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Filed under: Art
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The Making of Via del Latte

Packaging was one of the unique selling points of Trumpett Tapes. The Trumpett marketing department realized from the beginning that just a cassette in a plastic box was not enough to draw the attention of potential buyers in a music shop, even if it was a shop specialized in cassettes only. We have put a lot of effort in design, strange packages and all kind of extras.

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The first cassette of Doxa Sinistra was arguably the highlight in the Trumpett packaging history, a cassette packed in a milk carton. Via del Latte means Milky Way, but because a large Milky Way chocolate bar wraparound was too expensive we settled for the idea of a milk carton. But how did we manage to get a cassette in there?

We started off writing letters to packaging companies specialized in milk cartons. Amongst them was Elopak, an international company with a Dutch office in Terneuzen and a plant nearby Roosendaal. As you can see from the letter projected on the screen
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it took some effort to get in contact, but in June 1982 we were invited to come to the local milk factory of Heiloo, the Melco (later called Horna, and then taken over by Campina. The factory is closed now) where an account manager of Elopak picked up two of our employees to drive them all the way to Roosendaal.

There we got our first disappointment, the half litre cartons in which we had planned to pack the cassettes were a no go. Because of the enormous heat that is necessary to seal the milk cartons, the cassettes would surely melt down and stick to the inside of the carton forever.The plant was crowded by some of the ugliest specimen of the blue collar working class who were very curious about our appearance. Specially for us, they stopped one of the conveyor belts and made it ready for packaging the cassettes. About 150 pieces were carefully put in an open carton and then sealed by a heating device. We also got about 100 flat milk cartons for self-packaging purposes (I wonder if anyone ever managed to get these sealed at home).

The second disappointment was that the account manager didn’t bring our employees back to Heiloo, but dropped them off at the train station of Dordrecht. There they stood, with a lot of huge boxes full of 1 litre milk cartons, just at peak hour in the Randstad. It was a train trip through hell dragging those boxes in and out of trains through crowds of commuters that wanted to go home as fast as possible. A wonder that they reached Heiloo without any harm.

We later sent a copy of Via Del Latte in a milk carton to Elopak and on July 14 1982 we have received a letter from Mr. Dijkstra, the marketing manager of Elopak The Netherlands. He was delighted that his company had been able to help us with the original concept of putting a cassette in a Pure-Pak carton. They didn’t want to see any money and hoped that the release was not only a musical success but also a commercial one.

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The 150 milk cartons were indeed sold out in a couple of weeks and after that buyers got a cassette with only a flat carton until these items were also out of stock. Kubus Kassettes from Leiden did a reissue on cassette some years later (also from other Trumpett cassettes). Via de Latte is nowadays available on CD-R and on LP through Enfant Terrible.