With Valentine’s Day just gone, I was mourning an old tradition we used to have that has since become technologically redundant.
My girlfriend used to have this cute red car for scooting around the place. It was the quintessential first car and was equipped with little more than an engine and a tape deck. Always keen to foist my listening habits onto our long summers together spent exploring the Derbyshire countryside, I got into the habit of making her cassette tapes, specifically for use in her car’s tape player.
I’m not sure where these tapes are now. They’re probably in a box somewhere, stored out of the way. The car died a few years back, I’m sorry to say, and went to scrap. It had a good run. She has since graduated to something with a CD player and an aux cord.
I thought about making her a mixtape, for old time’s sake, this year — something I haven’t done since at least 2015. Unfortunately, I no longer have the tools to make them. We also don’t have the tools to play them. I can’t even burn CDs anymore. The CD that lives in her new car’s slot is a masterpiece I spent the whole summer of 2016 honing and adapting until it was just right. I no longer have the tools necessary to replace it and so we continue to drive around in a 2016 timewarp.
Coincidentally, whilst looking for something else in the depths of my archive, with these old mixtapes not far from my thoughts, I found these pictures of them from 2013, taken for posterity, as if I assumed they’d one day go astray and it’d be worth having some pictures to remember them by.
I can only vaguely remember what was on them… “Katie is a Baseball” was named after and revolved around various tracks by the Intruders. “Love is the Drug” took its title from the Kode9 track of the same name. “Space is the Place” was a load of Sun Ra-infused psychedelic funk about satellites and aliens — real romantic stuff.
If they ever resurface again, in physical form, I must remember to rip them…