I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep, for some reason my mind was drawn back to my days of making 'pause button mixes' or 'pause mixes' for short. The revelation that came to me is that this phenomenon is now dead to whole generations of newer Hip Hop heads, even those that are heavily into that bygone age. The audio cassette is (almost) virtually extinct now after all.
These pause mixes were many, many peoples precursor to the music industry. At some point in the past most of us old 'uns tried their hand at it. Even my parents generation would try it in some form or another, I've heard tales from the 50's/60's of pause buttons being used to create their own radio shows direct to cassette, and everybody used the pause button to edit out those pesky adverts out of the Top 40 on a Sunday teatime. Which was a lot of peoples introduction to the art of the pause mix.
or a dope Latin Rascals reel to reel edit was an audio cassette and a Pause button. How creative you got was up to you. And some got real creative.
Various tape decks and Hifi's had all kinds of different gadgets attached like pitch controls and little tricks like using a chrome cassette on a normal position setting could create an overdubbing multilayer effect. Rinsing those sound effect and spoken word records was a must in my house. Shit, even the way you manually operated the pause button could create different edits and keeping those pause looped beats in time was an art unto itself.
I've collected a few of my favourite examples of the 'Pause Mix' together for your perusal HERE!!!!, the folder contains.....
DFrost - Mixtape Pause Mix - 1 Tape Deck, 1 Turntable, 0 Mixer 1985
DJ crazyEDitz - Mom, Dad, This pause Mix is fressshhh
DJ Mello - Pause Tape 1990
....in all their distorted, hissing audio cassette and pause button clunk, lost art form glory.
Here's a modern take inspired by the pause mix, the Ad-rock intro says everything that needs to be said about the Pause Button Mixtape.