Playlists #1: The Mix Tape

Marc Hall begins his curation of the sounds of The Double Negative with a sepia-tinted meditation on the joys of the mixtape…

Playlist #1: The Mix Tape

During our formative years, when we were taken from the safety of childhood and thrown into the raw world of rock and roll, it’s fair to say we all made a few mistakes here and there.  Left to our own devices we find ourselves wearing Soul Asylum T-Shirts, using the weekly music press as a bible and looking forward to that new Menswe@r single (are we showing our age here).  We needed help, sanctity to form our own brand.  That’s where the MixTape come into play.

Here comes the C90, crafted with thought, love and devotion from a friend, peer, new girl/boyfriend.  This wasn’t a throwaway collection of songs; this was the result of 90 minutes graft in front of the hi-fi, picking songs: press record, press pause, timing a song to fit into the last few minutes of a side, writing on the case.  This is somebody’s flesh and blood.

Upon receipt of a fresh tape, you think, ‘what untold pleasures does this case of magnetic tape hold’.  Skimming the track list you see the exotic names of unknown gems like The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and Violent Femmes.  You also see Rolf Harris and a song from the Sound of Music. Can this be?

For now, your growth isn’t contained by what is selected for you in the media, you are part of the organic journey through the history of music. Sure, some songs won’t fit, they’re not for you, but maybe you will find that little treasure nestled away on that tape.  Maybe, that Quasi song will really impress the new beau.  Maybe Harvey Danger will form the backbone to a soundtrack in your car whilst driving with friends. The MixTape really brought it all.

Of course, all this is now tinged with nostalgia. Create a MixTape for somebody and they will look at you as if you’ve offered to give somebody a lift and turn up on a penny farthing.  We moved from tapes, to CD’s, to MP3 players, to Internet streaming. A playlist now consists of the delightful box you see above these words right now.

We aim to channel the love and energy we put into our original MixTapes into our Playlist.  Whilst we would never claim to be the oracle of all music, we do hope that with theme and rationale you will enjoy what our Playlist’s will offer….and if somebody comes away as an Octopus Project fan, well that’s great too.

Marc Hall

Illustration by Laura Robertson

Posted on 16/10/2011 by admin