do they still make BASF tapes?

We were preparing to go on a major road-trip, packing up our family of four kids to spend 6 weeks in QLD. It was the first family holiday we had ever taken other apart from camping trips and the odd weekend in a tourist park cabin. Some close friends did something very special for us. They made us a compilation cassette tape of travelling songs.


I smiled inwardly all the way through Paul Kelly’s article in the current edition of The Monthly, in which he celebrates the making of compilation cassette tapes. He scoffs at the click, drag & burn of the CD. Kelly describes the labour of love associated with judging the right moment when to press record and the creative pondering about the ordering of track. He references Tarantino’s Death Proof and Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, (link to the ‘Monday morning tape’ clip) probably the only films to engage the deep giving that is compilation cassettes.

I think I will go shopping on the weekend for a C90. I always used to use BASF, I presume they still make them. I’ve already got a bunch of yurting (nomadic caravaning ) songs in my head, its gonna be fun to get them together. Our old Patrol will be a great acoustic home for the click of the cassette into the player. With no air con, and the windows down, I’ll be wafting the Waifs and Paul Kelly et al across the Aussie landscape.

I’ve got mates who operate at the cutting edge of new media (G’day Steve). But I rarely tweet. Maybe it’s a stage of life thing. I have in the past been an almost compulsive connector/networker, these days I get tired thinking about it … I derive deep satisfaction from slow and simple pastimes with Maria. While the kids watch their TV shows on computer screens, I handwrite in my moleskin journal with an ink pen. Like Hannah Montana and Peter Garrett before her I want the best of both worlds. Amidst the connected ubiquitousness of new technologies, the ‘discipline of slow’ is good for my 00’s soul.

Better go and check from my 3G phone to see where I can get a C90 tape …

2 thoughts on “do they still make BASF tapes?

  1. Hey Col,

    Hope the holiday is progressing well. Our neighbour just got back from a cross-country motorbike trip where he took in a stunning route straight up from Adelaide to Alice Springs, Darwin, Broome and then back home accross the Nullabor. He’s photos and the places he saw we’re awe inspiring. We certainly live on an iceberg – we only ever see the very tip of this great land.

    On the mixtape argument, I thought I would throw my ‘cutting edge new media’ 2 cents in.

    Fred Wilson, a VC in NY wrote a post a little while ago echoing your sentiments.—a-ho.html

    There is a service called which allows you to create mixtapes from the songs you have in your library and then share them on the web. Sure, no where near as tactile and thoughtful as the traditional BASF but still cool. is my music sharing medium of choice. It serves me songs based on other songs I have listened to and liked and then shares what I am listening to with other friends at the same time (like Pat). It has created the same kind of connection I think the mixtape originally did…”This is what I am listening to, you should give it a go too”

    All the best for the trip mate, see you soon!

  2. Steve,

    WordPress updated and I missed the tickbox to allow comments, so sorry mate, your post sat waiting for approval for the weeks that I coincidently took a break from this blog. Just logged in to do a new post and spotted your comment … good stuff.

    .. and by the way, the tapes were a blast. Literally … the sound only came out one speaker of the old Patrol so we had it turned up pretty loud … fantastic stuff.

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