In a sure sign that cassettes are enjoying a resurgence that I never would've seen coming—not even when I posted this paean to the formerly maligned format—Stones Throw has teamed up with their Highland Park neighbors, Leaving Records, to release the 53-minute compilation Dual Form as a double cassette.
And they've just made the following track available. I'd never heard of the UK's Cyclist before, but "Visions" has all the forward momentum you'd expect from an artist whose name evokes a fleet, economical mode of transportation (and don't expect any Lance Armstrong cracks from me; I'm rather saddened by that whole affair).
Come to think of it, cassettes and bicycles have a lot in common—or they did once—since the streets of the 1980s were filled with music loving-cyclists zipping around town with their sleek, little Walkmen in tow (and I don't mean the band).
Granted, I walk everywhere I can—and that's pretty easy to do when you live downtown—but I've never been a driver, and although I upgraded to CDs when they became the dominant musical delivery system, I missed the cassette's smaller size and weight (and audio fidelity has never been a high priority for me).
Dad's Sanyo Personal Stereo (I had a Sony Walkman)
While I can certainly understand the appeal of vinyl, which I collected from the 1970s through the '90s—and I've held on to most everything I ever bought—I rarely play records anymore as my apartment is so small that I literally have no place to set up my turntable (it's currently serving as a makeshift bookshelf).
I don't know how long this cassette moment will last, but for now, I'm digging it. It's also great for those of us on a budget, since tapes tend to cost less. I scored Redd Kross's Researching the Blues* from Burger Records (via Merge) for $6, and I plan to pick up Ty Segall's Twins ($8) the same way since Drag City is also making tapes available (like Burger, Leaving specializes in cassette releases).
* Signed and limited to 250 copies, this edition is now sold out.
Stones Throw and Leaving Records release Dual Form on Nov 6. CD, LP, and digital to follow on Jan 22 without the three Matthewdavid tracks. Other artists include Sun Araw ("Right Off") and Julia Holter (Arthur Russell's "You and Me Both").