Cassette Project #1: A Reprise

Indecision knows no boundaries.

Two years ago I wrote about how my tape collection had, as part of the process of elimination and digitization, actually ballooned to more than tenfold its original size. Wheat and bran had been separated from the chaff — although no negligible amount of the former has been dropped off on my desk since then.

Spurred on by Discogs now finally supporting all manner of record companies, manufacturers, studios and related entities (beyond mere labels, irrespective of how we used to fandangle them),  I’ve begun entering that serendipitous stockpile of cassettes into the database.

5 x 5 cassette tape grid

At first I just ploughed through a choice selection to test the new fields and features, and method has slowly emerged from the initial randomness: “Oldies” are now largely processed, and Polish and Indonesian pirate tapes are also dealt with.

5 x 5 grid of J-cards

But there was nothing, oh, nothing more than an uneasy gut feeling that could prepare me for the earache caused by having to listen through and decipher that Romanian folk/pop stuff which followed most recently — as this hunk of cheesy gaudiness will attest.

The man. The pose. The moustache.

Well, I survived it. I made it through the Transylvanian wilderness.

I originally figured that I’d simply submit those items and trash them afterwards since there’s not much of a market for old cassette tapes. Nobody wants them (although they might make for unusual super dominoes), most of it simply isn’t worth ripping to MP3.

Sure, I am keeping a few choice items for, well, you know… “reference purposes”, another few will become part of some audio experiments, and I will donate most children’s audiobooks to wanting parents or the local library; the vast majority, however, will end up on the rubbish heap.

Or will they?

Some may end up being used for some form of art installation after all.

I should not have stumbled across this geek porn picture…

8-track tape tower

What has been seen cannot be unseen.

Photo via Alia Ra’naa. Scans by yours truly.

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