Cassette Store Day is right around the corner (October 14th, 2017) so we partnered up with Paxico Records - LA based label with a special collection of handmade records and art - for a Tape Meet which will be held accross three cities: LA, Brooklyn and Austin. Here we chat with founder Chris Hund to learn more about cassette culture and how Tape Meet came to life.
Scroll down to read more.
Photos by Iris Ray
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My focus is product design and conceptual art. I craft experiences that help people be more creative and inspired. I was born and raised hell on a family farm in Kansas. Later I wreaked havoc upon Rhode Island School of Design and still somehow appeared on the Dean’s List. After that I worked in NYC for about 7 years designing User Experience for mobile devices. I also ran Paxico Records at that time and organized events like Tape Meet. Last year I relocated to LA to work with Fat Beats where I’m now the Production Manager. In addition to cassettes I create vinyl records, prints, clothing, books, and other physical forms of art.
When did you start Paxico Records?
I accidentally started Paxico Records in 2009. I started a project where I created a hoax retrospective based on a fictional musician. Within the musician’s biography was a mysterious record label called Paxico. Soon friends started asking if they could be on Paxico so I continued using it as an umbrella for artistic activity.
Why Cassettes Tapes? What draws you to them over other mediums?
I grew up working on the family farm and at my uncle’s antique store. I've always taken pride in craftsmanship and sharing history, and have further developed skills in both through cassette culture.
One reason I believe the cassette resurgence has happened is that it’s a kind of antithesis to the digital music landscape, one that I really appreciate. Tangible mediums are finding increased consumer appeal again, and it’s been really fun to assist in cultivating that tradition back to the forefront.
What's your process when choosing artists to collaborate with on your label?
I enjoy seeking out pioneering artists with a story. To some extent I follow my gut so I don’t have a systematic approach to it. If an artist and I share an aligned vision that’s great, but it’s not a necessity. I’m my best self working with people who have a strong sense of humor, a strong sense of self, and a chronic work ethic, but those aren’t always the artists I’m compelled to work with. My father always said, “Every person has something to teach you, you just have to find out what that is,” and I take that approach with people. Diversity is key for me, and it’s an ongoing goal for the future of the label.
How did Tape Meet come to life?
I’d been hammering out cassettes in my Brooklyn basement as Paxico Records and I think I became known as one of those guys in New York. When I heard about Cassette Store Day I planned an event on my roof in Brooklyn for friends in the NYC audiophile community. All types of collectors, artists, djs, and labels came to share their interest in cassette culture. We’ve continued it every year since.
What does it mean for the independent labels?
A lot of independent labels are simply missing a platform to share their work. One avenue Paxico uses to support our community is to facilitate that.
What's been your favorite project that you've worked on thus far?
Paxico Records is a long term project for me. I want our catalog to stand the test of time. I’ve met and worked with many amazingly talented and inspiring people through Paxico and I don’t plan to stop any time soon.
The first cassette tape you ever owned.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - E. 1999 Eternal. I scorched that tape running around the ranch bare footed shooting a bb gun. Other than that, I made a lot of mix tapes from the radio. All were missing the first 3 seconds of the track.
What's next for Paxico Records?
Spatial audio and more record cultivation!