The return of the cassette | 0223

If you were thinking of buying vinyl and asking your grandfather for the turntable to be the coolest of all, forget it, vinyl is practically a standard format again. The reissues of classics or the latest release of your favorite band already have their vinyl edition and you can even buy them in a supermarket.

Now if what you are looking for is to be up to date in music fashion, you are looking for a good tape player, because the cassette After the pandemic, it reappeared in the most developed countries of the world and is the latest vintage fashion to listen to music in non-digital format.

Although it was subsequently dethroned – first for the Compact Disc and then for digital files (mp3 and mp4) – the cassette retains a special place in the history of sound technology.

If you are under 30 you probably have no idea what we are talking about and first of all I will clarify for you, the sound quality of the cassettes was terrible. But it was what you had to take your music everywhere.

The cassette or compact cassette is a plastic case containing a 3.81 mm spool of magnetic tape between two rails. The tape runs at a speed of 4.76 centimeters per second and can be re-recorded many times.

All this today is unnecessary and uncomfortable but at the time, cassettes revolutionized the habits of listening to music, until then limited to vinyl records that were much less manageable. Suddenly, thanks to car radios and Sony’s legendary music player, the Walkman, it was possible to transport and enjoy music individually outside the home.

Trend and pandemic

Although the phenomenon is taking time to explode in Argentina, it is a very strong trend in the main music markets, such as the United States and Great Britain, where many soloists and pop and rock bands release their albums on both vinyl and disc. compact as cassette.

According to figures from the British Phonographic Industry (the interprofessional association of the British recording industry), 156,542 cassettes were sold in the UK last year, a record since 2003. Pop icons such as Lady Gaga, Selena Gomes and Dua Lipa have started to release their latest songs in this format and they are being sold on a large scale.

This year was a record since 2003 in the sale of cassettes in the main cities where music is an emblem.

Also thanks to series with a retro vibe, such as “Stranger Things” or the Marvel movies “Guardians of the Galaxy”, the films became fashionable as a nostalgic treasure in the 21st century.

In our country there is a vibrant scene of independent cassette editions where the format is promoted by these types of labels within the framework of a movement that has blogs, “influencers” and festivals.

One of those labels is Laptra, which is based in La Plata and publishes, among others, the albums of the band He Killed a Motorized Policeman, also on cassette.

There is also an economic reason for the resurgence of the tape. As debates about the need for streaming services to pay artists mount, independent musicians have been using the sale of physical material as a source of income for some time.

Cassettes in 2021

Today’s renewed interest in cassette is seen as a cultural movement returning to an iconic and heritage medium that people can touch, handle and appreciate together, unlike a digital archive. Although less iconic than vinyl, cassettes also represent moments in cultural history beloved by music lovers.

Those who go out today to buy cassettes do it because they want to relive experiences of the past, they are looking for very rare editions that are worth small fortunes or they joined the modern trend, as did the youngest who had never seen vinyl and are now longplay fans.

In the middle are the collectors; some of which spend a few dollars on hard-to-get editions.

In Argentina you can also get these rarities at precious prices. In the most popular online sales site in the country appears, for example, a reissue on cassette from the ’80s of Luis Alberto Spinetta’s first solo album, “Spinettalandia y sus amigos” (in its version known as “The search for the star ”), For no less than 15,600 pesos.

There is also a “Alma de Diamante” by Spinetta Jade for just over 8,800 pesos, and there is someone who offers a “Bocanada”, by Gustavo Cerati, also for 50,000 pesos!

To look for old forgotten boxes, consult your old men, uncles or grandparents. Maybe you have a small fortune in cassettes, you can join this movement or earn a few pesos helping whoever is putting together their collection.

I understand nostalgia, but I don’t share it. We can debate hours and hours about the quality of analog and digital sound, not the cassette because it was always bad, but it will always depend on taste, access to quality sound equipment and also on the listening quality of the listener.

All this is great if you have the time and desire. Today we have accessible streaming services that have practically everything we want to hear. Quality details, ways of listening and supports. Other types of variables come into play that exceed the essentials, listening to music, one of the most beautiful things in life, enjoy it as you want

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Tammy Sewell is our Writer and Social at Tammy loves sports, she writes our celebrities news. She spends time browsing through several celebs news sources as well the Instagram. Email: Phone: +1 513-209-1700

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