Several years ago the “Modfather” himself, Paul Weller, voiced a concern. He was not impressed with the increasing use of digital collections in music storage and playback. He was nostalgic about an age where Vinyl records such as the ones available again from https://www.vinylrecords.co.uk/, were an essential part of your music collection and how they would be record onto compact cassette tape or a mix tape as it was none for either yourself or someone special. Weller argued that whilst there was clearly thought put into a playlist downloaded and created for someone or a group of people, as is evident on Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music, there is a distinct lack of feeling put into the creation of the list itself. For Weller the act of this was just the simple movement of data ignoring the fact that that data could be a song or piece of highly evocative or meaningful music to the person that it was intended for. Weller’s argument was while the choice of a huge range of music was there to be mined from the musical mountain the digital edge had made it a simple task of “search, point and click”. This negated the effort and trial that went into the physical act of finding the record or tape that you wanted that contained the song you wanted to include.
The point is that where Weller maybe being a tad nostalgic the creation of a mix tape was the ultimate in expression of caring for someone enough to try and convince them to listen to the tunes you liked. It would take time and effort as you searched through your collection looking for that perfect tune that you hoped would swing the balance. For someone receiving the mix tape they would know that you were effectively bearing your very soul to them as music and the sounds that you listened to were partly tied up with your identity. “If you reject this”, the offering of a mix tape would say, “then you reject me”. It really was that serious.
Records have to be found, dug out and the track selected. It is not just a case of typing in a number of the track to play on a CD and hit record. The mastery was to cue up the record on the track that you wanted and as you hit play for the turntable to turn you had to hit record simultaneously on the tape deck. The mix tape was an exercise in love and skill and ignored at ones peril.