I bought some tapes last week because my girlfriend asked me to make her a mixtape for her car. It got me to thinking: my brother is 14. He has never experienced making a tape. When he got interested enough in music to want to collect tracks together, he had Limewire and iTunes sitting in front of him. He just types “marijuana reggae” into the search engine, picks the first twelve things that come up, and eventually burns them to a CD.
Thing is, he doesn’t even listen to the CD. Because that’s not a part of his musical existence. He listens to music on the computer and on his mp3 player. And that’s it. I think that’s a pity, personally. He doesn’t though. He never developed a sentimental attachment to circular pieces of plastic, and he definitely never bothered involving himself with cassettes.
I know the cassette is a format destined never to have a retro revival, unless it’s an ironic one. But I still fondly remember the hours I would spend with my entire CD collection (of about 10 CDs and a few free magazine compilations), plus things I had taped off my friends and off the radio. Pressing record and stop, record and stop.
Trying to figure out whether Nirvana into Moby or Nirvana into Pennywise was a better idea. Record and stop. Trying to ensure I got enough tracks per side so I didn’t have to fast-forward at the end, but also trying to ensure that I didn’t end up cutting off the arse of a good song. The sound of a tape rewinding in the Walkman I got for my communion is as much a part of my memories as kicking a ball against a wall or my friend putting on a jumper with a wasp in it.
So I made you a mixtape. Well, I made it for myself, and for my girlfriend. On tape. But here it is on mp3 anyway. There’ll be another one in a while. There isn’t really a theme, but I did try to make stuff go together, and every song comes with full love and backstory from your Selector here.
Talking Heads – Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
Vampire Weekend – Walcott
El Guincho – Kalise
The Cure – The Caterpillar
Xiu Xiu – Under Pressure
REM – These Days
Bülent Ortaçgil – Suna Abla
Gruff Rhys – Gyrru Gyrru Gyrru
The Kinks – Do You Remember Walter?
Peter Delaney – Pariah Chimes