.Super Cassette: Melodies of the Future at Caravan

The Cassette Vision and Super Cassette Vision—contemporaries of the Atari 2600 and predecessors to the Nintendo Entertainment System—may seem like relics today. But for those born in the late ’70s and early ’80s, these now-obsolete gaming systems may carry a certain nostalgic heft.
Case in point: Berkeley indie rockers Super Cassette are now preparing to release their second two-song single on floppy disk. The physical copies contain two MP3s, a series of ASCII artworks, liner notes, and a “secret thank you” message to anyone who actually manages to get the floppy disc into some sort of computer.
“We made 100 copies of the first run,” says Max Gerlock, Super Cassette’s singer and primary songwriter. “It’s not that likely that even one of those people will pop it in a computer at any point, so I wanted to make sure that anybody who did take that time would see it as worthwhile.”
The physical copy also comes with a download code for higher quality MP3s of the songs, since at 1.44MB the floppy can hardly fit even one standard MP3 file.
“Each song we had to compress to 16kb per second to get them on there,” Max says.
“Colorblind,” the first track, opens with coiling layers of delay and sounds a bit like Microcastle era Deerhunter. The band cite both Radiohead and The Strokes as influences, and there are bits of both in the mix, even if they don’t necessarily sound like either.
Colorblind///Sober by Super Cassette
But on “Sober,” the single’s second track, the band’s deeper influence begins to show: “Koji Kondo,” says Nick, Super Cassette’s guitarist and Max’s twin brother, “the composer for Mario and Zelda.”
The guitar melody on “Sober” is immediately reminiscent of ’90s anime and classic 8-bit soundtracks. Like the best of both genres, it exudes a feeling of near invincibility. It’s a melody that could carry you beyond the harshest adversity—even if you’ve already died on that part 80 times and you’re about to give up.
Super Cassette begin their first U.S. tour in San Jose at the Caravan the same night as the release of their second floppy disc single, Crooked Teeth/Bootstraps.
Super Cassette
Mar 30, 9pm, Free
Caravan Lounge, San Jose

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