Among the 5 or 6 big projects I’m working on to keep myself from going (any more) crazy during this lockdown, is organizing and straightening up the Cichon Archives, which fills the third floor of the Cichon Estate.
I’ll share some of the interesting things I find as I find them.
The Iconic Memorex Cassette
Though I have far fewer now, through the years, I’ve had hundreds of these 90-minute Memorex cassette tapes.
For much of the early 90s, a ten-pack was $9.99 at Media Play, and I invested most of those Media Play Gift Certificates I’d get for birthdays and Christmas into these tapes.
Many of those cassettes I bought went right back out the door– creating mix tapes and recording “radio shows” for my friends in my bedroom radio station.
Hundreds of others went to recording the actual radio shows, hundreds of hours of which I’ve digitized through the years, first to CD and then to mp3.
The digitized wing of the Cichon Audio Archive is more than 600GB with more than 120,000 audio files. There are still hundreds of hours of cassettes, reels, transcription discs, DATs, and mini discs left to be digitized– it always comes in spurts.
Sorting through a pile of these cassettes today, it was like I saw them for the first time– even though thousands of them have slipped through my hands since this design was introduced in 1987.
As a child of the 80s, I love 80s design—but mostly the retro-look meant to inspire the 50s or 60s.
This design, however, is purely pop 80s.
If Max Headroom or that MTV astronaut was going to use a cassette tape, it would be the 90-minute Memorex cassette, with angular shapes in bright blues, pinks, and yellows.