The lost art of the cassette tape is enjoying a resurgence thanks to New Zealand rapper Coco Solid, who will release her new mixtape on cassette later this month while on a nationwide tour.
The mixtape, titled ‘Pacific Rims’, is a twelve-track release featuring previously unreleased material and new tracks by long time Coco Solid collaborators from Czech Republic, Portugal, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the UK and New Zealand.
Pacific Rims features musicians close to home, such as Wellington’s Disasteradio, Auckland outifit Unitone Hi-Fi, local producers Jizmatron, Scott Detail and Coco’s vocalist sister Hayley J. Hansell. The tape also features many international friends Coco made while attending the Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona back in 2008. Says Solid, “I chose specifiic collaborators. Online mixtapes are punk in approach when you think about it but Pacific Rims is hip-hop/electronica angled too. So I asked people who understood that combination.”
The mixtape is essentially a diary entry of Solid’s creative process over the years. She continues her academy connection and has mixed the tape at Auckland’s Red Bull Studios. “It documents jams and eras of my past but also celebrates the movement forward. That’s the Pacific thing too, honour tradition but shout-out to change, your evolution. Some tracks are unreleased, some were made especially and some were just wanting to be in the mix.”
Her decision to release the mixtape in its intended medium – cassette tape – was always the agenda. “Tapes are due a revival and people are appreciating them again”, she says. ”Just like vinyl has its junkies, there is a group of people – myself included – who never came to terms with the cassette age ending.”
Punters to any of Solid’s New Zealand dates can get one of the limited edition run of 400 hand packaged and lovingly crafted cassette tapes. Door entry will also include a download link for everyone wanting to get it digitally. Following the tour Solid will make the mixtape available as a free download on www.cocosolid.com.
In true mixtape style, Solid will perform a mix of the release, as well as tracks from side projects Parallel Dance Ensemble and Badd Energy during her live shows later this month. Says Solid, “It'll just be me vs. the sound system.”
COCO SOLID – PACIFIC RIMS TOUR DATES
HAMILTON – Wed June 29th, Static Bar feat. Doteyes & Frankie. 9pm Door sales only.
WHANGANUI – Fri July 1st, Space Monster feat. Redback Villian & Caves. 10pm Door sales only.
WELLINGTON – Sat July 2nd, San Francisco Bath House feat. Thought Creature, K-Lab & DJ Han Baby. 10pm Door sales only.
QUEENSTOWN – Thurs July 7th, Sub Culture feat. local support. 9pm Door sales only.
DUNEDIN – Fri 8th July, XII Below feat. Manthyng & Mental Health Triangle 10pm.
AUCKLAND – Thurs July 14th, Rising Sun feat. local support. 10pm. Door sales only.