Cassette Culture: Our Favorite Tapes and Cassette Labels of 2012

20 Cassette Labels You Should Know

As far as categorizing and listing labels dedicated solely, or predominantly, to the distribution of artists through a cassette medium, you would be foolish to say that this list of 20 labels is anywhere near comprehensive, as there are hundreds upon hundreds of labels which try to develop the fan-base and necessary capitol to remain in business long enough to see their hard work pay off. My list of 20 cassette labels below is only scratching the surface of a much larger world and it is rapidly expanding. As much as they are available, I have placed Bandcamp/Spotify/website links to each of my recommended albums. Use these labels and Becker’s cassette choices as a jumping off point for the world of cassette distribution and obsession. And believe me, it becomes that sooner than you’d expect. The genre labels which I have listed are in no way meant to be completely representative of the label, as some of these labels run through half a dozen genres across dozens of albums. If you like any of the albums or labels listed, dig deeper and see for yourself why cassettes are more than just a hipster’s passing fad.

Crash Symbols

Genres: Indie rock, electronic pop


Recommended albums: Some Ember – Hotel of Lost Light, Window Twins – Wish

Spring Break Tapes

Genres: Orchestral pop, analog pop 


Recommended albums: Junior Pande – Tape Two, Ali Helnwein – Strange Creations

Wohrt Records

Genres: Black metal, doom metal


Recommended albums: Lutomysl – Lutomysl, Wulkanaz – HNI (repress coming soon)

Burger Records

Genres: Garage rock, surf rock


Recommended albums: Magic Jake and the Power Crystals – Magic Jake and the Power Crystals, Gap Dream – Gap Dream

Purr Tapes

Genres: Synth pop, chillwave


Recommended albums: Teeel – University Heights, Patchwork – Changes

Night People

Genres: Synth pop, lo-fi indie rock


Recommended albums: Pop Singles – All Gone, Lazy Magnet – Crystal Cassette

Field Hymns

Genres: Analog experiments, drone pop


Recommended albums: Bastian Void – Fluorescent Bells, Detainee – Vital Organs

Holy Page

Genres: Drone, black metal


Recommended albums: Tabor Mountain – Tabor Mountain, Lusitania – Third Cassette


Genres: Hardcore dance, lo-fi pop 


Recommended albums: April In the Orange – In the Mirror Under the Moon, Believer/Law – Foxhole Prayers/The Task At Hand

Chill Mega Chill

Genres: Electronic drone, synth pop


Recommended albums: Yung Life – Yung Life, JSHIH – Interval

Teen River

Genres: Folk, Indie Rock, Ambient


Recommended albums: Julie Byrne – Julie Byrne, Sea Priest – The Tower

Lava Church

Genres: lo-fi rock, distorto-synth pop


Recommended albums: Virgin Blood – Cupidity, Harmoos/Lovebrrd – split

Not Punk Records

Genres: Punk (oddly enough), indie rock 


Recommended albums: Them Savages/northAMERICANS – Qualivid, Motherboy – Motherboy

Cakes and Tapes

Genres: Indie rock, drone rock


Recommended albums: James Apollo – Little War, Little Less, Meridians – Meridians

Lost Sound Tapes

Genres: lo-fi folk, indie rock


Recommended albums: Blanket Truth – Urban Wildlife, Le Almeida – Pre Ambulatorio

Pug Records

Genres: Indie rock, garage rock


Recommended albums:  Ciro Madd – Sleeping in the Rough Sea, Top Surprise – Everything Must Go

Leaving Records

Genres: Synth pop, lo-fi beats


Recommended albums: Diva – Moon Moods, EMV – Resolutions

Already Dead Tapes & Records

Genres: Experimental folk, ambient


Recommended albums: Dead Bugs – Soft Drugs, Spectral Being – Ritualistic Burning

Otherworldly Mystics

Genres: Drone, analog electronics 


Recommended albums: Chris Roberts – Transmission, Infinite Third – Isolationism

Carpi Records

Genres: drone pop, ambient


Recommended albums: Les Halles/Magnetophonique – split, Albino Deers – Albino Deers

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