HARDHOUND

Cassettes

Author: Colin | Published: 5/8/12

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

cassettes

Artist 1-5: various; 6-7: various; 8-10: Joy Division; 11-13: U2
Title 1-5: Drum & Bass Selection 1; 6-7: personal compilation; 8-10: Closer, Unknown Pleasures; 11-13: Bootleg
Label 1-5: Breakdown Records; 6-7: n/a; 8-10: n/a; 11-13: n/a
Year 1980s-90s
Design 1-5: no credit; 6-7: n/a; 8-10: Colin Buttimer; 11-13: Colin Buttimer
Music 1-5: Jungle; 6-7: Reggae; 8-10: Joy Division; 11-13: Rock
Notes Drum & Bass Selection 1 straight outta Romford was one of the first (of many) Jungle compilations I bought. It’s still my favourite alongside Kodo Eshun’s Routes From The Jungle for Virgin. The former still strikes me as the most pleasingly hardcore, nailing that harsh sound before Two Step and Drum’n’Bass took centre stage. This compilation collects a host of classics, almost all from ’93. A few years ago I ended up buying a copy on CD.

Next up’s a compilation from a friend of mostly reggae, Dom’s style wasn’t to make great efforts in the presentation department. The ‘a’ side was a fine compilation, the ‘b’ side meandered a bit. Sorry Dom, just saying.

That third cassette came with me to life on a kibbutz in Israel after I left school. I used to listen to it on my first Walkman, an Awai not much bigger than a cassette box itself. It wasn’t reliable though and died a death before I reached Munich where I saved up my pay from a hotel porter job and bought a top end Sony Walkman, the classic black metal design:

Now that’s what I call industrial design. I still have it though it doesn’t work any more. The cassette has the two classic Joy Division albums on it. I used to listen to them endlessly, in particular stepping outside the wire fence of the kibbutz on the edge of the Judean desert by the Dead Sea, smoking and looking at the stars. Home taping really does kill music – I still don’t own these albums – however, I’ve bought numerous other albums, singles and who knows what by Joy Division and New Order… The cover? I used to cut pictures out of magazines that I thought fit the music of the tape I was making.

And at some point in my twenties I started getting more imaginative with my cassette covers. I regularly taped things for friends, in particular Robin who used to single along to them in his darkroom in the basement of the house in Homerton. For him I made standalone sculptures made from detritus, broken and collaged cassette boxes. They sat on a shelf and released their cassettes only reluctantly. For this bootleg of U2’s Zooropa tour recorded from the radio I applied liberal amounts of masking tape. For Jungle tapes recorded in the early ’90s straight from pirate stations complete with lengthy MC chatter, I applied shiny black electrical tape. They looked rather fine.


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