Thanks to the guys from Rest in Haste, who have invited me to illustrate their cassette and record covers with my drawings, I have renewed my interest on two cultural artifacts from my childhood that are experiencing a renaissance in music today: records and cassettes. It turns out that the relatively primitive technologies and processes required to produce and distribute music and other sound-based media using records and cassettes offer a viable —and affordable— alternative to the digital formats and distribution channels that have become the mainstream standard over the last decade. It turns out a garage band can afford to produce a 100 cassette edition or a 500 record edition for very little money, and these precious items are welcome in local venues.
To me, visiting a local record store and listening to some tapes and records while I talk to other people in the store is a more effective strategy to discover new musicians that I like. I have been finding some of my favorite music this way, and I am completely positive I would have never found any of it from my friends playlists, or any of my social media feeds, or from amazon or itunes or spotify recommendations. My musical life would not know about Boris, Oake, Thee Oh Sees, Oneida, Blonde Red Head, Harassor, Author-Punisher, and The Elevator Drops, just to mention a few of them.
Of course, I had to get a record player and a cassette player again. I haven’t had any of those since I got my hands on a CD player/burner. I was quick to abandon the fragile vinyl and the magnetic tape as soon as a “better” playback/recording alternative came about. Ironically, CDs faced the same fate at the hands of the web, hard drives and mobile phones. I havent really had used a CD in probably ten years. I have a hunch even CDs are going to face some kind of resurgence within the next few years, and VHS tapes too!
Note: I have a flickr album where I collect all kinds of high-res images in connection to my work with Rest in Haste. The cassette sleeves and promotional posters for The Realistic Sounds of Rest in Haste were printed by Kudla Press in the Czech republic using a Risograph printer.