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Almost Mainstream: Class of ’03 Mixtape Volume One

Posted on 5 September 2013

Almost Mainstream Class of '03 Mixtape Cover


A few months ago I decided to start making mixtapes again. The rules were they would have to be limited in time (just like physical tapes), the tracklists would be set (no shuffling), and there would be no narration. Doing this digitally, I cheat a bit by mixing the songs together more than was possible on cassettes, but other than that I want to recreate the form and experience the classic cassette mixtapes I used to make in high school.

And appropriately, that’s what this mixtape is about. I have been out of high school for ten years now, so decided to take a trip down memory lane exploring music of the time. These are not my favourite songs of the era (though I do like them all, quite a bit), and they aren’t the most popular (though they were popular). Instead, these are songs that I think exemplify the type of music being made and heard from 1998 through 2003. It’s kind of a weird time for music– the big things of the nineties were just ending, but the garage rock and uber-producer pop and hip-hop that would define the next decade weren’t quite underway, either.

You can stream the mixtape below or on Mixcloud and download it as an mp3 or ogg file.


I’ve  optimistically subtitled this “Volume One” because in the lead-up to making this I rediscovered many, many songs that could easily fill out a whole new mixtape, and maybe will, one day. In the meantime if you’re looking for more nostalgia (or history?) you can see what I was working with in this massive Rdio playlist.


If you like this, you can check out my other mixtapes here, and find my campus radio show at

Filed under: music

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