Photo illustration by the god Ben Park, who is as digital as heaven.

Are Tapes Better Than Spotify? A T-Shirt Weighs In

Because T-shirts have opinions, too!

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Oct 16 2018, 2:54pm

Photo illustration by the god Ben Park, who is as digital as heaven.

Let’s talk about audio. Are you one of those nerds with an expensive McIntosh receiver and a vintage Bang & Olufsen turntable? Do you love spending hours scouring Discogs for that rare 12” single you just gotta have? Couldn’t be me. I listen to compressed MP3s on Apple AirPods because I live in the twenty-first century and just don’t really care about audio quality. I want to pump Top 40 hits into my ears. I am not concerned about the warmth of the sound.

In the last five years, tapes have become cool again. I am not sure who to blame (or, like, give credit to) for this, but Burger Records has to shoulder some of it. Anyway, let’s be real: this shit is hella impractical. No one’s going to make out with you just because you put a bunch of Smiths songs and Elliott Smith’s cover of “Because” on a tape anymore. Tapes don’t even sound good!

They do look pretty cool, though, and as a person who places aesthetic beauty above all else, I get it. Good Morning Tapes is a label based in a French coastal village. Quel charme! The graphic design is (*chefs kiss*) excellent, so, luckily for me, they are making T-shirts to go with each tape-only release. Tapes’ (the group’s name, but it’s better than a band called like, Napster) album Silence Sound is sold out. Listen to this amazing description of the music and you’ll understand why: “Light a stick of your favorite incense and let these uplifting tanpura drones, throbbing tabla machines and blissful flute melodies on this C30 cassette sweep over your mind, body & spirit!” Sounds like a typical day at the office for me! (I don’t have a desk job.) Luckily, they made an excellent graphic-heavy yellow long sleeve T-shirt to celebrate the release. The sleeves read, “We make hole in ears with Gun”—an aggressive message for mellow music. Yin and yang baby! If you can’t hear the tunes, you can always wear the vibes!