Cassettes making a comback at Minneapolis record store

The store is a Minneapolis hub for all sorts of analog music.

- As its name suggests, Dead Media Records is as old school as it gets, with vintage vinyl and books.
But within the walls of this Seward neighborhood record store, cassettes are making a comeback.

"It’s great. It’s a physical thing just like vinyl. It’s the same idea of a record. It makes you listen to the whole thing," co-owner Colin Wilkinson said. 

The store, which is run by volunteers, is a community resource for analog music aficionados. But, the local tape section is responsible for the majority of the store's sales

Local artists use them to record new music, while major labels have re-issued classic albums and back catalogues on tape because it’s a cheaper and a quicker alternative to vinyl.

"It’s very direct. A lot of bands are making it themselves. Selling it themselves. A lot of stuff we get comes directly from them. Not a huge degree of separation," co-owner Walker Neudorff said. 

Cassettes were first introduced in the early 60s but had their heyday in the 80s until cds and iPods drowned them out.

With thousands of cassettes, a mix tape exchange and even blank tapes for sale, Dead Media is helping a new generation of fans disillusioned with digital music give the format new life.

"There's a warmth to vinyl and cassettes are slightly less quality but in a way that is endearing and helps you appreciate the music in a different way," Neudorff said.

Even though the trend is relatively new, fans aren't ready to press rewind just yet.

"It’s a great format. People give it crap all the time. But it’s not going to stop. It never stopped. It just kind of went away and now it’s coming back," Wilkinson said.

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