Jeff Chenault, aka Jeff Central
I really don’t remember my first trade. One of the earliest trades was with Chris Phinney of Mental Anguish. He had just started his Harsh Reality Music label and I wanted to trade for his music and for the Konstruktivists cassettes he had released. I was really interested in all the UK industrial bands at the time, Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Nocturnal Emissions, etc, etc. Through Chris Phinney I was introduced to a LOT of other people who were doing the tape trading thing too. I was trading tapes every week. Selling them too! One guy bought everything in my catalog!! He also bought everything on the Harsh Reality label too!! It was amazing to think that other people besides myself really enjoyed this kind of music.
Magazines like Option and Sound Choice also broadened my customer base extensively. Then Hal McGee published the excellent fanzine Electronic Cottage and everything was blown out of the water!!
When the 90’s started the CD was slowly taking over and cassette’s soon lost their popularity. When new releases by bands I really liked started coming out on CD that’s when I was forced to switch formats. The tape trading faded away almost as fast as it had started. It lasted a good 10 years though and I still got 500+ cassettes in my personal collection. I still got a lot of blanks too and recently was asked to burn some cassettes for a local record store here in Columbus called Lost Weekend. They are a “vinyl only” store but have been selling cassettes too because of there renewed popularity! Who knew!!