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Island Cassettes

Island Cassettes is an engaging rumba rock band from Royal Tunbridge Wells in England. The quartet of James (Vocals / Guitar), Toby (Guitar), Emily (Drums), Napoleon Dynamite (Bass) add a smile to the world of indie music.

Island Cassettes

Island Cassettes

There is so much that engages me here, so settle back and relax for a preamble. -

The moment I see the word Cassette in a band name in the 21st Century just grabs my attention. When that band emerges from Royal Tunbridge Wells, so my head immediately tilts in to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex as the hippocampus and the amygdala activate, tripping the cerebral cortex as recollections of ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ slavers over The Telegraph, though more likely now The Daily Mail. Not to mention a recollection of a gig in Shoreham in ’84 (just a few miles up the road), which resulted in a police raid and most of the audience and all of us in the band sleeping in the local pub as the trains stopped running at 22:00, now that is another story in itself. Anyway, enough of that….

Island Cassettes is best described as an experimental band as the members seek to entwine a diaspora of sounds. My journalistic instincts, such as they are, would suggest that the bass is a new addition. From the Belgian and French Congo’s we find Soukous which is the space in which the band add the greatest value to the world of music. The delight of African Rumba rubbing against the context of home counties sensibilities just fills the ears with joy.

The musicians have the ability to lay back the material to a tortoise, or to run with the hare, each with equal aplomb. I just hope they continue to eke out the combination in which they excel, of extrapolating  and bouncing African beats with middle class sensibilities. This resonates of the power of punk at its height, in a new context. So appropriate for the jingoistic Diamond Jubilee being celebrated across this fair land in 2012.

I just laugh as I think of Island Cassettes invading the Royal Tunbridge Wells street parties and with that I must be away before I crash the keyboard to the floor in hysterics.


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  1. [...] second time I have taken a foray in the past six months, the last occasion was to take a look at Island Cassettes and there is a decent music scene in the Weald of Kent. // [...]

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