The Dying Art: Mix Tapes

July 8, 2017
July 8, 2017 Asad Ahmed

Mix tapes- Its dying

The generation we live in exist at a time where we are, hit with a blast of new technology advancements almost every few months, and we have a question in front of us, what do we do with our New but now old gadgets. Especially in terms of music, who buys any gadgets anymore!

 

The cassette tape didn’t actually face such a sudden disregard, it reigned for several years as the true medium for music, but with the advent of CDs and then the Mp3 the cassette had a dwindling fan following. Music didn’t need a physical form.

So audio cassettes was a plastic case, with plastic magnetic tape, which were available either as pre-recorded or empty units that could be used to record audio.

Getting to the point of the article.

As millennials or even younger people, we have little or no experience with it.

The audio cassette was the best friend a music lover could have. The cassette had a life.

Almost like a life. It would start off great, long hours of playing and then a time would come when it would just start malfunctioning. This was the time to take precautionary measures or if needed do damage control.

So what is a Mix-Tape?

Almost lost in all the technicality up there, a mix tape is an audio cassette with songs recorded on them in an arrangement, as created by the Mixer.

Let’s break that up, so when someone uses pre-recorded audios and combines them from different sources onto a particular blank cassette in a chronological order and creates a concert for a specialized audience.

This cassette can be played on individual devices like a Sony Walkman which as of now faces a revival, thanks to Guardians of the galaxy star Chris Pratt.

Here is a link to an awesome walkthrough of the Walkman by Star Lord himself,(no pun intended)

This totally creates an urgent need for everyone to go buy/rent a Walkman and listen to an audio cassette.

Throughout the 1st movie the “Awesome mix volume 1” captures Star-lord and the viewers in a trance, with the surprise gift of a Volume 2 at the end of the movie.

Check out the playlist of the Awesome mix volume 1 and volume 2.

So Who is a Mixer?

A DJ who plays pre-recorded music will be termed a Mixer.

So a Mixer is not entirely a live turntable Dj or on the other side an audio duplicating pirate. He is somewhere in the middle, a place that makes him truly amazing.

You might say that all he does is create a playlist.

Essentially yes, but that isn’t where he stops, he creates a seamless/abrupt transition to the next song.

He creates playlists tailor made for an audience and most importantly. He gifts it or shares it as a physical object, which doesn’t seem to be happening a lot these days.

Nostalgia, music sense, audience taste all of this ended up in creating a mix tape.

What would you call this if not an art form.

The Mix tape was the best gift that one could create and share with a loved one.

Not if you were one of Hannah’s friends from 13 reasons why, she ruined the cassette for this generation.

Here is a glimpse of 13 Reasons Why.

Gym Class heroes: stereo hearts was an epic tribute to mix tapes, boom box and the art of mixing.

The lyrics summarize all the emotions involved with the life around a mix tape. Check it out.

My youngest memories of the mix tape is my mom recording songs of the movies ‘Mission Kashmir’ and ‘Naayak’ for us, and ‘Bumro  Bumro’ rang our house aloud after its release.

To be honest she was a really good Mixer.

So yes finally, mix tapes are amazing end products of an art creating endeavor, and they are dying a slow death . With people sharing playlists with other apps and websites, nothing really beats a self-recorded mix tape, and graphics on the mix tape case is another genre in itself.

The Cassette tape has its own share of problems, it ruins the magnetic tape, its protective case breaks but that is probably one of its charms, it needs as much love to handle as much love is needed to create it. Its physical junky nature is the art.

 

Check out some of our other cool articles and posts right here.

So now that it is dying and there is also a sort of revival, it’s worth the while to go out pull out a few cassettes or mix tapes, listen to it, and maybe even make a mix-tape.

Tell us you story of a Cassette tape or how your plan of a mix tape goes about, in the comments below.

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