A couple of months ago, whilst answering a friend's dire call for suggestions for new music on the FaceBook, I wrote to tell her that I could have a mix CD sent out to her, toot'sweet. Her reply?
"A mix CD? How old school. Thanks."
Old school, indeed. I've been making audio compilations of music since I was a teenager, and handcrafting collage covers for my audio creations for just as long. I still fondly remember that Christmas day in 1986 when my sister surprised me with a Memorex dual-deck cassette player and recorder. Aw shitness! That was a red letter holiday for me. When home CD burning technology came along in the late 1990's, my mix-making went into overdrive. Oh, and the effects ones superior mix CD-making prowess has on the opposite sex. Color one, possibly two, women impressed, I tell you.
But this is a new century, and as my friend in Brooklyn (oh yeah, I know people in Brooklyn. Impressed?) so indelicately educated me, and physical compilation of recorded music are about as technologically savvy as a Nintendo Gameboy connected to a dot matrix printer. Enter the music sharing site 8tracks.com. Here, I can make and share my compilation creations without involving the blank compact disc-manufacturing, paper printing, stuff-sending-through-post-offices industrial complex. The charm of receiving a mixtape now beams from the cold, sterile screen of a computation device.
The ritual of recording music tailor-made to the individual, now rendered via chips and blips and 1's and 0's. I'm Robocop with a iTunes playlist, now. Welcome to the new tradition.