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Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape (2016)

TV-MA | | Documentary, Music | 27 June 2016 (UK)
Cassette inventor Lou Ottens digs through his past to figure out why the audiotape won't die. Rock veterans like Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore, and Ian MacKaye join a legion of young bands ... See full summary »


Zack Taylor (as Zachary Taylor), Georg Petzold | 1 more credit »


Georg Petzold, Zack Taylor (as Zachary Taylor)

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Credited cast:
Damien Jurado Damien Jurado ... Himself
Ian MacKaye Ian MacKaye ... Himself
Thurston Moore ... Himself
Lou Ottens Lou Ottens ... Himself
Henry Rollins ... Himself
Mike Watt Mike Watt ... Himself


Cassette inventor Lou Ottens digs through his past to figure out why the audiotape won't die. Rock veterans like Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore, and Ian MacKaye join a legion of young bands releasing music on tape to push Lou along on his journey to remember.

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Documentary | Music


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Release Date:

27 June 2016 (UK) See more »

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Cassette See more »

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A Film For Certain Folks Of Which I'm One
11 July 2018 | by AudioFileZSee all my reviews

While this film might have been so much more it gets the zeitgeist of the reason Philips Compact Cassette became something beyond just another time specific recording medium. The film is slow and dreamy for the most part. It jumps around not unlike the countless varieties of people whose personal connections to the medium differs, but is a strong one. The cassette, and that special niche called the mix-tape brought emotion and democracy to music recording. Plus, and this can't be under-rated, it was portable! When we listen to music today from our personal collection on our phones and in the cloud there is a connection to the first truly portable democratic recordings which were cassettes. In other words, the cassette remains today and just won't die. The man who invented the idea and some of the engineers from Philips are here. They're elderly and most of them seem non-plusesd by the fact their little invention changed the world and lives of billions of people worldwide. It's all interesting to me since I spent hundreds of hours making cassette tapes to play in my car and my home Hi-Fi rig. Because I love the cassette and because it was an important part of my life I can overlook so much that was left out in this documentary. This film may not be for everyone as a result yet I find it comforting not unlike going through my cassettes and pulling out a jewel I may not have heard for two decades or more. It's like mining a bit of pure gold and basking in the pleasure. I confess I wish the industry had never quit making, and improving, Hi-Fi cassette decks. With the advances by audio manufacturers like Dolby, Yamaha, Teac, Akia, Sony, Technics, and Nakamichi in the seventies it stalled by the middle eighties. Today if the evolution would have continued it isn't a stretch to say the fidelity of cassettes may be near that of digital audio. Even though it never made that leap their are some mighty fine cassette decks one can still acquire through internet sales sites like eBay. I've bought three more nice decks in the past five years and watching this film I think I understand much better why I've done this. I'm glad Mr. Ottens conceived the Compact Cassette. He is a real visionary in my estimation. Oh yeah...I'm also glad National Audio didn't quit making cassettes. Not only can you get National Audio to duplicate your own band's music on cassettes, but more importantly to me they still sell brand new high-quality blank cassette tapes. Long live the cassette!

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