Sonic Youth have launched an official Reverb shop, and they're selling analog tape that they stocked up in the early 2000s when digital recording began taking over. A press release clarifies that these tapes do not contain any Sonic Youth recordings on them, but they're of course still a crucial part of music history. The announcement reads:
Back in the early 2000s, as digital recording came to dominate the music industry, it seemed like magnetic tape was about to go the way of Edison cylinders and shellac records. Not wanting to run out of their preferred medium, the analog adherents of Sonic Youth stocked up.
Now, having found a balance of tape and digital recording—and with fears of a completely tape-free future not coming to pass—Sonic Youth has a largesse of used reels they're putting up for sale in The Official Sonic Youth Reverb Shop.
The Sonic Youth tapes include 2" and 1/2" reels from Ampex, Quantegy, BASF, and other makers, alongside other assorted formats. They were all sourced by Sonic Youth members from studios that were then clearing their shelves and trading in their tape machines for Pro Tools rigs.
"We would run into Manhattan and fill up a car, literally, with 2" tape, and it's awfully heavy, so your car would be riding low on the shocks when you went back through the tunnel," Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley tells us. "People were really just tossing tons of 2" tape away at that point in time."
Ever since, the tapes have been stored in the group's own Echo Canyon West studio, which became a kind of hub for the metropolitan area's cast-off reels. The collection grew larger than Sonic Youth or the other bands that recorded at Echo Canyon West could use.
"We want this stuff to be used. It's useful, we love analog tape, and it would be terrible to throw it in a dumpster," Steve added via press release. "So, it's priced to sell, it's priced to use, and hopefully someone will give it some TLC and make something awesome with it."
Browse the shop here.