In a way, it was inevitable.
Once written off, the cassette has become the format of choice for countless new musicians. Everyone from the latest indie hype to the most out there noise artist utilise the cassette, with its cheap 'n' cheerful qualities matched by a firm sense of nostaglia.
A reaction to this phenomenon, Cassette Store Day is a new venture which aims to highlight the format's resurgence - as well as providing an outlet for new music. Taking place on September 7th, shops across the UK and beyond will be selling a wide range of exclusive releases.
Featuring iconic artists and complete unknowns, mainstream favourites and left field missionaries, it's all here and it's all on reel-to-reel. Clash pick five of the best releases on show...
The Pastels - Summer Rain (Domino) (as nominated by Robin Murray)
A continual inspiration, The Pastels returned earlier this year with new album 'Slow Summits'. Once again handled by Domino, the band's Cassette Store Day release is a salute of sorts to the enduring relationship which exists between band and label. In their own words: "When we started our group all those years ago, cassettes, like fanzines, were an immediate, easier way into things for us, and many others. It was the perfect, accessible, outsider medium. We of course got lucky and Whaam!, Rough Trade and slightly later, Creation liked our music and wanted to release Pastels records. But how did they first hear us? On cassette of course."
"For Cassette Store Day we've tried to be faithful to the art form by compiling a speedy mix / comp in the way that you would for someone you wanted to turn onto a group that you like. It's a Pastels comp, so Summer Rain is a C60 (with download card) of some of our favourite music we've made for Domino, starting around 1995 with Mobile Safari and ending with songs from the Slow Summits sessions. The artwork is by Annabel Wright."
At The Drive-In – Relationship Of Command (2000) (Trangressive) (as nominated by Marc Zanotti)
'Relationship Of Command' was the third and final record by At The Drive-In. Although ATD-I member Omar Alfredo Rodríguez-López once described the album as basically unlistenable, on account of the mixing by Andy Wallace, 'Relationship Of Command' is still widely considered as ATD-I strongest release by fans and critics. Signing up with Trangressive for the reissue of both 'Acrobatic Tenement' (1996) and 'Relationship Of Command', this might be your only chance to grab this classic on cassette - and perhaps hear it in a more potent, raw form as Omar intended.
The Flaming Lips – The Terror (2013) (Bella Union) (as nominated by Marc Zanotti)
'The Terror' is a darker, more subdued album than one might expect from The Flaming Lips’ flamboyant frontman Wayne Coyne – given his recent history of collaborating with Kesha, setting Guinness world records, and bringing fake grenades to airports. Released at the beginning of April, 'The Terror' sees The Flaming Lips depose of any showy gimmicks and forfeit instant acceptability to embrace their experimental side, perhaps more vehemently than ever before. Even in it’s digital form you can hear a wane and bluntness to the music and production that should only be bolstered by the griminess of cassette. And hey, who doesn’t love a moody, textured tape?
Hate Hate Hate sampler (Hate Hate Hate) (as nominated by Robin Murray)
Regular visitors to these parts will no doubt realise that Clash have been casting envious glances at Hate Hate Hate's roster for some time. This Cassette Store Day release features two track apiece from LOOM, The Wytches and Polterghost and it's the easiest way for new fans to get caught up on their dirty, nasty, downright evil thrills. Featuring three of the most exciting bands the capital has coughed up for some time, this will no doubt be in serious demand - best act quick, then, since it's limited to a mere 50 copies.
Deerhunter – Monomania (2013) (4AD) (as nominated by Marc Zanotti)
Deerhunter unleashed their latest record ‘Monomania’ in May, much to the delight of many. The record, as noted by Clash, explores psychedelia and Americana set-up on a punk foundation that strays slightly into the avant-garde. "As unconventional in approach as ever, the set extrapolates from their previous ventures and results in a confident and competent continuation of established qualities," wrote Clash reviewer TC. With a brash, lo-fi sound that appeals to anyone who likes their music not too loud but rough around the edges, ‘Monomania’ is another album that should translate well to analog.
Cassette Store Day takes place on September 7th.
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