mardi, 09 avril 2013 14:23

Screen printing on cassettes

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One aspect of Roy de Rats' range of activities that's new to us is cassette tape production. A few months ago, we were still in the early stages of developing our modus operandi, and thus had to find a "cobaye" for our first attempt. Luckily, Lucas aka Antape volunteered to be the guinea pig; armed with this bests braindance beats and primitive-silly melodies, he invited his friend Seth aka Kotekan to join in the fun. We're pleased to announce that the first tape we've produced – and by extension the first one to be released on our label on the 12th of April – is a split cassette featuring two 20 minutes debut EPs

In the course of February, as the artwork of the cassette box (poetically made by Simon Magnat) and the mastering of both EPs (finely brick-walled by Jean-Baptiste Meyrieux) were being finalized, we were screenprinting a sample batch at the open atelier Offensiwe, with the invaluable assistance of Hannes and Felix, who were as excited as we were to print directly on cassette for the very first time.

After making a cardboard support in which we could fit the cassettes so that they didn't move during the printing, we were ready to go through several sessions of work. The process showed up more challenging than expected because of the tape plastic surface which is not flat, and after several attempts we decided to stop trying to print above the pinholes : the screen couldn't tie together well with the surface of the cassette in this area because of the relatively big relief, and the ink was always leaking through. Another problem was induced by the little reliefs of the borders of the cassette : after say 30 or 40 printings, some holes were starting to appear into the emulsion of the screen, the result of that being ink leakages as well. However, we were able to fix this problem easily by simply cleaning the dirty tapes afterwards, as the ink still wasn't dry.

Last obstacle we met : our first attempts showed that the type of ink we were using, when dried, could be easily scratched off with the fingernail. Thanks Hannes and Felix witchcraft, we were able to enhance the resistance of the ink by mixing its ingredients in better proportions.

After all of those tests (made over three work sessions), we finally managed to print the both sides of the 100 Antape & Kotekan Split cassettes and we're quite proud of the result ! This first experience made us understand that the screenprinting technique is probably not the best adapted to non-flat surfaces, but those tests sessions eventually allowed us to perform an efficient first production, and the definition of the printing is more than satisfying (some very fine details might not come out so well but if your artwork isn't over-complicated the process delivers very good results, with a lot of charm to it !).

Before we propose screenprinting on cassettes as a service to bands in the frame of our recording studio, we intend to test this production chain with another featured release when the opportunity shows up. Indeed, we'd like to make this process the smoother and the more efficient possible before we propose it in a professional context. Roy de Rats' customized tape reproduction will allow you to send us your music, choose the color and length of the cassette, and leave the rest to us: we'll handle a cassette-adapted mastering of your music and will make the duplication. Optionally, you'll also be able to provide us an artwork that we'll screenprint directly onto the cassettes, in collaboration with the guys from the open atelier Offensiwe. If you're interested in producing music cassettes or if you have any question or remark, please Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. : we'll be glad to discuss about your project with you !