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Cassette Culture: Our Favorite Tapes and Cassette Labels of 2012

By ; December 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM 

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

Website

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


Spring Break Tapes

Genres: Orchestral pop, analog pop 

Website

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


Wohrt Records

Genres: Black metal, doom metal

Website

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


Burger Records

Genres: Garage rock, surf rock

Website

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


Purr Tapes

Genres: Synth pop, chillwave

Website

Recommended albums: Teeel – University Heights, Patchwork – Changes


Night People

Genres: Synth pop, lo-fi indie rock

Website

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


Field Hymns

Genres: Analog experiments, drone pop

Website

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


Holy Page

Genres: Drone, black metal

Website

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


Cae-Sur-A

Genres: Hardcore dance, lo-fi pop 

Website

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

Website

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


Teen River

Genres: Folk, Indie Rock, Ambient

Website

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


Lava Church

Genres: lo-fi rock, distorto-synth pop

Website

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


Not Punk Records

Genres: Punk (oddly enough), indie rock 

Website

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


Cakes and Tapes

Genres: Indie rock, drone rock

Website

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


Lost Sound Tapes

Genres: lo-fi folk, indie rock

Website

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


Pug Records

Genres: Indie rock, garage rock

Website

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


Leaving Records

Genres: Synth pop, lo-fi beats

Website

Recommended albums: Diva – Moon Moods, EMV – Resolutions


Already Dead Tapes & Records

Genres: Experimental folk, ambient

Website

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


Otherworldly Mystics

Genres: Drone, analog electronics 

Website

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


Carpi Records

Genres: drone pop, ambient

Website

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

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