With the stylish and Swedish-made Rymdkapsel coming out for the PC, its composer Salkinitzor found it the right opportunity to release a (very) limited edition cassette of the game’s 30 minute soundtrack. It’s a nice-looking tape and a listenable album. If you’re wondering why a cassette, this is a trend that we’ve seen emerging in music over the past couple of years, with musicians releasing new recordings on outdated media. Some claim that certain types of music like drone sound better on tape, but mostly it’s an effort to make the listening experience tangible again, now that everything that isn’t Eminem is digital.
While people have been quick to call the fad hipsterish, there have been those who argue that perhaps what we crave when listening to music is more than the music itself. Writing an op-ed on the merits of Cassette Store Day, Nick Sylvester of Pitchfork countered:
There’s no format more human than the cassette. No format wears our stain better. I have not encountered a technology for recorded music whose physics are better suited for fostering the kind of deep and personal relationships people can have to music, and with each other through music.
This is a truth that those of us who love games have known forever. Gaming invites a rabid type of collector, but even the less-materialistic among us have to admit that there is a certain charm to the physicality of removing a game from a paper box; of snapping together the plastic case of a Gameboy cart; of the strange futuristic design of bygone systems. No, these extracurricular objects and activities aren’t a necessity and games can be enjoyed without fawning over a format, but maybe it makes our experiences somehow more valuable.