Cassette Corner is a column devised and constructed by Modern Vinyl contributor Matt Bergeron. Centering on his love for another vintage format, cassette tapes, Matt will be looking at the various and notable tape releases available (or previously available) to readers. This month, he’s looking at selections from Estates, Giullio Aldinucci and Family Cat.
Estates – Demo 2012
Willow Tree Records
This four-track cassette is a glimpse into the hauntingly beautiful sounds of Estates, with the low-fi atmosphere of the format fitting the release perfectly. Released by Willow Tree Records and titled simply, “Demo 2012,” the tape is a precursor to their 2013 LP, “Gleam,” and features early versions of “Cut” and “Carousel,” giving fans a glimpse into the inner workings of the band’s songwriting. The pink cassette shell is housed in a standard clear case, along with a single panel insert, serving as one of the more cohesive releases I’ve looked at thus far. This release is a must have for fans of the 90’s emo movement, as it sounds as though it was plucked right from that era. Be sure to flip over to the B-side, as well, with it being home to the two best and most intriguing songs on the demo: “Cut” and “Subdued.”
Giullio Aldinucci – Archipelago
With one of the most unique cassette releases of 2013, in both packaging and composition, Giullio Aldinucci, an Italian composer known for working in soundscape creation, greets us with a 4 track cassette consisting of some of the most beautiful compositions you’ll come across this year. In what this reviewer is calling a “euphoric journey though space,” Aldinucci has managed to create something that stands out amongst the crowd. When listening to and dissecting “Archipelago,” the listener will be taught that one does not have to pick up a traditional instrument to create something stunning and enjoyable. Released by Other Electricities, this blue tape fits snugly into a screen-printed cardboard case. Opening it for the first time is like discovering a hidden gem in every fold. And to add just a little bit more icing to that already sweet cake, a download card is included. It’s hard to recommend a track on this release do to all four blending perfectly together, telling a sonic story in the process.
Family Cat – Dealing with Depression
Bitter Melody Records
From Bitter Melody Records come ten melodic tracks from Virginia-based rockers Family Cat. Their first full length album, titled Dealing With Depression, is a emo-punk laden adventure, reminiscent of a younger Against Me!, that is sure to rock your cassette deck all through the summer. Two shell colors were available upon its release: clear blue with a hand painted cover, known as the FEST edition; and a simple clear shell for the wide release. Overall, you’ll be given a quality product that is not only pleasing on the eyes, but the ears as well. Be sure to check out “This Christmas Isn’t Going to Get Drunk and Ruin Itself” and “Loosey Goosey.”