Cheap Miami and the Magic of Cassettes: "Fans Feel Part of Something Sacred, Underground"
Cheap Miami's Patrick Garcia and Michelle Grand.
Who said cassettes were dead?
Definitely not Patrick Garcia and Michelle Grand, founders and owners of Miami-based record label Cheap Miami.
"We started Cheap Miami around two years ago in the summer," says Garcia. "I envisioned it as a small project. I was looking to work with bands that I liked, local projects. The funny thing is that the first two bands we released through Cheap Miami were totally not local. One was from France and the other one was from South Africa."
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From the beginning, Garcia knew that he wanted this record label to be different. He wanted something memorable. And that's why everything released through Cheap Miami is issued on cassette.
"We decided to go with cassettes because they're a unique touch," said Garcia, "But they're also convenient. Cassettes are small, cheap to produce, easy to handle, and they sound great. You can also have a ton of fun with cassette designs, and they can be kept as collectibles."
Now, for those who may not know, a cassette is a small magnetic tape for audio recording and playback. It's what people used to buy at these places called Sam Goody back in the day before cassettes were replaced by compact discs, which were then replaced by MP3s, which were then replaced by whatever it is you crazy kids are listening to these days.
For many, though, cassettes still hold a vintage, nostalgic appeal.
The cover of Plastic Pinks and Las Tias split cassette on Cheap Miami.
"We've released one split cassette with another band Las Tias," says June Summer, vocalist for Plastic Pinks, "The reason for making cassettes comes from the love of having music out there in different formats.
"We feel it's good to branch out and give something more personal to our fans. Make them feel part of something sacred, underground. Also, there is a crowd for cassettes and we want to reach them as well. I personally love collecting vinyls and tapes, they have a sentimental value which you don't get from getting the MP3. Although, the Cheap Miami cassettes do come with a digital download code."