Mix Tape Heaven

by Sasha Wilkins on December 9, 2011 · 16 comments


Oh I did have a lovely time on my birthday. Totally unexpected and unplanned (by me, at any rate), and I certainly wasn’t expecting any presents from my friends to mark the occasion. After all, it’s not as if I need anything at all. But, over the past week, by Anne’s cupcake decorated by her darling children, the pile of books from Tara & from Hannah, Clare’s genius knife sharpener, Lisa’s lunch at The Reform Club, and Miss P’s giant bunch of tulips, & the cards, calls & emails from around the world, I was spoilt like a small spoilt thing.

And then there was this mixtape. Oh A, this was truly the most amazing thing I have unwrapped in years. She & I both grew up in the era of mixtapes, where we would sit with a double tape deck on our stereo, recording tracks one by one from one cassette to another to form playlists. They were a huge labour of love – you needed to listen to the whole track whilst recording it, so it could take hours to put together. If you decided a track was in the wrong place then tough luck – you’d either need to record another track over it (which needed to be the same length) or start all over again. And, of course, you needed to write down the entire track listings so the recipient knew what they were listening to.

They were the ultimate friendship or romance gesture.

And darling A found this brilliant tape case, which hides an MP3 inside, thereby bringing the mixtape bang up to date. She sent her husband out to buy different coloured biros to write the track listings on the cassette liner, for that authentic 80s feel too. A has a house full of infants, a demanding job and has been a bit poorly. That she took the time to make me this made me cry. In a good way.

I’m super excited to upload it all  – A is Very Important in the music industry, & she tells me that this is all the music she & her team have been loving this year. I feel extremely unhip – I recognise about three names on the entire listing. Oh how I have changed. Time was when I recognised every name in the NME & Melody Maker, & on the Glastonbury lineup, and really only wanted music that was released on white label 12″ vinyl. Sigh.


If you fancy giving someone you care about their very own mixtape this Christmas, then they are available on Amazon here

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan December 9, 2011 at 19:41

What a darling person this is! I kept 3 mixed tapes that mean so much to me, though I can’t play them as cassette recorder/players have all been tossed or donated.

I’m so glad you had a wonderful natal day celebration.:)


Yasmin Selena Butt December 9, 2011 at 20:22

Metronomy are AWESOME! That album, plus Low’s C’mon, Bombay Bicycle Club, Mogwai, Florence and the soundtrack to Drive have been played a lot this year. I love making compilations for friends.

I’ve still got ALL 200+ C90s cassettes from my teens/20s. There’s a reason I single-handedly fill out a flat designed for a nuclear family lol But mix-tapes are precious for the reasons you said. They are a real labour of love indeed : ) x o x o


LLG December 11, 2011 at 08:25

@Yasmin Selena Butt: I got rid of a lot of mine, but I do have a hardcore selection of can’t throw away favourites left as my car is so old it still has a tape deck. LLGxx


Fatima Malagueira December 10, 2011 at 02:30

Brings back many memories of doing exactly the same thing, especially on a Sunday afternoon taping my favourite songs from the Top 40 countdown! Didn’t know those tapes existed! I’ve still got 1 cassette player left which I’m holding onto for dear life :-) Happy Birthday!


Meg December 10, 2011 at 03:23

How brilliant! Just about to order one for hub. I don’t suppose you could reproduce the track listing on here, could you please? I’ve squinted but my eyesight isn’t up to working it all out (especially when you are now as terminally uncool as me, so wouldn’t know who they COULD be)
But knowing might be a route to regaining a very teensy bit of hipness…


LLG December 11, 2011 at 08:26

@Meg: I’m going to ask Katie to type it out on Monday for you! LLGxx


Meg December 12, 2011 at 11:17
Beccy December 10, 2011 at 05:54

I’m feeling so nostalgic now! I will have to stock up on these MP3/Mixtapes now x


Haidee December 10, 2011 at 06:52
cornflakegirl December 10, 2011 at 07:41

What a great present to receive. I used to love making mix tapes (and later CDs) too so I’ll definitely be checking these out. Brilliant.


Laura December 10, 2011 at 09:05

What a lovely present! A sounds wonderful. I just to love making tapes (and then CD’s) with my friends to listen to at school and then when we got older in the car. Especially sitting on a Sunday hoping to catch my favourites on the radio and attempting to stop and start recording at exactly the right moments to cut out any chatter. It was a difficult process. Glad to hear you had a great birthday!

Laura x


LLG December 11, 2011 at 08:26

@Laura: Yes! I used to do exactly the same thing. ah – memory lane…LLGxx


Knightseclectic December 14, 2011 at 20:06

Great post, what a lovely idea x


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