Friday Mixtape: Dear Diary
In case you were wondering, yes, I was one of those people who would spend months perfecting a mixtape, design a collage of artwork for it, and then shyly hand over the cassette tape to some crush I mooned over in hopes that she would get my special "message." Don't front like you didn't do that, too.
Sometimes, though, I would simply create a mix that described my thoughts and feelings on life in general. It was akin to writing in a journal, though easier than confronting my thoughts nakedly transcribed on a piece of paper the music allowed me to hide behind the sounds of others who could voice things that I could not or would not say. I worked on these 90-minute mixes 45 to 50 minutes for each cassette side by recording songs from a turntable, erasing and retaping them, and hoping the tape wouldn't break. (Yep, I used to make tape loops, too.) When I finished them, I not only gave the tapes to would-be lovers, but friends, too, just to let them know what was going on in my head.
The era of the cassette tape is long gone (though it's making a tentative comeback in indie circles; earlier this month, I copped new tapes by both MF Doom & Ghostface Killah, and Death Grips). So now I program songs in iTunes and Rhapsody, trying out different combinations, and hearing which fit together sonically and thematically. It's a less physical act than cuing up and manipulating a cassette tape, but the goals are the same.
As I said before, I often spend months on a tape. Due to time constraints, I knocked this one out in a few hours, so it's not my ideal mix. But its range of artists, from The Emotions to The Throne to Zomby to The Cure to Little Dragon, will give you a brief peek into where I am right at this moment.