‘There’s a lot of freedom you can have with that kind of thing’: vinyl and cassette split releases in the digital age

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Duester, B
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2023
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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract

Releasing music on cassettes and 7-inch singles has been a part of DIYmusic scenes for a long time. As music production, distribution and consumption have been subjected to a substantial digital shift within the past two decades, one might expect cassette tapes or vinyl records to be a thing of the past, yet they persevere as indicated by thousands of new DIY releases every year. This article investigates the cultural and economic significance of split releases in contemporary DIY music scenes. In contrast to music streaming or digital downloads distributed online, it argues that the technological limitations and material idiosyncrasies of cassette tapes and vinyl records used for split releases allow for creative collaboration and intentional dissociation that contextualise people throughout various cultural and geographical domains. As a result, split releases are specifically used to contrast the overwhelming possibilities that digital music production and distribution pose.

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Media, Culture & Society
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© The Author(s) 2023. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
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Sociology
Communication and media studies
Cultural studies
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Duester, B, ‘There’s a lot of freedom you can have with that kind of thing’: vinyl and cassette split releases in the digital age, Media, Culture & Society, 2023
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