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BLAST FROM THE PAST: Kamloops musician revives the cassette tape to release new music

Local musician JP Lancaster has started a partnership called Factotum Cassettes and Oddities that includes At Mission Dolores (his band), Elsewhere, Echo Beach and Bryden Scott.
April 21, 2017 - 9:00 PM

KAMLOOPS – Local musician JP Lancaster is hitting the rewind button, all the way back to the 1980s and reviving cassette tapes as an economical and novel marketing tool for local musicians.

Getting noticed is a battle for musicians and bands just starting out and it’s something that Lancaster knows well. He’s been a practicing musician for several years.

In a push to gain legitimacy and possibly to turn heads, Lancaster and his collective musician partnership called Factotum Cassettes and Oddities, has started releasing music on cassette tapes.

He wants to stay far away from the traditional, contractual label model of management and wants to promote a co-operative partnership with local artists.

He’s hoping strength in numbers will propel all involved with Factotum CO forward. Part of the battle of performing live music in Kamloops is the lack of venue space for original, local bands, and as far as he’s concerned, money talks.

“The big entertainment venues in town are more interested in music as an entertainment commodity. You have to be a cover band to play some of the bigger stages and they are not interested in original music,” Lancaster says.

Bryden Scott, At Mission Dolores (Lancaster's band), Elsewhere and Echo Beach are all part of Factotum CO.

Lancaster says musicians need legitimacy to gain attention and can only get it if people deem them legitimate, creating a vicious cycle of bands battling to be noticed.

He says he’s already seen a difference in how people respond to him since starting Factotum CO.

“I had sent emails from my personal account more than a dozen times and I’d get no response. But, when I emailed from my official company email I got a response within hours that same day,” Lancaster says.

With cassette tapes, fans can leave a show with music and a tangible piece of art they can hold.

Going forward, Lancaster wants to grow the Kamloops music scene and reach the ears and tape players of locals.

“I want to be a rallying point and help some of the bands grow and help the scene grow. I want to help people in Kamloops see that there are good local bands to see,” Lancaster says.

Cassettes are an economical novelty and that was part of JP Lancaster's decision to release music on tapes rather than CD or vinyl.
Cassettes are an economical novelty and that was part of JP Lancaster's decision to release music on tapes rather than CD or vinyl.

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