As soon as you log on to kasetophono.com, the banner that comes up – “The soundtrack of your future memories” – is telling of the site’s content and digital character.
Since going online in 2012, Kasetophono (Greek for cassette player) has been gaining new fans – or listeners – who bookmark the site’s address with the kind of reverence usually attached to certain radio stations.
This is not a radio station, though, but a music platform developed and managed by a single individual, Andreas. The platform includes dozens of playlists, or what he refers to as “tapes,” all compiled according to a variety of themes. The website features a selection of playlists ranging from 20 to 30 songs, each exploring a theme such as a particular mood (joy, sadness), the weather (rain, sunshine) or a specific situation (from the ideal music to accompany a cooking session to lovemaking).
How did the idea for the website come about? “Before I started Kasetophono what I had in mind was creating a blog and upload my playlists. The reason was simple, I wanted my friends to be able to listen to them. This is more or less how I started working on the first tapes about two-and-a-half years ago. Only 20 people listened in the first six months, but I didn’t mind, because the actual process of developing online tapes was and still is fascinating,” said Andreas. The website’s variety of musical choices points to someone knowledgeable and with a broad interest in music.
“My relationship with music is somewhat peculiar. I remember one thing growing up: falling asleep with my earphones on. I always wanted to work on something related to music. I tried to become a DJ, a guitarist, a radio producer. I wanted to get into a sound engineering school. In the end I didn’t manage to do any of the above and so I came up with the blog.”
Meanwhile, the mood on Kasetophono is rather romantic. According to Andreas, the name itself evokes a certain element of nostalgia. Minimalist aesthetics coupled with tapes titled “Vintage Wintertime” or “Whiskey in the Jar,” among others, invite visitors to discover more and more playlists and music in general.
“Each tape is a new challenge and compiled in a distinct way. Some take 10 minutes to make while others might take up to six months to put together. Some are based on their title while others have to do with the kind of emotion I want to bring evoke. In any case I’m after one thing: for even the most unseasoned of listeners to be able to enjoy each song without fast-forwarding to the next.”
The website’s creator does not keep the “tape-recording” process all to himself. Anyone wishing to compile and upload his or her own playlist along with a title and an image illustrating its theme are welcome to do so. So far, about 300 people have taken up the challenge and, according to Andreas, the nicest ones are the secret ones, those compiled and signed by young men as gifts to their girlfriends. What are his future plans for the website?
“Kasetophono will sooner or later develop even further; time will tell in what way. For the time being, my only concern is developing the next tape,” said Andreas.
No matter what lies ahead for Kasetophono and its avid listeners, the website is among those worthy of online attention, pointing to the kind of digital opportunities that exist in the vast world of cyberspace.