Cassette Tape Revival

Rewind! Over the past few years, you’ve probably noticed a huge resurgence in retro music formats. Vinyl has seen 260% growth since 2009, according to Forbes magazine. These days, I constantly see teens in addition to adults digging through the vinyl crates in the record store I work in. What may have started as a Instagram-motivated fad has now adapted into a full fledged vinyl revolution, encouraging young audiophiles to re-embrace the physical side of music during this age of Spotify and Apple music.

In addition to vinyl, cassette tapes have recently made a comeback. Mainstream artists like Khalid, Lana Del Ray, Arcade Fire, and The 1975 are releasing their latest albums on vinyl, CD, and now, cassette. Urban Outfitters has started selling clear, portable cassette tape players. (Gotta admit–they’re pretty cool. Here’s a tip, though: you can get something similar at Goodwill or a thrift shop for way cheaper.) “Check out my mixtape” isn’t just a silly phrase anymore–kids are actually making tapes again. (Okay, maybe it’s still a silly phrase.)

According to The Verge, “Helping the cassette boom are a few factors. For one, the official soundtrack for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is still going strong, despite its 2014 release. The soundtrack, featured heavily in the movie as the personal mixtape of Chris Pratt’s character Peter Quill, sold 4,000 cassettes last year.”

FullSizeRenderIf you want to get in on the trend, you can find cassette tapes at pretty much any local record store. If you’re looking to get creative and make your own, all you need is a CD collection, tape recorder, blank cassette tapes (you can get them at Fred Meyer) and Google images. I made some pretty quirky personalized mixtapes for my friends (see right and above)–they work great as birthday presents or just random lil surprises to show you care.

It’s pretty rad how retro is constantly becoming  the new cool. What’s next, the return of 8-tracks and floppy disks? I’m all for it!

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Concert Preview: Beat Connection

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Beat Connection, a four-piece group originally formed by college friends Reed Juenger and Jordan Koplowitz, began in their garage. Garageband to be exact. After compiling songs and testing out various DJing styles, Reed and Jordan self-released their debut EP Surf Noir in 2010.

The band has evolved over the years in more ways than one–and not just in their musical style. Originally an indie-electronic duo (composed of solely Jordan and Reed) based in Seattle, Jordan eventually left the band and was replaced by drummer Jarred Katz, singer Tom Eddy, and bass player Mark Hunter.

picSince the success of their debut EP, they’ve released two more records: The Palace Garden in 2012, and Product 3 in August 2015. In addition, they’ve opened for bands such as Rhye and Years & Years all over the U.S. With a retro-electric sound similar to bands such as Glass Animals, Alt J and Tame Impala, Beat Connection are a guaranteed to be a concert crowd pleaser on their ongoing Northwest Fall 2016 Tour.

polaroidAn impressive amount of synthesizers and keyboards cover the stage during their live shows, and lead singer Tom Eddy’s gruff, engaging vocals have no problem captivating the crowd. Beat Connection does just what their band name suggests–connects and engages the crowd with a variety of unique beats and harmonies. A few personal favorites of mine are “Hesitation,” “For the Record,” and “So Good.” If you’re into bands like Flume, Grouplove, or any of the bands mentioned above, you’ll fall in love with Beat Connection.

(Photos by Megumi Arai, Conner Lyons, and Beat Connection’s Instagram.)

Follow the band’s tour here!

Wanna see them in Portland? Get tickets to their show at the Doug Fir Lounge here. ($12, 21+ show)

Listen to the band’s latest record on Spotify here.

Follow Beat Connection on Twitter here.

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