Lo-Fi cassette tape production for teens in the 90’s.
In the 90’s computers cost loads of money and to make music on computers in home studios was not only difficult, it was still reserved to a handful of innovative ‘bedroom producers’ who were either rich or given grants, and lent/given money from record labels.
For a teenager in the 90’s (and the decades preceding) the best option was to record onto tape, this could be the equivalent to todays lo-fi Garageband sound on a Macbook as opposed to many multiple programs and network of hardware for a fully functioning home studio.
A tape recorder would cost as little as a CD album and could go up to around £100 for a good but basic multitrack recorder.
For those of us with even less cash, borrowing your sisters karaoke machine could have been an option to record vocal tracks, luckily this example doesn’t feature any live vocals.
Recorded using 2 linked home hi-fi’s and a rotation of 3 or 4 audio cassette tapes, this was one of my first ever attempts to create something musical in roughly March 1999, the file linked to this post is a recording of a cassette which would have carried most of the track while another cassette would have carried the remaining vocals, I’d press play on both cassette decks at the same time so both parts would be played on one stereo and on the other stereo press record, the full version recorded with the additional vocal track was lost a few years ago.
It’s not pretty. It’s a mess of noise with no knowledge of timing or rhythm or how to put a remix together, I remember playing some of the samples live, including scratching vinyl using the volume as a kind of crossfade and just thinking it would magically come together and be brilliant.
Things have changed, a lot, this kind of rubbish is much less unlikely now.
Songs sampled include but are not limited to -
Bjork ‘Immature’ (Homogenic 1997)
Daft Punk ‘Revolution 909’ (cassette single 1997)
Wu-Tang Clan ‘Bring Da Ruckus’ (Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) 1993)