Running a record label is hard work. You have to deal with people telling you that vinyl is old news, and that only anoraks collect it, and to get with the times, and you get force fed articles about independent record shops being closed down every other day. Imagine what it feels like to be a Tape Label. You not only feel the disdain of the general public, but you get looked down upon by the vinyl collectors (AND some record shops) for wanting to release things on a format most people consider “dead”. FUCK THEM. Do what you want to do as long as you enjoy it and it isn’t hurting anyone else, and to me, thats what Cassette Store Day is. Yes it’s essentially a pun on Record Store Day, but its also the one day a year when the little tape labels out there get to lift their heads up (from their shoes) when walking down the street, look a stranger directly in the eye and say “Hi, that tape you just bought… I made that!”
So this very morning, on the second ever Cassette Store Day, I woke up early and headed down to Rough Trade East to trawl through this year’s CSD 2014 releases. I bought alot more than 10, but these are my faves in order, counting down to my fave release this year. Before you see the countdown, have a look at the POST/POP releases today, which would all come joint first! All available today in shops and online shortly. Click any of the pictures to bring you to more info on these POST/POP CSD 2014 releases!
VARIOUS – BACK TO THE FUCK YEAH 3D
DAN GRIFFIN – BORDERTOWN
M&O – ADVENTURE SOUL
Now to my Top 10 (non post/pop releases!)
10: VARIOUS – FOX BOX RECORDS PRESENTS: POST__NOTHING (Foxbox)
This is the 1st release on FoxBox Records. (An offshoot of Edinburgh record shop VoxBox Music). It’s a 16 track compilation tape of stripped down acoustic sessions of Scottish and Edinburgh bands. Features the likes of Paws, Pictish Trail and Trust fund.
9: Various Artists – Milk! Records Compilation (Kissability)
8: VARIOUS – LOVE ANYWAY!!! EVEN IF… FUCK OFF!! THE HLT PLAN (Hi-Lo Tunez)
200 hand numbered copies with artwork by american artist: Nicholas Restivo. ‘Love Anyway!!! Even If…Fuck Off!! The HLT Plan – 20th Step’ features new stuff by: Half Japanese, Allah-La’s, Maria Minerva, king Tuff, Morgan Delt, La Luz, Cassie Ramone, Nun, Ava Luna and more.
7: CLOUD NOTHINGS – HERE AND NOWHERE ELSE (Carpark /Mom + Pop)
Limited to 400 copies worldwide, 100 of which will make it to Europe for CSD2014, this is the highly acclaimed third album from Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings. Impossibly melodic, white-knuckle noise-rock that shimmers with sumptuous detail, from Baldi’s lone, corkscrewing guitar and dramatically improved singing, through bassist TJ Duke’s piledriving bass lines to drummer Jayson Gerycz’s volcanic fills.
6: PINS – COME BACK / YOU DON’T LOVE ME (Bella Union)
New tracks from Pins in handmade packaging from the band, on turquoise cassette.
5: VARIOUS – 80NZ (Rough Trade)
’80N7′ features 20 previously unreleased tracks by some of Rough Trade New York’s favourite emerging acts from across the US and UK, including Manchester’s Spring King, Denver’s Sunboy, and London’s Happyness. Operating under the premise that things sound ‘better homemade,’ the aim is to showcase bands that the shop feels capture the magic of DIY – they want you to hear the fingers sliding, the tiny imperfections, and most importantly, the passion that went into making them. Digital download card included. Limited to 150 copies.
4: FEAR OF MEN // LOOM. (That Summer Feeling)
Fear Of Men’s excellent album ‘Loom’ on very limited red tape cassette exclusive for CSD 2014!
3: KASSAHN // ETHIOPAN NASENQO MINSTREL ITINERANT ETHIOPIAN MUSIC (Dream Beach)
After releases by Ngunni Lovers Lovers and Fair Ohs, Dream Beach Records bring you the music of a traditional travelling Ethiopian musician, Kassahun. This unique taste of Ethiopian music is accompanied by an interviewed (translated into English) with Kassahun, about his life as a travelling minstrel.
2: ETERNAL SUMMERS // BROWN BROGUES SPLIT TAPE. (Haus of Pins)
Haus of Pins release their first split EP featuring Brown Brogues (UK) and Eternal Summers (US). The hand crafted, limited edition tapes are an official Cassette Store Day 2014 release. Manchester 2-piece Brown Brogues describe their lead single ‘You don’t know’ as ‘snotty and childish’. Mark Vernon of the band says, ‘Jay Reatard inspired the faster songs but ‘Don’t dance with my Girlfriend’ came from making cool 50’s sounds on an old amp and making it sound more like the Bell Peppers. I’d say Eagulls and Kid Congo have influenced this release too’. Hailing from Virginia, Pitchfork favourites Eternal Summers take over the flip side of the split with their hook laden dream pop – inspired by the likes of XTC, Ride, Radiohead and Squeeze. Window is the name of the lead track and it’s a ‘sonic dreamy noisy track that combines beauty and heavy noise’ according to front women Nicole Yun.
1: CASSIE RAMONE // THE TIME HAS COME (Comfortable On A Tightrope)
Debut solo album from legendary Vivian Girls / The Babies singer-songwriter Cassie Ramone, featuring Ariel Pink on Bass. The album has a somewhat contemporary take on what a modern day Karen Dalton record may sound like.
and here are the my TOP 10 CSD 2014 releases together. Aw!
photos: jed (if you want to use any of them, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @jedshepherd. I am not available for any more hand modelling assignments. I was young, my hands were soft.)
P.S. If you are reading this and want to start a record/tape label and don’t know where to start, I WILL HELP YOU. Just email me and I will help you as much as I can and all I ask is that in 60 years time, you come to my funeral and say nice things.