The Great Mix Tape Exchange

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Do you remember sprawling out on the floor of your living room–carefully synchronizing a pair of cassette spools–and hobbling the gems of your tape collection together to make the perfect 60-minute playlist? Maybe you were sharing bootleg punk recordings with a neighbor, or putting together a sexy collection of your favorite Prince songs for the girl you’re crushing on. No matter the jams, there’s something nostalgic and intimate about making a mix for another person. Which is exactly the idea behind a community-driven mix tape exchange in Minneapolis, Minn.

“There are so many tape enthusiasts in town,” said Lisa Luck, co-owner of Minneapolis’ Yeti Records and founder of the mix tape exchange. “I feel like there’s a tape resurgence going on right now.”

Here’s how it works: step one, make a killer mix tape; step two, bring your tape into the record store; step three, take home an equally killer mix tape made by a perfect stranger. According to Luck, Yeti has already received about 50 or 60 mix tape submissions and she doesn’t see the exchange ending any time soon. (One of her favorite submissions came from the owner of Minneapolis label Moon Glyph, which even came with its own digital-download code.)

Minneapolis is spoiled to have a cool mix tape exchange, but the takeaway is much broader. A mix tape exchange starts with just one person sitting in front of their boom box–so go compile that sci-fi-themed disco-megamix you’ve always wanted to make. Then, pair up with a local record store and spread the word. Before long you’ll be sharing tunes with other music enthusiasts and analog-o-philes.

Check out some of the creative, oddball, eclectic mixes submitted to Yeti at the Mix Tape Exchange blog.

Images courtesy of Yeti Records.

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