Music News

Published on March 13th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Japan refuses to let the cassette die. Now Gucci is interested.

While most of the world has wisely moved beyond cassettes, there are still parts of the planet where they thrive. India, for example. Tapes are still big throughout Africa. Indonesians are still into tape. And so is Japan.

Yes, Japan. The most gadget-obsessed country high-tech country on Earth can’t seem to let go of the cassette.

Why? For much the same reason the country still has a brisk trade in CDs. Japanese music fans love to collect physical product and have yet to adopt streaming to any meaningful degree. Cassettes are considered very collectable and have the bonus of having a kitsch factor. This can add up to some good business.

From The Japan Times.

Tucked away in a residential area of Tokyo’s Nakameguro district, the Waltz cassette tape shop attracts music lovers from both home and abroad. This “cassette heaven” boasts an inventory of more than 6,000 tapes and obtains the latest works from music labels in the United States and Europe that are rare in Japan.

Its unique presence has caught the eye of Gucci, which plans to release collaborative products with the shop in April.

The shop occupies the renovated grounds of a former warehouse and has a simple white interior. However, the passion of shop owner Taro Tsunoda can be felt everywhere.

The 48-year-old ex-Amazon employee displays new tapes by U.S. and European artists at tables in the center of the shop, and writes explanations for each tape. Many labels frequently ask Tsunoda to sell their tapes, but he only selects those suited to the shop’s atmosphere after listening to each recording.

Several expertly repaired radio-cassette recorders and Sony Walkman portable music players, which peaked in popularity in the 1980s, are also on sale. With soft acoustic music playing in the background, the shop’s atmosphere resembles that of an art gallery.

Keep reading and take a look at some pictures here. (Via Tom)

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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