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Under a Mixtape (also mix tape or mixed tape written) or Mixkassette means a self-produced compilation of songs (mostly copyrighted pop and / or rock music was taken and other sources) that in a certain order on a Compact Cassette ( Audio cassette). It is generally intended to be used for personal use, as a soundtrack for social events, or as a gift . Recent developments of new technologies also allow the creation and distribution of such compositions in the form of a compact disc (CD) or MP3 - Playlist . This article generally uses the term mixtape for this.

Mixtapes usually reflect the musical tastes of the creator. You can range from a casually selected list of favorite songs, through a conceptual mix of theme and mood-related pieces of music, to highly personal statements tailored to the recipient of the cassette.

Many mixtape enthusiasts are convinced that by carefully selecting and determining the order of the pieces within a compilation, an artistic statement can be created that can be more meaningful than the sum of the individual songs.


The first mixtapes were probably created soon after the compact cassette was introduced by Philips at the Berlin radio exhibition in 1963. Before that, a tape recorder was usually required to record a compilation made according to personal selection . The advent of the CrO 2 recording tape, which made it possible to record in good quality, made the audio cassette attractive for music recording as well.

As compact cassettes and cassette recorders became popular and even became portable, the technical hurdles for recording mixtapes also fell. After all, all that was needed was a cassette recorder, a handful of audio cassettes that every supermarket had at an affordable price, and the music to be recorded, for example from a record or from the radio - most cassette recorders already had a built-in radio receiver at that time. The spread of mixtapes accelerated due to the new possibilities of music consumption offered by car radios with cassette parts and, from the late 1970s, the Walkman .

During the 1980s, mixtapes were an omnipresent element of youth culture , especially among male adolescents. Mixtapes were put together either as gifts for girlfriends or as a compilation of personal favorite hits broadcast on the radio. The individual pieces were placed in the correct order on the belt by using the winding and pause functions. In addition to the compilation of the songs, the lettering on the cassette cover was an important design element.

Since the music industry feared declines in sales that could threaten its existence, it launched the Home Taping Is Killing Music campaign in the early 1980s .

In addition to these mixtapes recorded for a single person or for a private occasion, “party tapes” were also widespread, on which performances by DJs were recorded and which were sold to the public. In the USA, artists such as Afrika Bambaataa , Grandmaster Flash and DJ Hollywood sold their club recordings in this way in the 1970s . For a corresponding price, recordings made personally for the buyer were also available.

Only the better availability of CD burners and MP3 players , as well as the disappearance of audio cassette players from cars and households, have led to a decline in the popularity of the “classic” compact cassette as a medium for mix tapes. Mix CDs and MP3 playlists have since largely supplanted the cassette. The purely physical creation of a mix on these media now takes minutes, while the selection and compilation can still take hours. The new technologies revived mix swap clubs that exchange mix CDs by post.


In the hip-hop scene, the term mixtape refers to a compilation of DJs. Usually the goal is to make unknown artists known or to distribute new songs by established artists. Some DJs also like to use themes here to build their mix on, e.g. B. Beefs or freestyles , as well as music from known tracks that are being rapped over. The songs are often alienated, cross- faded with samples or changed by additional noises. It is also possible to change the speed, remixes or so-called mashups .

CDs are also referred to here as tapes . These compilations are sometimes marketed commercially, but also given away. In addition, mixtapes appear to be a bigger market in the US . The purpose of these mixtapes is often to give a foretaste of a comeback or an upcoming album and to test the chances of success.


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