I kinda forgot about this thread... oops
When I originally posted this thread, I was very intrigued by the sound of a lot of Ariel's older recordings. I still am, but ultimately Ariel's songs were geniusly crafted, and I think the mixes only add a certain charm to them. They don't actually "make" the songs. Btw, since posting I've come to the conclusion that using an old tape in a multitrack gives you a murkier sound (kind of a no brainer haha). I have a box of old TDK blanks from the 70s and 80s. This is something I've done recently with my 8 track. Drums were done with an MPC recorded by hand at a slow speed, then sped up to the original pitch position.
https://soundcloud.com/wolvesinwisconsi ... he-hilltop
I think the whole DBX on during recording, off during playback really helps create that weird vibe (did that for the drums and the last bit of guitar that comes in midway). Also I've found abruptly cutting off tracks helps add to the aesthetic. So like, if the reverb trails off, instead of having that naturally fade, just hit the record button on that track and punch in something else over that. So in a nutshell, just use a bad tape and punch in crudely.
And in response to the whole computer + cassette thing, I think cassette tape helps add a certain texture to sounds. It colors the sound in a unique way. I've recorded songs on the computer before where I then stemmed out each individual track to cassette, then painstakingly brought them back in on the timeline just because I wanted everything to sound fuzzy and punchy (I thank Bibio for that tip). Either way, it just comes down to having fun.