Taped crusader: my cluttered collection of cassettes

I’ve had a pile of cassette tapes gathering dust for maybe 15 years. I figured it was time to go through them. Sorting through some old belongings, I discovered an old walkman that still worked. Bingo! What would be on these dusty old tanglers? I was mostly hoping to find a phone interview I did with Nivek Ogre, or a face-to-face with Fear Factory, neither of which saw the light of day thanks to a mishap in a house move. They must have been in the other pile of tapes, which got damaged. Nope. On this one, I found …


It’s in a Smashing Pumpkins sleeve, but is actually a bootleg of Ministry in 1994. I went through a brief phase of picking up dodgy tapes – cassettes and videos – from the Camden Market. The bloke on the stall claimed to be mates with Killing Joke, and said they let him onto the stage to stand at the side to get the best footage. I never bought one of his Killing Joke tapes, but I did walk away with Skinny Puppy’s 1986 Ain’t It Dead Yet and NIN in Dallas, 1990. I’m guessing this is from that market stall.

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Top 100 singles of all time: 87 – Massive Attack – Teardrop

The 90s were, to my mind, a particularly fertile musical decade. Maybe it’s because I was in my teens then. I don’t get the music of now, most of the time. Chillwave sounds like call centre hold music and screamo goes sailing over my head. By the time I heard dubstep, most of the good stuff had been and gone, and now the main source of woob-woob-woob comes from cheesy advert jingles trying to sound hip.

Grunge, industrial rock, nu metal, breakbeat … these were things I could get behind. I wasn’t quite so much into trip hop, but I had the obligatory records by Portishead et al. I didn’t quite connect with Blue Lines. I don’t know why; it just didn’t really do anything for me. Of course I loved Unfinished Sympathy – didn’t everyone? It was The Guardian‘s 10th greatest song of all time – and Safe From Harm was fantastic too. I guess Massive Attack were, for me, very much a singles band.  Continue reading

Great Mixtapes: Select – Red Tape

Following yesterday’s delightful free mixtape, I was reminded of one of my all-time favourite compilations. Red Tape came free with issue 4 of Select Magazine, in October 1990 (I was turning 14). It had a fairly major impact in forming my music tastes at the time.

I’m going to embed all of the tracks (where available) because it’s definitely worth hearing in its entirety, and I’ve put links to anything I’ve covered elsewhere. It covers a wide range of music so there should be something here for everyone.
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