Thursday, 21 January 2010

Why I DON’T fondly remember cassettes

Saisho-logoWe all love our gadgets, often it is the little things that the gadgets do that fish us in and make us buy. Who COUDN’T resist a self milking cow that also played Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending. Then a few years down the line we realise that not only were the gimmicks pointless or perhaps even broken but they really were not needed at all. Like…

Soft eject Cassette Decks…

Oh how we loved out audio cassettes C45s, C60s and the all mighty C90 nestling together like little nuggets of musical joy. Ready to slot into our Walkman (or Saisho for those without rich Ma-Ma and Pa-Pas). We would lovingly fish our Tiffany copy from its Genesis case and hit eject. KERCHUNK. The sound could be heard for miles around. 

Then a friend shows you his new Hi-Fi (we will call him smug Bob). It has hoooge speakers, a belt driven Turntable with a weight balanced needle arm and… get this. Smug Bob pushes eject and you cringe waiting for the roar and clash of plastic on plastic…Super Cooland it glides slowly down. Nirvana (and some jealously)

You make it your mission to find a soft eject tape deck, just so you can have the swoosh of a gently setting tape caddy. You get one then realise it takes 5 days to give you your damn tape…but its worth it because it has a smooth action and we all have well loved tape collections today…don't we?

Hi-Speed Dub…

That smug git Bob has done it again, now he is flashing around his nice new copy of Vanilla Ice: To the Extreme and you are sooooo jealous. Its Ok you have plied him with promises of sexual gratification from your little sister and he has agreed to copy it for you. Swoosh opens the decks and in goes your C90 (goodbye Wet Wet Wet). He presses play…

SCREEECHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. What the fuck Smug Bob. He grins… Hi-Speed Dub mate. Be done in half the time. Let go bother mum for some Panda Pops. So you head downstairs ready to harass Bobs mum who makes you slightly warm in the boy parts for a reason you are not quite sure about.Can I call you Mummy?

You promise yourself that you will buy a deck with Hi-Speed Dub and you do just that… and realise that when you copy a tape it is normally a borrowed one and you want to listen to it anyway…or its an LP, or there is that one track you just love which you slow the speed down for, forever embedding a little hIItch in the playback. Then you realise that its 30 minutes in and the the tape needs to be SWITCHED OVER!!!! That's OK says Bob because I have…

Auto Reverse

Yes Mr Van Winkle is recording just fine. You can stay with Bobs Mum (call me Lucy Please) and wonder what you can make her reach for on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Just as you decide that you could become a fan of milkshakes and would just love one “Lucy”. Bob, who has gone to check the dub screams in anguish…

You run up the stairs two at a time to see Bob with streams of tape around him, Vanilla has jammed on the reverse. Its been  chewed to hell, Bob is furious. He flings your C90 at you and yells to get out. You will ever see “Lucy” again and your sister will remain un-violated, no schoolyard stories for you.

Still, you think as you head home. At least i still have Debbie Gibson and, flipping your cassette you plonk it into you KRAKKKK clanking Saisho. Silence GODDAMNIT ITS BEEN RECORDED OVER WHEN IT REVERSED…WITH SILENCE.

And that is why I don't miss tapes…my Sony minidiscs will last forever.

The Future?
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