Why record?

It's always good to remember that music recording isn't only about the making of albums and songs to send into the commercial marketplace. Sometimes we simply need to capture a unique point in time, like a live show or a rehearsal. Other times it's so we can keep a log of musical ideas, knowing the performances aren't intended to be heard by the rest of the world. Or maybe recording can be just for fun; something friends can do together with no pressure.

I must have had the instinct to capture performances and ideas from birth. When I was in my teens I recorded silly (and serious) stuff with my friends all the time. I still have boxes full of cassette tapes from 1981 onward. Some of the recordings I captured formed the basis of recent releases by the groups I was in, including The Protons, Idler Arms, and Vomit Launch. It may not be the most important music in the world, but if it hadn't been captured there would be no chance for anyone to ever hear it. It makes all those years of lugging around boxes of tapes worth it, and now it can be shared with the world.

I guess that's why we record.


Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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