David Sylvian, A Victim of Stars, and thoughts about curation

I was listening to this compilation on Friday and I really enjoyed it for the most part. Which I found strange. I didn’t find it strange that I liked the individual songs, I knew those and knew that I liked them, but the order that they were in created a different feel to listening to them, and that made me think.

It made me remember the mixtape, that is, when it was an actual tape and not a digital representation of a tape. Curating (if that’s the right word for it) tracks together in a specific order can quite easily change their meaning or at least adapt it for a different purpose.

I found listening to Sylvian’s tracks in the order in this compilation gave them a different meaning in a way for me. Not a totally different meaning you understand, but something subtle. It also made me remember mixtape’s where they were in a different order and what tracks followed which was strange too.

I’m not entirely sure where this leads, but I think it’s interesting in itself, that’s all.

Old tech

This is what I’ve been using to retrieve my old songs from often crumbling cassettes. Sadly it too is somewhat past it’s best and I’m not sure how much longer it will last.

I’m considering getting an old cassette 8 track. Probably not immediately, but in a while I think.

Some more about old multitracks

If you’re interested in old multitrack stuff then here’s a few more posts on the subject.

Look what I found

I haven’t seen one of these in ages, but in unearthing loads of old cassettes you can find some real treasures. This is a TDK Metal tape with an aluminum body. A great find, and I think they were pretty expensive when they first came out.

I wonder what else I’ll discover?


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Four Track Futures

Since I started going back over my old tapes and retrieving them I’ve been thinking about the process of recording to tape, or if not to tape in a linear way and not wholly sequenced.

I liked that way of doing things in the past. There was more room for error and because of that more room for inspired accidents. I miss that. You just don’t get that so much with sequencing.

So I am giving serious consideration to tape again. I might even consider getting a tape 8 track at some point!

You won’t see one of these I’ll bet

I checked the tapedeck site to see if they had one of these in the list of cassettes and they don’t, so I sent them some photos.

I have 3 of these Teac cassettes and I can remember that when I bought them that they were pretty hard to get hold of back then. Now, well I doubt that there would be many of them around any more.

I’ve only got one of the blue ones and the other two are black and not in as good condition.

Beautiful though isn’t it?

Teac reel to reel cassette

I love tape, so I love this …

I’m a fan of Deerful’s music so it was good news when she announced a cassette release. It’s a really nice EP too and very well put togeher.


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Listening to myself

I’ve mentioned before that I’m currently going through a process of moving all my old cassettes to digital. It will take a long, long, long, time. I assure you.

But part of the process is listening to music I haven’t heard in years. Mostly things I’ve recorded myself, some great, some terrible, some embarrassing, and all enjoyable in one way or another.

It is a good reminder of why I love music, why I love the creative process. A reminder that software and hardware are just tools for doing something creative and should be looked at as that.

I think it can be really easy to get lost in tools you’re using to the point where you focus so much on what the tool can do and can’t do that you forget what it is you’re trying to achieve. That’s the danger and listening to my old stuff made with simple hardware and usually no software at all made me realise that perhaps I need to think long and hard about where my music is going, or more importantly the fact that it isn’t going anywhere at the moment.


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Listening to Laurie

I found this tape the other day when I was clearing out old cassettes (a job that’s going to take me a while I think).

I’d forgotten I even had this, so it is great to listen to Laurie Anderson as I’ve been a fan for many years now, and interesting to hear her talk about her work in the present tense from so long ago.


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When tapes go wrong

I’ve been clearing out old tapes, and when I say old I mean old. Some of the tapes are of my own music so I’ve been converting a few tracks to digital and finding songs that I’d completely forgotten about.

Sadly, one tape seems to have decided to give up and of course it had to be one which had lots of long forgotten treasure (for me anyway).

There’s only one thing for it. I’m going to have to open it up and see if I can splice the tape together, and I haven’t done that for years!

Cassette Store Day 2015: Fostex X-14

I used to have a Fostex X-15, but when it finally gave up I got rid of it. So I got the X-14 to replace it. It’s not as good. It’s ok, but it isn’t the same. Even so, I do like these old cassette 4 tracks. Their kind of awesome.


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