29 Jul 2019

The return of the audio cassettes in Christchurch

From Standing Room Only, 2:48 pm on 29 July 2019

Roger Shepherd with Flying Nun, Rob Mayes with Failsafe Records and now Brian Feary with Melted Ice Cream - small independent music labels have long been a mainstay of the Christchurch indie music scene. And the humble audio cassette tape is now - thanks to Melted Ice Cream - playing a big part. Over the last eight years the label has released some 30 albums and EPs on cassette. It's a musical format that's clearly having a niche revival. The cassette's heyday was the Seventies and early Eighties, as a cheap, portable alternative to vinyl. Then it ushered in the selfmade mixtapes, the format of choice for independent musicians wanting to get their work direct to the street. These days websites like Bandcamp do the same digitally, so why is the indie cassette tape back? Next Wednesday Melted Icecream is hosting a night of live music as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival to celebrate its eighth birthday. The label's boss - and producer and drummer - Brian Feary talks to Mark Amery about bands like the Best Bets, T54, Terror of the Deep and the Ben Woods Group. The Better Living 2019 event takes place at the Town Hall's Avon Room this Wednesday.