Portable cassette player and headphones isolated on white. Generic design.
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If you’re part of the insane cassette revival, you’ll want to read this.

Once again: cassettes are an outmoded, outdated, obsolete technology that needs to die. Those prone to romanticizing and fetishizing them don’t remember (or never knew) what it was like when they were the only way to make music portable. Good riddance.

Still, there are dreamers. This Little Rock AK music label’s heart is still with the cassette. From the Charlotte Observer:

It was 2016 and Joey Lucas had been listening to a digital copy of an album called Hustle Warfare 3, by Memphis hip-hop artist Black Smurf.

There was no physical version of the record, which bothered Lucas. He wanted a copy of Hustle Warfare 3 to call his own, a physical object he could hold and show to his friends. A longtime fan of audiocassettes, he and a buddy looked into getting the album on tape.

“We found out how cheap it was to actually manufacture a tape and just went for it,” said 42-year-old Lucas on an April afternoon at Pizza D’ Action in Little Rock. He contacted Black Smurf via Instagram and reached an agreement with the rapper to produce 100 copies of the album on tape.

“I just kind of did it for fun,” Lucas said. “He was my favorite artist at the time, and I just really wanted to put out something physically.”

Keep reading.

Fine. But what are you going to use to play your new cassettes? If have a car younger than 2010, there’s no factory cassette player. And do you really have an old Walkman or cassette machine lying around the house?

If not, TASCAM has a new(!!!) double cassette unit for sale. Read about it at New Atlas.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38293 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

4 thoughts on “If you’re part of the insane cassette revival, you’ll want to read this.

  • Oh god…anyone old enough can’t possibly be interested in a revival. Sure, I fondly remember my first “Walkman” (a Panasonic actually) and the freedom it suddenly provided. I remember walking out into the world engulfed in my own soundtrack for the first time. But tape cassettes were just a.w.f.u.l.
    And as a musician back in the day: so great to hear yourself signing at a slightly different pitch depending on the deck you were playing your demo on…:)

  • When I was a kid and young teenager cassettes were everywhere. When the tape would get all tangled up (they always did) I would take the tape apart using the screws on the sides and sometimes end up using Scotch tape to splice it together if it was destroyed. Not the good old days LOL

  • That new Tascam deck looks almost identical to the old JVC one that I still own and use.

  • I smell another hipster niche market incoming. Stick with vinyl, kids; there are reasons the old folks were so happy to have CDs replace tape.


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