I love a good mix tape. I still have the mix tape that one of my oldest friends dropped off to me on my sixteenth birthday. He decorated the cover with stars, and wrote Descendents lyrics on it; the ones about making a mix tape and decorating it with stars. There’s something about the process of making a mix tape – especially in the nineties. Sitting down, and playing all your favourite songs, and pressing the play button. You’d have to sit with it for the whole duration of the tape. It’s a real-time act of love and dedication. And it tells you a lot about a person, and the relationship they have with whoever the music’s dedicated to.
In the lead up to the next issue of The Lifted Brow (The Music Issue), they’ve started a MixCloud space, where all these amazing writers have been making mix tapes. It’s a good idea, yeah, but it’s made a billion times better by all the rad people who’ve contributed. While the physical process of making a mix tape is different now, most of these tapes really speak volumes about the people who made them. Some seem to speak about their writing process, and others about the cheeky indulgences they hide from the world.
Here’s a few of my favourites:
Monica Dux outs her love of musical theatre, and I tell ya what, she’s a lady after my own heart. Into The Woods! West Side Story!
Sean M Whelan‘s given his mix tape the best theme ever: “Songs That Do Me In, In The Dead Of Night”. We all have those songs, and this mix is a doozy.
David Shields‘ mix tape is nothing like I would’ve expected, and that’s somehow endearing. I don’t know what I expected him to listen to… Something a bit more dad-ish, I guess.
Hannah Kent and I appear to share our music taste. I’ve spent some time writing to this one, and it’s perfect.
Tom Cho‘s tape is beautifully eclectic and broad, just like his writing.
And look! It’s Tang Time! Estelle Tang’s mix tape‘s themed “She’s Always Been Your Lover”. You can tell these tapes belong to writers. Nobody else would theme them so wonderfully.