Marc Masters: High Bias: The Distorted History Of The Cassette Tape
Marc Masters

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Music journalist Marc Masters (No Wave), whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone, discusses his new book, High Bias: The Distorted History of the Cassette Tape in conversation with Jason Woodbury.


The cassette tape was revolutionary. Cheap, portable, and reusable, this small plastic rectangle changed music history. Make your own tapes! Trade them with friends! Tape over the ones you don't like! The cassette tape upended pop culture, creating movements and uniting communities.

This entertaining book charts the journey of the cassette from its invention in the early 1960s to its Walkman-led domination in the 1980s to decline at the birth of compact discs to resurgence among independent music makers. Scorned by the record industry for "killing music," the cassette tape rippled through scenes corporations couldn't control. For so many, tapes meant freedom--to create, to invent, to connect.

Marc Masters introduces readers to the tape artists who thrive underground; concert tapers who trade bootlegs; mixtape makers who send messages with cassettes; tape hunters who rescue forgotten sounds; and today's labels, which reject streaming and sell music on cassette. Their stories celebrate the cassette tape as dangerous, vital, and radical.

Marc Masters is a music journalist whose work has appeared on NPR and in the Washington PostPitchforkRolling Stone, and Bandcamp Daily. He is author of No Wave.

High Bias: The Distorted History of the Cassette Tape By Marc Masters Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469675985
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - October 3rd, 2023