When my friend Phil played me a tape made for him by our mutual friend Nick, I was blown away. Instead of just track after track, Nick had done the unthinkable and chopped and changed and cut and spliced and inserted and made the tape almost like a work of art. It was seamless - music flowed from one track to another, then random sounds were inserted, bits were repeated, the chord progression of The Cure's "Bananafishbones" was interrupted by weird noises... it was like listening to an episode of Max Headroom through headphones. It was art on tape. It was then I resolved to not only have a go myself but for all my subsequent tapes to push the artistic envelope. No longer would I be bound by the constraints of the vinyl's grooves or the tape's revolutions - if nothing else, I would make tapes that arrested the aural orifice and kept the listener on tenterhooks.
My first attempt was made using two boomboxes connected by DIN plugs - remember those? I remember one part where the song "Hit It Run" by Run DMC stopped, so I put in a different song, one that was as totally unlike rap or hip-hop that i could think of. Then later in the tape, I played the rest of the track.
|The very wonderful Sony XO-550W.|
*By the way, a "cassette deck fascist" is one of those people that would bring their own tapes to a party and put them on when everyone was good and drunk and didn't know what they were listening to. Usually a Siouxsie And The Banshees live bootleg or some other "Not-very-party-like" doomy music.
Here is a track listing of what I can remember from Bugger. It's been a few years (24) since I made the tape, and a while since I've listened to it (yes, it still exists).
Everybody's Happy Nowadays - The Buzzcocks
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
(Watch Out For The) Normal People - Boomtown Rats
Guilty - Classix Nouveaux
Mr. No - John Foxx
Thirteen - The Human League
Milkman of Human Kindness - Billy Bragg
Does Everyone Stare - The Police
Into The Valley - The Skids
Side 1 finishes with a sound clip of German producer Zeus B. Held saying "Well, we all liked that - we were leaping around like good'uns".
Coyote - Joni Mitchell
What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend - The Special AKA
This Earth That You Walk Upon (b-side to "Love Song") - Simple Minds
I know that somewhere here is a clip of Canadian comedian Rick Ducommun saying "Montreal, I love it here. I love the traffic here. I love the way you can stop, slow down, turn, or go on a red, yellow, or green light."
Speed Your Love To Me - Simple Minds
Cemetry Gates - The Smiths
Party Fears Two - The Associates
Loved One's An Angel - Blue Zoo
There are more tracks on the tape, but those are the ones I can recall at the moment.
During the entire thing are sound clips from Paul Merton, Ben Elton, Nigel Planer and others.
As anyone who has ever heard the CDs I burned can attest (i.e. anyone who worked with me at LensCrafters), my eclecticism when it comes to music has not waned in the slightest. And I think that's a good thing. There are very few music styles that I cannot listen to, and I think that makes me a very well-rounded person, at least musically.
There was just something about making a mixtape that was good for the soul... taking records that you cared about and bringing them together in one 90-minute celebration of their goodness. Putting them on was like saying... "this is who I am.. listen and understand." I want to make a tape right now!