About a month ago, I went to a funk dance party downtown with a few of my friends from work. Everyone loves a good funk night and this was no exception. A couple gin and tonics deep and we were bouncing alongside a few hundred people to the techno-inspired funk tunes blaring from the speakers in a small theater. The night was epic to say the least and in a slightly tipsy state, at approximately 4 am that same morning, I proceeded to tell my friend back in the states all about it (it is in these moments that I truly appreciate the time difference). In sharing my excitement for a night of funk, he told me he would educate me in the classic funk tunes and send me a mixtape. In my mind, I was picturing a Spotify link or an assembled iTunes playlist but about a month later I received a package containing a mixtape. That’s right…a real cassette tape. As flattered as I was to have received my first ever mixtape, I honestly didn’t know what to do with it. My first question: how did he make it? (really more a question of how does he have the equipment to make it) and my second question: how in the world do I play it? I asked around my building a bit to see if anyone had a tape player and had absolutely no luck. So for the next month it just sat in my closet.
The other day however, the suspense for the contents of my tape were finally put to rest! Thanks to my flatmates mother, I acquired a portable, battery powered, tape player. It’s a brick in comparison to my iPhone 6 and questions the current definition of portable, but it did the trick. The funk tunes were finally revealed in all their funkiness. Was the suspense worth it? Lets just say that the best part of a mixtape isn’t the sound quality, but who in our generation can say they have ever been sent a real mixtape! I think it is safe to say that although the record has made a full blown return as vintage amongst the hip crowds (Urban Outfitters will even provide a mainstream collection of records from the likes of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga), the cassette doesn’t appear to be making a comeback anytime soon. The word mixtape might forever be replaced by playlists and Soundcloud links. Who knows, maybe one day the cassette will make a comeback and I can kickoff the trend already one tape deep into my personal collection.