An internet search on "Tascam 234" returns a promising 10,000 hits but maybe unsurprisingly, detailed personal accounts from fellow users seem to be few and far between. It is a sometime obsession of the writer to delve through these internet hits in search of.... well I'm not quite sure... life? Contact? Something.
"I love my Tascam 234" is a wonderfully hopelessly optimistic search term. But with exactly zero search returns you find your enthusiasm immediately curbed. A more pragmatic search term such as; "the tascam 234 is" might be expected to give better results, but again - zero hits.
Infact 10,000 promising internet hits seem to be archived second hand sale transactions and wildly speculative (un)targeted marketing, ("buy "Tascam 234" cheap now! Brand new!" Yeah, nah), with only the occasional obscure sentence of interest or merit. Quickly it is a desert. More mirage than oasis. So to get somewhere here we must set aside optimism, and replace pragmatism with reality. However much I may personally still commend the 234, this is a search for a memory...... a broken belt. A chewed tape. A dusty relic in a parents shed. History.
Surely, (surely????) "The tascam 234 was"
Ludicrously, incredibly: Three hits. (only three bloody hits?! one of which, by the way, is this blog. I mean, really? I was, (and remain), truly surprised/appalled/something’ed by this. Some weird old obscure camera with a film format that might predate WW1 will get essays and dedicated forums and blah blah blah..... whatever)
Anyway...The first hit, and the focus of this post, was a gem.
I'm still reading through the archives at http://cocksocket.org/, but from what I gather Cocksocket was a band (collaboration?) that formed in the mid 1990's and for a period recorded extensively on a Tascam 234. Their website contains a great deal: music , homebrew info and a litany of blog posts dating back to 2000.
(a long time ago, far far away) The author at Cocksocket wrote:
"Accompanied as I am by an incessant need to reflect upon times past, it has lately occurred to me that Cocksocket is on the verge of breaking violently through its 10-year anniversary. In May of 1994, I inherited a piece of equipment that was able to record things, then record things over top of the things that were recorded before, and then even record additional things on top of that mess, fulfilling the dreams made clear to me as many as ten years before that. I am talking, of course, about the Tascam 234.
The acquisition of the Tascam 234 was a breakthrough in many ways, not the least of which was the birth of the Cocksocket. At nearly the same time that said Tascam machine was acquired, and as I was walking down the street, across a typical small city intersection, a certain soundflash entered my head. "Cocksocket" it said. And thus was Cocksocket born, nearly a decade ago."
This I find wonderfully poignant. An everyman reflection on the discovery of multitrack recording. The moments when the endless possibilities of 4 track recording realized themselves. A band name and a 4 track recorder. Did a kid need more in the 1990s?
I have speculated briefly on the history of Cocksocket's 234. Our writer tells us he inherited his machine in 1994, which would have made his 234 about 10 years old at the formation of his band. 10 Years on from there he writes, (somewhat disparagingly!) of the reliability of his 234 as he now tries to achieve his old cassette medium to a digital environment. Oh well, despite what you may read on this blog, nothing lasts forever.
And for context our writer tells us his archive consists of -
10 Hours, 15 Minutes of music
Anyone who has dabbled with writing and recording music will know to times the 10hrs of music many hundred fold (thousand fold?) in terms of machine hours of playback, reversing tapes & recording. So I would speculate an already 10year old machine served a full and commendable second life. A kid with a bandname, and an idea lived the 1990s dream, with his Tascam 234.
This is a song from Cocksocket titled Iaphragm Day.
incase the embedding doesn't work
There are more mp3s on the website and a deal of written words.
As far as I can see the last update on the website was made on the 22nd May 2004, 6 days after Cocksocket’s 10yr anniversary. I know nothing more of the band or the people involved other than what is on their website. If in the strange circular way of the internet someone in the future stumbles on this blog and knows something of the band, leave a comment and say “I know them! etc...”
Vale Cocksocket and vale their Tascam 234. Bet it was great.
Another half finished, not to be finished song. The title is Absolutely Nothing. Recorded again, on the "good" (not in bits) 234.
The video was compiled from a lot of random footage taken on a ride though Semaphore (SA) and the surrounds. Filmed using the previously mentioned old Fuji digital camera.