Catalyst cassette volume Two is out!

copies of the volume TWO Catalyst music casette tape

Discover the sounds of an altered post-pandemic culture with Volume Two: the third release in our student cassette series. Get your hands on a physical copy or enjoy our annual compilation on SoundCloud. 

Welcome to the latest retro-ready, lofi-loving music experience at Catalyst. We're proud to showcase the extraordinary talent of our music production students through our latest cassette tape compilation: Volume Two. This latest release showcases the hard work and dedication of our music production students from all years and courses in the 2021/2022 cohort, reflecting the sounds of a post-pandemic culture.

Building on the success of Volume Zero and Volume One, second-year Electronic Music Production and Performance student Salman Khan took the reins of the project, to curate the latest compilation and expertly project-manage the process from ideation to launch. He has collaborated with mastering engineer and Catalyst alumnus Yann Clemence, to get the tracks both tape and digital-ready.

Meanwhile, our Creative Production in Music Masters student Mario Scarfiglieri brought to life a unique cover art that incorporates AI-generated imagery in the design. The result is a beautiful and communal art piece that represents the innovation and creativity of our students.

The cassette series was born as we relaunched ourselves under the new name of Catalyst in 2020 (formerly dBS), as a way to document the evolution of our school, celebrate the hard work of its community, and showcase the diverse music styles and practices that make Catalyst the unique and inspiring place it is. Our mission is to empower our students to dream big and this Volume is a reflection of that spirit.

We're happy to continue a showcase of our student work in a medium that reunites listeners with a physical reality, bringing forward the learned lessons of the past years to create something both beautiful and communal.

Driven in part by the popularity of Netflix's Stranger Things 4, which then proceeded to take over our TikTok and Insta feeds for months to come, the medium that was staple in the 1980s is still getting a lot of attention. In case you need reminding, you're invited to listen to one of our second year Creative Audio Production & Sound Engineering student's covers of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill in the album showcasing series CAP Selects Season 3.

We dug into some research to find out what music kind of music is being released on cassettes. While the top 40 charts in cassettes do feature some names you might expect - Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and Robbie Williams - whose audience are more likely to have a cassette player without a usb dock, the majority of the 2022 cassette top 40 were fresh releases from that year. Testifying to the resurgence of the cassette, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Machine Gun Kelly & Digga D have all released music in cassette format. It also goes to show that the medium is not restricted to one single genre.

An interesting feature that some of our music students may look into playing with is limited edition fan-targeted formats. In 2022 we saw how cassette releases by both 5 Seconds of Summer and BLACKPINK's were available in a variety of colourways or with artwork and design reflecting specific band members.

You can purchase Catalyst Cassette Volume Two during any one of our public events. Or, if you’d like to ‘collect’ this edition among your liked SoundCloud tracks, listen to the compilation in full above. Want to dig further? Scroll down to browse the featured artists and to learn more about their tracks. 

You may not know that the original Walkman came with two headphone jacks - so that you and a friend could listen at the same time. We want to channel this nostalgic element of the technology and encourage you to pass Volume TWO onto a friend to listen.

Side A

Parallel Processing and Duhne - A Deux

Frivolous - Pandora's Trash

Mister Bloo - Jennie & The Bets

Rafaela - LUZ

Lyndon Lewis - Blessed Are The Cracked

DJ Whaletail - Marim biology 5

Side B

Anneke Thompson - MIFU

NINI NUTSUBIDZE - SISSAA

aavaa - Still Disintegration

Surrealich - Out of Drama

Svansy von Swansea - Everything

TEDTEDTED - MOSH_1

Credits

Mastering - Yann Clemence

Artwork - Mario Scarfiglieri