I visited New York last week for the first time in 3 years and was lucky enough to spend some time in the newly-opened Brooklyn record store The Mixtape Shop. Whilst I was there, we hosted a Discogs meet-up where I was able to meet some users, play some records and talk to our community. I chatted to Erica and Bryan, the owners the newest Brooklyn record store about opening their shop and the vinyl scene.
If you live in New York or are visiting, make sure you pop down to the shop in Bed-Stuy, check out their selection of records and grab a coffee.
The Mixtape Shop
Was there a reason you chose a storefront in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn?
We weren’t exactly looking for a storefront in Bed-Stuy. We live in the neighborhood, sort of stumbled across the space and decided to roll the dice. Bed-Stuy lost a lot with the closing of Israel’s shop recently and Dope Jams closing in 2013. Dope Jams was one of the few shops in Brooklyn selling new house and techno releases, so for us, Bed-Stuy took a big hit a few years ago.
What inspired you to call your record store The Mixtape Shop?
We started as an online music community in 2009 called The Mixtape Club for sharing and discovering music (which is still running). The online shop we started last year is an extension of The Mixtape Club and the physical shop just opened in July.
Why did you decide it was important to transition from an online-only retailer to a brick and mortar store?
A brick and mortar store was something we had been thinking about over the last few years. The online shop was sort of a bridge to opening our physical space. There are pros and cons with all the different buying changes, however there’s a certain experience buying records in a shop that can’t be replicated online. The ability to have an conversation with people in the shop is a big one for us.
Does your store specialise in a particular genre or style?
Most of our records are dance music (i.e. house, techno, disco) but we also carry records that inspired the birth of these genres (i.e.: soul, funk, jazz) as well as original pressings from Brazil as we have history there.
What is the Brooklyn record store scene like at the moment?
There are record stores of all kinds all throughout in Brooklyn. Lots of older, used records of all genres. Many of those records were released around NYC so there are tons of finds around, even at the unofficial stores on random corners or in abandoned houses.
Have you a noticed a difference in what’s popular in online purchases vs. what’s purchased in store?
Online shopping customers tend to know what they want and are often after our newest titles, while in-store shopping is much more spontaneous.
Will you be holding any in-store events?
Certainly. We kept the space fairly open and mobile to host all kinds of events; live DJs and music performances as well as events around art and food which are also part of our brand. Our first live DJs were last weekend and the day after the Discogs Meetup we’re having a day of all Brazilian music.