Soundscape Mix #14: Ancient Communication

“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: MushCaural

02. Microbunny – “Magnatech” (49 Swans, 2010)

– Start time: 3:19; Links: Static ClangMicrobunny

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 KittyInstruments of Science & Technology

05. Bomb Zombies – “Payola” (Sincerely Yours, 2010)

– Start time: 13:42; Links: Hellfyre ClubBomb Zombies

06. King Cannibal – “Stone Tape Theory” (Downtime, 2009)

– Start time: 16:23; Links: Ninja TuneKing Cannibal

07. Male – “Artificial Apparition (Remix by Colorist)” (German for Shark, 2010)

– Start time: 21:02; Links: Other ElectricitiesMale

08. Andrew Downing – “Police Station” ( Silents , 2010)

– Start time: 26:03; Links: Black HenAndrew Downing

09. The Delta Mirror – “And the Radio Played On” (Machines That Listen, 2008)

– Start time: 31:10; Links: LefseThe Delta Mirror

10. Trumans Water – “Radio Played” (O Zeta Zunis, 2010)

– Start time: 34:42; Links: Asthmatic KittyTrumans Water

11. Todd Barry – “Crazy Mixed Tape” (Medium Energy, 2005)

– Start time: 36:48; Links: Comedy Central RecordsTodd Barry

12. Sunset – “Green Truck” (Gold Dissolves to Gray, 2009)

– Start time: 37:30; Links: AutobusSunset

13. Epstein – “BgBgBg (offset tape splice)” (When Man Is Full He Falls Asleep, 2010)

– Start time: 41:17; Links: Asthmatic KittyEpstein

14. Loden – “Waking Up Radio Problems” (Buggy, 2010)

– Start time: 43:21; Links: MushLoden

15. E.Super – “ElectroColors” (Side A, 2010)

– Start time: 45:44; Links: Hellfyre ClubE.Super

Total Running Time: 47:14