TIL Western music traveled to China in the 80s through these cracked cassette tapes. Once discarded as trash, and shipped to China’s black market from abroad, they were purposefully destroyed by labels to prevent resales. And these tapes influenced a generation of musicians in China.

Read more: https://radii.co/article/photo-of-the-day-dakou-generation

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  1. I used to work at a music store. We used to sell ‘cut outs’ in the discount bins. I was told they had notches made in them so that they couldn’t be sold at full price, and couldn’t be returned for full price either.

    Sometimes we would have the same tape or CD in the cutout bins and on the full price shelves for two very different prices.

    When cutouts wouldn’t sell at the discounted price, they would keep getting reduced until they were in the $1 bin. Can’t ever remember packing them up to send to China.

  2. That entire line up, I had all of them. ( technically the joy division tape was ‘unknown pleasures’) Add the cure , the smiths and Souxsie . I was told the punched tapes were promotional / radio station swag . punched so you couldn’t sell them or return to stores…or something like that. I’m so old.

  3. Some other sources on dakou tapes (cracked tapes/slashed tapes):

    * [The Lives of Dakou in China: From Waste to Nostalgia](https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03265554/document)
    * [Chinese reggae scene you didn’t know existed](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL21D5vLp9E&t=1s), a video about the Chinese reggae community in Yunnan, briefly mentioned how these cracked tapes inspired a whole generation of reggae musicians in the community.

  4. It’s kinda like all of the tshirts that are printed with whoever lost the Superbowl. (That’s right, NFL – I printed the word “Superbowl” without the express permission of the NFL. Get over it, or try to sue the blood out of THIS turnip) at least that “worthless merchandise” isn’t floating around in the ocean. I’m glad that people can have free shirts, and I’m sad that the markup is so extreme that this model even makes sense.

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