Imagine spending an entire afternoon crafting a mixtape – choosing songs from your personal collection, recording them onto a cassette one by one, making sure you fill each side of the tape end to end. Then sending it off or handing it over to one person – just for them and no one else. This might be a new lover, an old friend or someone you have only ever know by a pseudonym as a penpal for the last five years. The impetus might be flirtatious, outrageous, informative or obnoxious – but in every instance it is a gift.
Now as the functions of the cassette, record and cd player slowly become replaced by laptops, tablets and on-line cloud services, the average computer-literate person has easy and instantaneous access to a vast amount of music at their fingertips – pushing the humble mixtape into obscurity.
So this is my way of scrabbling back a bit of respect and recognition for the aesthetic of these cassette-shaped tokens of kindness.