Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Bookmark and Share

“Nostalgia - it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, ‘nostalgia’ literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship; it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel; it’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels—around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.”
—Don Draper, Mad Men

The year 2010 saw two important events occur in the medium of music. First, Sony discontinued the cassette Walkman, which had put mobile music in over 100 million ears since 1979.  Second, the Pioneer’s Technics SL-1200 turntable, the primary tool of DJs since 1972, finally caved into the thousands of false starts that preceded it, and it officially went out of production. On a superficial level, these were both simply products deemed obsolete by manufacturers, but as Marshall McLuhan would be quick to point out, they were mediums through which humans communicated, and by their nature, they deeply affected the way information was transmitted and processed.

With this in mind, I wanted to put together a mix that celebrates modes and methods of communication whose relevancy has long since peaked, yet still they linger.  The typewriter, cassette, and the radio remain nestled in our collective consciousness (and often in our pawn shops and flea markets). Lord only knows how many generations will pass before these mediums are completely forgotten, or if they ever will be. Why do I know what both an 8-track and LaserDisc are?


01. Caural - “Summer on Cassette” (Remembering Today, 2005)
- Start time: 0:00; Links: Mush - Caural

02. Microbunny - “Magnatech” (49 Swans, 2010)
- Start time: 3:19; Links: Static Clang - Microbunny

03. !!! - “AM/FM” (Strange Weather, Isn’t It?,, 2010)
- Start time: 6:25; Links: Warp - !!!

04. Instruments of Science & Technology - “The New Postukk” (Library Catalog Music Series Music for Paradise Armor, 2010)
- Start time: 11:05; Links: Asthmatic Kitty - Instruments of Science & Technology

05. Bomb Zombies - “Payola” (Sincerely Yours, 2010)
- Start time: 13:42; Links: Hellfyre Club - Bomb Zombies

06. King Cannibal - “Stone Tape Theory” (Downtime, 2009)
- Start time: 16:23; Links: Ninja Tune - King Cannibal

07. Male - “Artificial Apparition (Remix by Colorist)” (German for Shark, 2010)
- Start time: 21:02; Links: Other Electricities - Male

08. Andrew Downing - “Police Station” ( Silents , 2010)
- Start time: 26:03; Links: Black Hen - Andrew Downing

09. The Delta Mirror - “And the Radio Played On” (Machines That Listen, 2008)
- Start time: 31:10; Links: Lefse - The Delta Mirror

10. Trumans Water - “Radio Played” (O Zeta Zunis, 2010)
- Start time: 34:42; Links: Asthmatic Kitty - Trumans Water

11. Todd Barry - “Crazy Mixed Tape” (Medium Energy, 2005)
- Start time: 36:48; Links: Comedy Central Records - Todd Barry

12. Sunset - “Green Truck” (Gold Dissolves to Gray, 2009)
- Start time: 37:30; Links: Autobus - Sunset

13. Epstein - “BgBgBg (offset tape splice)” (When Man Is Full He Falls Asleep, 2010)
- Start time: 41:17; Links: Asthmatic Kitty - Epstein

14. Loden - “Waking Up Radio Problems” (Buggy, 2010)
- Start time: 43:21; Links: Mush - Loden

15. E.Super - “ElectroColors” (Side A, 2010)
- Start time: 45:44; Links: Hellfyre Club - E.Super

Total Running Time: 47:14


Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.

6 May 2011
How we see things is affected by how we say things. This mix is a reflection on formerly prominent methods and modes of communication, such as the typewriter, cassette tape, and radio. Enjoy your cultural evolution.
13 Mar 2011
Don't panic! Set your faces on fun, 'cause this mix boldly goes where man has fun galore thanks to way-out tracks from Leila, Sufjan Stevens, Blockhead, AMP Live, the Cinematic Orchestra, and more!
20 Feb 2011
Through dedication to their scene and aesthetic, Bay area label Muti Music is on the brink of greatness. Unwavering commitment to their form is demonstrated by the dependable quality of their consistent releases. Dig it.
23 Dec 2010
The holidays are full of dreadful music being pumped from every speaker in every commercial business. May the latest from Soundscape provide you with a pleasant respite of solace, a bit of shelter from all the pop star vanity and pseudo-comedic novelty albums that attempt to penetrate your earholes from every angle.
Related Articles
18 Sep 2014
Spoon's excellent live show at Central Park's Rumsey Playfield (aka Summerstage) came near the heels of their late-Summer They Want My Soul tour.
8 Apr 2014
Austin via Oakland experimental pop artist Bill Baird makes his Moon Glyph debut with a mini-album of balanced absurdity.
29 Aug 2013
Brooklyn dance rock veterans !!! are currently overseas on tour in support of their excellent new album THR!!!ER. PopMatters was able to catch up with the band to discuss the origins of the group's punctuation-friendly handle, diva vocals, Big Audio Dynamite, and the strength of the hottest !!! lineup to date.
28 Apr 2013
Goofy and smart in all the right ways, !!! has crafted a record that just puts a big, gaping smile on one's face and feet a' shufflin'.
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.