Talk:Cassette culture

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Moved non-NPOV comment:

This led to the foisting of much self indulgent uninteligible rubbish being foisted upon an unsuspecting world in the name of 'creativity', yet at the same time much music that arose from the cassette culture scene was imaginative, challenging, beautiful and ground breaking, standing up more than adequately beside much output released through more 'conventional' channels.

- Montréalais

How about the tape-Beatles?

Cassette Culture legacy[edit]

  • If Cassette Culture is an outgrowth/extension/progression of the Mail Art movement of the 70s, isn't the proliferation and popularity of mp3s and self-burned cds simply the next logical step in this movement?
  • Aren't mp3s, the Internet, and cdrs just the next method by which this culture is propagated and extended?
  • Are we confusing distribution methods (postal service, mp3, cassette, cdr) with the actual movement? By which I mean, the postal service provides more than just distribution for Mail Art, cassettes can be used for a wide variety of different things, and mp3s can be used for more than just recorded music. 'Cassette Culture' embodies more than just the means by which the art is delivered.

Your thoughts?

In my experience, at least in the modern garage punk scene, the previous role of cassettes is being replace by vinyl and mp3's; CDs as a whole are not an appropriate inheritor of cassette culture, and in fact aren't very popular in the community. Mainly, I think it has to do with the cost of CDs in stores ($15/CD vs. $8 for an LP), the fact that they're not very durable (scratch, scratch), the cost of in-home CD players vs. turntables, and the old-style feel and sound (real or imagined) of records. With the advent of mp3s and portable mp3 players, CDs aren't really necessary at all, even home-made ones.
By way of example, most of the bands I come into contact with don't even release their music on CD at all. The Spits, for example, released their first album on CD, and haven't made another release on CD since, even though their popularity has increased.
As for postal service vs. cassettes, I don't think we're making a confusion here. True, "Mail art" is important, but cassette trading was as much a matter of person to person interaction as it was long-distance interaction. The "cassette" aspect of it is important because of the nature of cassettes; they can be recorded, re-recorded, copied directly, &c., and for most people of the time they were the only recordable media available (1/4 inch was expensive).
But, these are just thoughts. Since you didn't sign the comment, I'm not sure how old it is, but I'd be interested in your counter-point. siafu 00:25, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Ah, my apologies for not signing my previous comments. I agree with you completely regarding the cost-prohibitive nature of CDs and their disuse in "cassette culture". My comments refer to "self-burned cds" and "cdrs", which are more in the spirit of "taping and trading" as they are cheap and increasingly disposable.
We expressed similar opinions in different ways with the "distribution method" question. My original statement is making the claim that there might be confusion between the postal service (the distribution method, in this case) and the movement called "Mail Art". The same can be said for file-trading sites, or the internet in general (the distribution method) and the act of "file-trading". "Cassette Culture" does not, in my opinion, depend on a physical cassette but only on an affordable means to disseminate information (mp3s, cdr, etc). In other words, the important thing is the act of distributing the art, not the method by which it is distributed. That is the confusion I think I may be noticing.
The "cassette" part of Cassette Culture is, to me, simply the way in which artists were able to share and trade art.
When it all gets boiled down, I think we are talking about similar ideas using different terms. Cash Nexus 02:25, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
It seems that way indeed. siafu 18:01, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree, it shouldn't have to be confined to cassettes, it's about methods of dissemination of recorded material. Confining it to cassettes as a special object is really just fetishism. This article really needs some work to try and work out what it's trying to say. I'm also not sure about the statement that 'cassette culture declined in the mid 90s'. Where is the proof for this? Kaleeyed (talk) 14:13, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
I've attempted some cleanup and adding relevant citations, particularly in the lead section. Hopefully these changes will be useful in guiding further development. To throw in my 2 cents on the question here, I would argue that limiting the discussion to cassettes is useful in describing this particular culture that developed around their use. While it's fair to say DIY ethic persists in the use of various technologies developed since, this doesn't mean that the affordances of the cassette are not entangled with the particular way this culture developed, and the values it embraced. Historically, it is important as it is the premier example of this mode of production and distribution in music. It is also interesting to consider that although CD-R and mp3 technologies have largely rendered the cassette outmoded, a "second wave" seems to have appeared in the last decade. It raises the question of what it means for an artist to choose to operate in this way when supposedly more convenient/superior technologies exist. M.n.nunes (talk) 23:37, 25 October 2011 (UTC)


This article seems overly biased, as well as shoddy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Well feel free to make some edits of your own to improve it then. :-) Kaleeyed (talk) 14:13, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Anti Capitalist POV[edit]

This article badly needs to remove some of it's NON-NPOV anti-capitalist rhetoric.

Merge from Tape trading?[edit]

The tape trading article, shorter than this one, seems to have some significant overlap. Should it be merged and redirected here? — Catherine\talk 07:01, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Rather the other way around. Tape trading is the historical term, while Cassette culture is nothing but a made-up term that has been applied in retrospect. Before the internet, mp3 and the CD-R, tape trading was the common thing to do. In ten or fifteen years time, when technology will have advanced further, we might have the same phenomenon of people starting to call the simple fact that people used to burn CDs "Optical disc authoring culture", or the distribution of music via the likes of homepages, and "mp3 culture". Nevertheless, it's pointless to just rename things. -- (talk) 18:07, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I've now added merge tag to this article to. Mattg82 (talk) 23:40, 18 December 2009 (UTC)


Tagged as per edit summary. Needs sources for a number of paragraphs that are presenting explanations without verifiable sources for support. The second paragraph in the lede is an example with words like obviously, however, therefore, used to present a hypothesis; without offering any citations for the assertions made. Throughout the article there are sourcing issues. Please leave the tags in place until outstanding issues have been addressed. If you dispute the inclusion of tags please seek input from a neutral source for example at WP:EA. Unwarranted reversion might be viewed as vandalism so please consult a neutral party first. Semitransgenic (talk) 03:18, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Osama Bin Laden[edit]

I read a serious article somewhere that trading home-made tapes is popular in Afgahnistan, and that OBL had many of them, which were discovered in a cave and studied by an American academic. (talk) 20:31, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Please add this article if you find it Kaleeyed (talk) 14:13, 14 September 2011 (UTC)