Location recordings by East Midlands tape recording clubs (1959-1978) (79:00)
Collected together for the first time on this CD are a selection of vintage amateur field recordings from two East Midlands tape clubs: The Derby Tape Recording Club and The Leicester Tape Recording Club. These are not pristine archival recordings, they bear many traces of their age and origin: tape hiss and distortion, harsh pause button edits, wow and flutter. Accepting these extraneous audio artefacts as inherent to the medium of tape, no attempts have been made to clean or restore them.
The little known phenomenon of tape recording clubs reached its peak in the 60s and 70s, as tape recording technology became more attainable to the hobbyist. Many of these recordings were made in the days when recording outdoors entailed lugging a heavy and cumbersome open-reel recorder out and about on location. This could prove impractical for the individual so being part of a club, with the associated benefits of pooled resources and shared knowledge, made things a little easier. The appearance of affordable portable battery recorders in the early 60’s granted tape enthusiasts unprecedented freedom as to what and where they could record, a freedom which most tape club members exploited to the full. Some of these recordings were made on organised outings as part of the tape club’s programme of activities, others were made independently by individual members. The variety and imagination displayed here is a testament to the pioneering spirit of a dedicated group of amateurs, our forebears in the pursuit of recorded sound.
Thanks to all former tape club members, in particular; Bill and Marjory Howard, Ernie Flecknoe, Brian Hayhoe, John & Lorna Buckler, John Moule, Bruce Goodwin, Dennis Blackmore and Patrick Everest.
Edited and compiled by Mark Vernon