Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Only Analog Is Real.

So, I used to collect CDs. I looked at them as an upgrade over cassettes when I finally was given a CD player when I was a kid. Before that I had my metal collection exclusively on tape. Tape was the format of my childhood, because only my mother had a good record player, and by the time I received it after she died when I was 12, it was not in great shape. And by that time, records had been pulled for tapes and CDs in record stores. That was 1992. Over the years I had those tapes stolen, ruined by accident, or (dumbly) traded away. I rediscovered vinyl after reading an interview with Phil Demmel of Vio-lence and decided to take him up on his offer of a free 12" single of "Phobophobia." I was left without a way to play this for about 2 years afterward, but I had wanted it. After that I was vinyl crazy. I got rid of most of the stuff I had on CD to make way for vinyl, and I replaced a great deal of it when I could. It's been that way ever since, and I still prefer vinyl to other formats. 

Except one. 

I have recently fallen back in love with the cassette tape. It's a drooling, lustful sort of love, a sort of love where I pore over online catalogs at Hell's Headbangers, Calagari Records, and Tape Worship Records. I am tracking down things I used to have on tape on eBay and Amazon and generally going nuts over the format in every way. Is this nostalgia? In this case, yes. Unless it's something lo-fi, this isn't the most top notch way to check out how an album sounds. But there is a love of the old cassette out there for a lot of us in the underground, especially those of us who traded tapes with each other. If you're 35 or older, you're generally in the club if you found the underground in your late teens like I did (I had been listening to death metal since 1990, but only found what I called "unsigned" bands back then in 1992).

Today, my buying preference is tape, then vinyl, then CD. CDs are bought only on a deal or if it's the only way to get the music. I will never, ever pay for digital files. Digital files aren't real. They're invisible pieces of trash only useful for promotion and reviews. "But they're so portable." Yes, I agree. I have an iPod and it's full. But I will never own music that way. I buy it another way and then acquire those files however I can for on the go, whether a download comes with the physical object or not. I know where to look if I need the files. 

Anyhow, any labels that put out tapes, get ahold of me to review your stuff. I will spend a lot of time on tapes. You can send a digital promo, but if it's in tape format, I'm all over it.