Back in December when we started Strictly Cassette, we never really knew what was going on in the Cassette scene.  On Facebook, we started posting up random tapes from our Instagram Feed.  One follower who took notice of what we were doing was a tape collector named Bradly Head.  It wasn't long before he started posting up photos of his own collection.  After a few short chats online, we quickly learned that Bradly not only collects...but runs his own cassette label called Geweih Ritual Documents  His label specializes in hand made short run cassettes of Experimental tunes.

 It's clear that these type of labels know that there are still many new things that the magnetic medium can provide.  His collection is one of the most diverse we've seen spanning through all genres.  As busy as dude is, we were able to chop it up with him for a moment about his Hip Hop Tapes...

(SC)  Do you remember the first Rap tape you bought?  (If so, do you remember which store?)  

Oh totally, well the 1st tapes I ever had was Run DMC: Raising Hell and Fat Boys: s/t I got for Christmas in 1987, but the first tape I actually bought with my own money, was Ice Cube's Death Certificate. I was in the 6th grade. Normally because of my age I never really had money to buy tapes at that time. I just remember getting my hands on them through my my older brother or his friends, I'd even make trades with other people, but that particular tape I remember well because growing up, I'd have to deposit old beer and soda cans, and or pass out pizza flyers door to door to make some cash. It was my goal to get that particular album, and the fact I was under age the only places that would sell it to me at that time was either this shady ass liquor store called Al's Place, or a this record store called Rock of Ages just outside of Detroit, located in Garden City, MI (I heard both stores is still around)

(SC)  I've had so many tapes stolen/borrowed and never returned.  Has that ever happened to you? (Do you still have your whole collection?) 

 I've always been cool about loaning out my tapes, because in return I'd want to borrow other peoples, I'd sometimes dub particular songs I'd like off of them, I'd even straight up trade tapes, or just pass tapes down to friends they'd most likely appreciate more. I would score some great tapes from other people as well... I guess for me getting, trading, and or buying Tapes was equivalent to what baseball cards were for some kids. So it was never really a big deal if I lost any of them, I always made sure I had an extra copy, and if that was the case I'd always make my own artwork for the jcard/covers which was a lot of fun. Unfortunately I moved around so much (which forced me to be a minimalist at times) there are only particular tapes I still have from my childhood and most of them are mix-tapes giving to me through out the years, but I've gone back and repurchased certain tapes I'd find either at garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, and or old record shops that still carried tapes. Me trying to be a minimalist tends to fluctuate at times when nostalgia kicks in.

(SC)  What are some of the prizes in your collection?

 My prized gems straight up are the mix-tapes I kept through out the years given to me from different friends. There is something more personal and intimate about them, those are pretty much musical collages made by music fans, it takes so much dedication and artistic creativity just to make one. I cherish those the most, some of  the mixes are in bad shape, some are warped from playing a thousand times, and some have audio drop outs but for some odd reason I tolerate listening to it that way, subconsciously I just expect it and it keeps me focused as a listener, but besides the mixes, I'd have to say my #1 gem would be the original Dr. Octagon: Octagonecologyst cassette tape, because I've never seen it before, there is totally different songs on it that are not on the Vinyl or CD release, which also has a different version of Earth People, with a completely different beat, its dope as hell.

(SC)  With the convenience of MP3's, why do you still find yourself attached to cassettes?

 Well to me cassettes are artifacts, they're documentations of creative sound with physicality. Its something to have and to hold, it's just real. It's not a compressed file with a glowing photo-shopped image floating on some digital screen, that is just not legit enough for me. I'm not dawgin' MP3's, I use them, I think its a great way to hear and learn new music, it also forces musicians and artist to be more independent which I support all the way. It's the best way to get your music heard all over the world, but unfortunately there are flaws just like everything else because I've noticed a mentality with today's MP3/iPod generation, music has become like agriculture food after the great depression. Most people now days just load and feed their MP3 players with thousands of downloads (like junk food) and I notice they just hit shuffle, so basically they never spend the time acknowledging or appreciating an actual album properly. I know it may seem contradicting to the fact that I made mix-tapes and trades as a kid, but it's still a lot different, because at least with a tape or a record, you have something to open, the option to read liner notes, and you're forced to listen to the whole damn album from beginning to end like its intended to be heard  (well for me at least, I hated the fast-forward button). Also if I didn't like a tape, I'd be resourceful and make use of it by dubbing something I liked over it, then I'd spray paint it and make my own j-cards, that's something you can't do that with a CD, at least tapes are reusable.

(SC)  How has your music experience changed since the end of the cassette era?

 I feel it's only changed socially, like my surroundings around music which is a huge element. I think some people have slowly become disconnected with music and art like in a physically and present way. The fact we have the convenience and access to hearing or seeing anything we want instantly by the touch of a few buttons has made a lot of people become numb, weak, and less appreciative, we've become spoiled... we're just not simple people anymore, people have become more interested in quantity over quality. I've notice live shows are a lot different now, the exchange of music is a lot different now, the lost art of handmade music flyers and seeing them posted up in record stores, or meeting the people passing them out after gigs outside the venues, it's not the same, and I think a lot of people are glad that they don't have to do that anymore, which is totally understandable, but socially in the past it did force us fans and musicians to be more community driven. I know people still promote themselves via the Internet, and more importantly they're also still creating and recording new music, it's become so much more convenient to do, with all the social networking I do see some great progress in that and I'm all for it.

6.)  Do you think people still like tapes?  or is it some sort of a fad?

 I personally don't think it will ever be a fad, I think "certain" people like tapes, kinda like certain people collect Star Wars toys, or vintage lunch boxes, and we all know the majority of those people tend to be from different eras in time, so all types of nostalgia vintage collectors have been around for years. I personally see tapes being more like toys for music fans and collectors, I think maybe the production and duplication of tapes will fluctuate off and on within time, because right now musicians and labels like my own are still putting out tapes, and I've notice a huge response internationally with all ages and all different genre types. The collectors will always be there. There is just a new era of collectors now because of it... as far as young people getting into it, I feel like its kinda new and mysterious to them, or maybe its a way for them to try and relate or connect to a particular period in time.

7.)  Any last shouts or comments?

 I have to give a shout out to Detroit hip-hop producer and emcee Jah Connery and Florida beat artistAmable, because they still rock tapes and they've released stuff on tape within the past few years. Also my Mother for letting me have a lot of these absurd tapes and never questioning the vast vulgarity occurring on them. Last but not least I have to give mad love to all of the people and artist who've support me and helped me with Geweih Ritual for motivating me to release new music on cassette tape, you're the people who is making cassettes possible and exciting again, subtly it bringing back elements that have been missing in music for some time now.

Here are a few pieces from Bradly's collection:
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  1. jjohnson9.2.12

    I like Bradley's point about the music scene being different know that it has become more internet oriented. The exchange of music HAS changed. Long gone are the days of hanging out at record stores and talking to (or bugging haha) the workers… shooting the shit about music. Now it's all done over the computer. Good or bad.. the local personal/community experience has been altered. Great post SC!

    1. It's true but the great thing is that the old ways will always be there. I really enjoy the concept of the tape these days. It brings music back to being underground. So underground that you have to dig up a player just to listen to it. It's the 80's babies way of revolting from the ways of this new Attention Deficit generation that has everything within a few pushes from their thumbs.

  2. Hello. I have an Eagles cassette still in its original sealed plastic. Its the greatest hits '80. Are you able to tell me what is worth please
    Thanks kmc


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