By Mike Ciecierski
It’s been a while since cassettes were the primary medium to listen to music; so long, in fact, that when I bought two from some local bands and popped them into my car, I couldn’t remember how to rewind them.
A little pathetic, I know. But along with vinyl, cassettes have started making a serious comeback. A lot of it has to do with the physicality of music becoming popular again; the feeling of buying something real that’s not digitized and possessing something that is not as easy to come by as say, a CD.
Aidan Feliciano, a member of the New Jersey band Look Up said, “I think the transition back to tape by many independent artists has been caused by, I think, the easy accessibility of CDs. It’s gotten to the point where you can get CDs at a dollar store, and because of that, the worth of a CD has been somewhat diminished.”
And it has. Most major CD stores have gone out of business or are in the process of doing so while independent record shops are popping up everywhere, creating a following around the basis of sentimentality—something that has been absent from the distribution of music for a long time. Music is meant to be sentimental and cassettes cater to that in a way that CDs never could.
Cameron Kennon, the guitarist and singer from Baby Pilot, another band out of New Jersey said, “And in the regression from the gloss and dolled up, we find comfort in the obsolete. Upon buying a tape or vinyl record, one finds themself unwrapping a gift of layers. Often unfolding handwritten lyric sheets, and original artwork, there is a value that can’t be found in mass-produced booklet inserts that seem to reminisce over such landmark publications as People magazine.”
And that is exactly what music needs at this point. The Internet’s availability has caused major record labels to file bankruptcy, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing, right?