magazine with a flexidisc, until they heard that EMI’s standard procedure for unsold pre-recorded cassettes was to bulk erase them and sell them on. The early Fast Forwards had new labels stuck over reused pre-recorded cassettes, and the temporary or makeshift nature of them was part of the appeal. Milne told Rolling Stone’s Andrea Jones in 1981 that ‘I don’t see the music we put down on those tapes as being a permanent document like a record. We hope that people will hear the tape and then go out and see the bands.’[iii]
For a few weeks in the early 1980s the world saw a cassette magazine explosion - the British pop magazine Mix, and the Pacific north west’s Sub Pop which alternated cassette and print editions, for instance, and which later became the famous record label. Meanwhile, in the Pacific south east, Maine and Milne were producing what was effectively a purchasable radio show (not a ‘compilation album’ as some have termed it;[iv] interviews and other spoken word material were integral to the content) in packaging which began with a simple one-piece ‘cover’ in a plastic bag to a silkscreened wallet with various leaflets and booklets in its various pockets. Trudgeon explained that normally a ‘cassette is usually a small, miserably packaged object that has no intrinsic qualities.’[v] The most ambitious Fast Forward was probably the double-issue; two ninety-minute cassettes and extra print material. The music on the various Fast Forwards was largely of its time and more often than not, marvelous; no doubt many casual purchasers around the world were first exposed to live music from the Laughing Clowns, the Go-Betweens’ demos for Send me a lullabye, Rowland Howard’s ‘Shivers’ as performed by The Young Charlatans, Pel Mel’s ‘No Word from China’ recorded as a ‘demo’ and launching the Newcastle group on a two-album near-mainstream career and much more via this miraculous, modern periodical. As Jon Stratton has demonstrated, Fast Forward was not - unlike, for instance, Mark Dodgson’s Big Back Yard show, distributed to non-profit radio around the world in the late 80s - based on a notion of ‘Australian music to the world’. It was not exclusively local, and would feature music from anywhere, the prime criteria being the editors’ taste, and the proviso that it had not (yet) been released on vinyl. Maine and Milne ultimately fell out: Maine alone went on to relaunch Fast Forward as the disastrous, trendy Crowd, a magazine-with-cassette which became print-only with its second issue and disappeared after the third.
- David Nichols
[i] Paul McHenry and Chris Spencer The Australian Various Artist on Cassette 1978-96 Golden Square, Moonlight 1996 pp.19-23
[ii] Tyrone Flex, ‘C-30, C-60, C-90 Go! Go!! Go!!!’ RR Vol 4 No. 11/12 1981 p. 8
[iii] Andrea Jones, “Fast Forward” fills the gap between magazine and LP’ ARS #340 p. 18
[iv] Philip Hayward Music at the Borders p. 26
[v] Tyrone Flex, ‘C-30, C-60, C-90 Go! Go!! Go!!!’ RR Vol 4 No. 11/12 1981 p. 8
[vi] ‘News’ Vox Muzpaper November 1981 p. 3
You can check out the complete archives over at spill-label including the digitized original cassette audio!