A minor spate of writing extolling the virtues of the humble cassette tape from Simon and Derek
(and of course the subject is never far away over at Kek's). I haven't read Woebot's Fact piece, cos I still haven't worked out where I can actually pick-up a copy of the damn thing (if it ain't in the racks at my local W.H.Smiths, I'm basically fucked) but can totally relate to Matt's assertion that cassettes have a "sonic superiority--warmer, fuller, stronger" over MP3s. I still play cassettes all the time, mainly in the car. On the odd occasion where Mrs. Gutter decides to jack her iPod Nano into the car's stereo, I have to adjust the EQ - turn-up the bass, lower the treble - in order to achieve a sound that comes barely close to the warm, full-bodied tape sound. Derek's description of tapes changing "like a patchwork quilt as I've dubbed new things next to old" is spot-on too. I'm always over-dubbing new tracks and self-made mixes over older ones, and am often surprised by the things that suddenly pop-up towards the end of a tape, as the new layer is peeled away to reveal earlier recordings (most recent example: deep techno mix giving way to N-Type Rinse FM broadcast circa 2005). Perhaps it's hypocritical of me to favour tape over mp3 when I'm starting a Net-label that thrives on digitising cassette sound, but my excuse is that I'm using the free mp3 download route to do something that would be impossible via other formats, essentially: release the unreleasable. It don't get much more Underground than that.
And speaking of which, if there's anyone out there who's got some old demo recordings featuring any of these babies, I wanna hear from you!