A Power in the Worldwide Cassette/Awesomeness Market

From time to time, I’ve written about my interest in cassettes. While I still haven’t purchased a Nakamichi cassette deck—the decks are out there, I’m just waiting for the right time and the right deck—I’ve nevertheless kept an eye on cassette trends. For a long while, I saw very specific, very underground labels releasing tapes; and, though new cassette-only labels seemed to pop up regularly, those, too, were extremely underground and extremely independent.

But, interestingly, over the last few months, I’ve seen more well-established labels, such as Sub Pop, Domino, and Rough Trade, releasing select new material on cassette.

Now, Drag City, the awesome Chicago-based label, home to Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and other favorites, wants you to know that they’ve got tapes available, too.

We hate to interrupt your #Obamacare celebrations, but in case you haven't noticed, Drag City has become a power in the worldwide cassette/awesomeness market. In fact, our latest release revisits one of our biggest records of the year SO FAR, Ty Segall and White Fence's Hair! Upon hearing the finished cassette, we were amazed to discover it's the ideal format for Hair sounds, all along. Why cassettes, why now? We're not going to do your cultural dirty work for you, besides which, we were releasing cassettes back when granny still had the goods to raise a flag for all the young lads!

There you have it. Why cassettes, why now? My guesses are that cassettes are cool, and just as it makes sense to release certain albums as hi-res downloads, it makes sense to release certain albums on tape.

Mark Fleischmann's picture

You might want to add a Sony Walkman Professional to your shopping list. It's good enough to serve as a makeshift home deck while you contemplate your Nakamichi purchase -- but it's also portable, so you could listen to tapes on the train, or plug in a cheap stereo mic and record live music. I have boxes and boxes of live cassettes I made back in the days when I was young and passionate and digital recording didn't exist. Check the usual auction sites.

Jeff0000's picture

You might look at the Tascam 202mkv.


Waxxy's picture

Cassettes aren't about the ultimate in fidelity. Although I do get some great sounds from cassette, to me its about the fun factor.  I've had many hours of pleasure from my Pioneer CT-WM77r six + one cassette changer.  I can load up 9 hours of music and the Pioneer will play throughout the day, without the ritual of vinyl, but while still enjoying the warmth of analog.  I also use a Pro-Walkman as a portable.