After moving twice, and one big summer tidy-up, I’ve finally got round to unpacking an enormous box of cassettes… I’ve even managed to throw a few out, on the grounds that they had been: a) broken; b) bought for 20p and so awful that that wouldn’t even have been a bargain if I’d intended to record over them; or c) replaced on CD. Obviously a long trip down memory lane was also in order, and some of the tapes still sound remarkably fresh despite their long confinement; others, however, definitely musty. Still sounding like a shiny new future was Omni Trio’s Volume One, which conveniently allows me to link to both ILM and Blissblog. (Yeah yeah, the usual suspects.) This was, if not quite a life-changing album, certainly one with a massive impact, and I can still remember buying it in the Virgin Megastore in the Wellgate Centre in Dundee — and being genuinely surprised that this had made it north of the border, drum and bass being but a minority interest in Scotland back then, restricted to a handful of Edinburgh University’s Londoners, as I was later to discover. What I can’t recall is whether it was Omni Trio or the first Boymerang 12″ that Simon Reynolds described as ‘instantly outdating St Etienne’s sampladelia’ in a Wire year-end round-up? I bought both on (I would imagine) his recommendation, so could have been either. To prove that this was a horizon-opening moment, as well as to deny any hint of indie-guilt, I’m happy to admit that one of the other tapes which still sounded great was an old copy of Ichabod and I by the Boo Radleys! One of my favourite mix-tapes was also near the top of the pile — Cajual Relief on Ministry of Sound (1995) and reminded me how much I’ve lost track of what’s happening in house music since then. So a sense of discovery mingled with a sense of regret that I don’t have the time or energy to chase down hot tips, or turn up the second-hand bargains which kept my student self’s desire for new music satisfied (DI Go Pop on vinyl for 20p being my favourite boast).