Cassettes cool again, but do you have a player?

Cassette comeback

Cassettes are a key component of my upbringing, from being a medium on which to buy music, to record the latest choons from the radio, to recording my own mixtapes and selling them in the local record shop. But generally speaking, it’s a nasty format that sounds pretty terrible, and is prone to getting chewed up inside your car stereo, Walkman or boom box.

But despite all the downsides, the BBC reports that they’re on the up and up. There is something timelessly cool about this format. Most probably the fact that it was the most convenient format for recording for ever, and was the de facto way to get your creations heard in the shortest possible time. I’ve lost track of just how much cash I poured into my local Boots shop for 10 packs of TDK C60s for my mixtapes.

Perhaps it’s the continuing micro-revival of vinyl that is stimulating a hipster-driven lo-fi resurgence of the humble cassette. It’s quite possible that actual mixtape might make a cool and collectable return to the culture of the DJ, rather than having the moniker continue to be used on CDs and MP3s.

Good luck finding a cheap supply of blanks tapes though. Last time I checked, they were changing hands for silly sums of cash. My favourite TDK SA90 is currently on eBay for £8.50. Look around — you may have some very easy money stashed in your attic or under your bed. The biggest problem I can see is that cassette decks were offloaded a very long time ago. I have a USB enabled walkman style device, but junk shops may well see the units they’ve had on their shelves for the last 2 decades finally shift.