When we mention that there are two new Steve Roach albums on cassette, reactions are either a look of bewilderment or a thoughtful introspective smile. Sometimes both. Steve was recently asked about this. He replies…
Over the last year, we’ve received a growing number of requests for music on cassette. After watching the underground revival of a medium many of us thought had rolled over long ago for all things digital, I was inspired to release my two new albums on cassette.
The interest for cassettes is not a new thing, and continues to grow beyond a niche audience. Internet searches will bring up an immense trove of information on this trend.
I feel the renewed interested is a combination of things: Nostalgia, for those who first heard electronic music on cassette back in the day, and a fond recollection of the analog playback experience and the organic tape sound.
I recently received the Long Thoughts cassette back from the factory. I had no idea what to expect. I played it in loop mode for several hours on auto-reverse on an Onyko cassette deck I’ve had in the studio for years. Long Thoughts in this medium has a rich, warm and full sound along with a pleasant, soft quality around the edges. I was quite surprised and happy with the result. I still have hundreds of cassettes of unreleased pieces from the 80’s. I regularly rummage through these tapes looking for a lost moment, and they still play fine and sound good for their age.
As for now and why? With so much of what compels me, it’s based on a feeling in the air. With the theme and spirit of Nostalgia for the Future, it just felt like the right time to create these audio offerings for the future. The cassette is something of a memory-activating timepiece you can hold in the palm of your hand and have a taste of the analog sound some people still long for. Nostalgia made real.