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The Lost Art of Tape Trading

Posted by Kibitzer on December 7, 2011 at 10:15 AM


The Lost Art of Tape Trading

The Heavy Metal industry at one time bloomed and flourished with audio tape trading. For those of you that are now in your 30's, 40's & beyond, tape trading began when the young up and coming Metal acts were trying to spread the word on their music. Before the Internet, tape trading was the main platform from which many bands distributed their music and for some, have launched their careers and the genesis of a genre that was still in its infancy. Some bands made it big while others just never made it past their garage. It was exhilarating to discover brand new talent locally and within other parts of the country. That was also how you would come across the dichotomy within the genres of Metal. Even if you went to your local dive bar, you’d sometimes get free demo tapes from bands just as a free promo and that to me my friends was gold! As soon as your friend listens to the demo tape, then you’d make your friend a copy and then they would repeat the process. Then all of a sudden the demo tape recording would spread like wildfire! This method had some pros and cons to it but it even sparked numerous debates with not only the bands that were starting out, but it even trickled down to the bands that were making a living off of their music. Congress even got involved to lay down the law on the property and ownership of audio recordings! The same battle rages on with the illegal downloading of MP3's and file swapping. It’s the same concept as tape trading. Only the technology is different. However, tape trading was such a rush when you found that one band that nobody else has ever heard of and for that brief period of time, that band’s music was your soundtrack for the next month or so. Nonetheless, even if a band didn't make it big, you still had a piece of history in your hands! Hell, I still have demo tapes of some local New Jersey bands deep within my own music collection! The days of tape trading are long gone and in the books. Even CD’s are in danger of being extinct! Which may also hint the possibility of record stores becoming a thing of the past? I sure hope not! Truthfully, I miss those days but I'm still supporting the cause to serve the service and serve a purpose. ALL HAIL, KILL, AND RAGE!!!

- The Kibitzer 12/7/11  

@XKIBITZERX on Twitter

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