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Fred "Rerun" Barry once commented here.

September 25th, 2000

The Art of the Mix Tape

Is the art of the mix tape* no more?

Back in the day when cassettes were the only consumer-grade recordable medium and hard drives were too small to even consider storing sound files, making a mix tape was a religious experience. It involved digging through tapes, CDs, and occasionally records to put together a collection of songs that either reflected your mood (if the tape was for you) or followed some other theme (if you were giving it to someone else). I have countless tapes like these, especially from my early high school years (Slow Songs, Start of School Compilation vol. I-III, and my most substantial series, Jams for the Ride vol. I-VIII), but have made pretty much none in the last three years (for myself or anyone else). But even now, years later, on ocassion I go back and listen to my mix tapes and the few that other people gave me (Paul gave me one nine years ago that I still have).

I think that recordable CDs may be partially to blame. It seems that people are much more likely to burn only songs from another digital source, be it another CD or an MP3. That right there cuts out part of the mix tape experience — digging through old albums and tapes (maybe even other mix tapes) in order to find just the right song.

What’s the last mix tape you made? Agree/disagree?

* When I say “mix tape,” here I refer more to a “compilation tape.” I probably didn’t need to specify that, but wanted to do so for the more hip-hop oriented readers in the audience -ram

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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