THE CASSETTES are Washington D.C.'s premier "vaudeville steam-punk" band. This "Musical Explorers Society" is fronted by Mr. Shelby Cinca, formerly the voice and guitar behind such notable D.C. groups as Frodus and Decahedron. He has also been the man responsible for recording various instantly classic D.C. indie albums such as Dead Meadow's first two full lengths. But don't be fooled into thinking there is any sort of punk/hardcore/post-punk tomfoolery happening here. The sound of The Cassettes strolls lavishly down the Rocky Raccoon/Honey Pie path that some could describe as synth-infused country stomp folk. Joining Shelby in his vision of pushing musical boundaries and expectations is Stephen Guidry on squeezebox and moog, Saadat Awan on drums and tablas, and an extensive cast of banjo, theremin, and saw players.
Cinca's long experience as a musician as well as his extensive time behind the recording console enabled the band to utilize the intimacy of home-recordings for songs such as Sway Along. However, for the bigger sounds of songs such as Lady Faire and Burgalar in the Bungalow, they turned to other producers and a variety of environments, including Silver Sonya's Chad Clark (Beauty Pill, The Dismemberment Plan's Emergency and I and Change) and T.J. Lipple (Aloha). In particular, the band turned to their quasi-guru Jonathan Kreinik (boomboxmagnetica.com), whose deft hand can be felt on such recordings as Frodus' Conglomerate International, and Trans Am's Futureworld. Kreinik holed up for over a month in New York City, attempting to (among other things) encapsulate in sound the mind of Arthur Harrison, the band's erstwhile thereminist and occasional vocalist.