In the 80s and the 90s, my cassette deck was glued to my side and my headphones to my head. I'd walk to school, or I'd do my paper round, or I'd go to town, and I'd be in my own little self-contained world listening to those cassettes. As time went by, technology moved on, and the tape deck gave way to the minidisc, to the ipod, to the smartphone. When you've got a musical library at the tip of your fingers, who would want to listen to a cassette anyway?
Well - over the past few years, I've bought a few tapes from smaller labels. Because people have historically been able to make tapes themselves rather than sending them off to manufacturing plants, there's a DIY ethos to tapes that has somehow held true and, although tape sales are tiny and we're not going to get a cassette revival to challenge that experienced by vinyl, I'm happy that this plucky little format is still holding it's own.
But, for years, I've not had anything to play those tapes on. Until now. I bought a deck last week on ebay, and I've started listening to my tapes again - some old, some new. Whilst I'm doing it, I figured it gives me an opportunity to share my thoughts on them - to share the experience of listening to them, and if they're ones that I used to listen to 30 years ago, to try and remember those times as well.
I've called it Miller's Mixtapes, though I'm aware that this is a bit of a misnomer. A lot of the tapes won't be mixtapes, but I'm a sucker for a piece of snappy alliteration so that's where we are. If you have any thoughts, or if you want to share your cassette memories or experiences, do let me know. It would great to know that I'm not alone.
Steve, from Northampton in the UK. February 2021.