Feature by Colin Paterson, Entertainment Correspondent for BBC Radio 5 live
There is a referendum going on. The Artzu Gallery in Manchester is asking visitors to vote on which makes the better art – vinyl or cassettes.
Founding member of The Specials, Horace Panter, is exhibiting his collection of Cassette art work – which focuses on cassettes used at legendary recording studios – Hansa in Berlin, Trident in London and New York’s Power Station.
Speaking at the launch, he told the BBC: “I am revering a mass produced, disposable piece of very early music technology. They held our memories and our favourite songs. “Also as a musician, they were the tools of the trade. You’d do your rough mix at the studio, take a cassette home and play it on your stereo at home. You’d decide which of the five takes was the best one.”
The Cassettes Verses Vinyl exhibition also features Morgan Howell’s 27-inch paintings of classic singles (Neil Diamond bought Sweet Caroline from him) and film props man Chris Barton (who worked on Harry Potter, Star Wars and Babe) has turned his hand to making giant cassette boxes, with painted inlay cards, including The Clash’s London Calling. All three artists will be in situ over the weekend.
Horace Panter also has the answer as to what is the perfect track with which to start a compilation tape for an art opening.
“Trampoline by the Spencer Davis Group. When I was 13, it was the theme tune to my hospital radio show.”