The Metal Punk Tape Exchange or MPTX is a mixtape-trading community that thrives on social networks, created in 2019 by Luc & Max, two survivors of the late 20th Century Metal/Punk cassette wars. More than 10 rounds of exchanges have already taken place and about 400 tapes have been sent all over the continent.
How do I sign up for this thing?
Easy. All it takes is one written comment below any of our posts on Instagram, Facebook or MeWe and we’ll send you a message right away. Just make sure before you sign in that your tape deck is working and set up properly to record sound from any audio source on a cassette tape.
I live in America, can I sign in?
Unfortunately due to high postage rates, this trade is open to European countries only. Write @megametalmixtapeexchange to join the North American trade.
Are post-Brexit UK members still welcome?
Yes. By Europe, we mean a rather extended geographical zone. Non-EU residents are welcome to join the trade. If you do not want to send outside the EU, just let us know beforehand but please be aware that it might restrict the odds of finding the best match for you.
What about COVID-19 restrictions and sanitary laws?
Like everything else, 2020 was a rough year for post offices and mail-based exchanges... but we're happy to report that only a small handful of packages got lost or took forever to reach their recipients. Let's hope 2021 will be better in that respect. Getting a tracking number for your parcel is always better than sending it unregistered, but it's entirely up to you.
What happens next?
You must make a mixtape! Any way you want! Start working on it as soon as you sign in. Don’t worry about bands or genres (of course, as long as you stick to Metal or Punk and their million offshoots you can always stick in a few oddities; it’s a freeflowing exercise, everything’s possible -- but please, don’t make a 90-minute best of Fleetwood Mac tape).
My mixtape is done, what should I do now?
Take a few good pictures of it (track list must be legible), as a kind of “proof of existence” and send them to us via DM or PM if you’re using Facebook. We will then send you a small survey to help us determine your tastes and set you up with someone.
How will I know who I’m sending it to then?
Once you’ve 1) finished your tape, 2) sent us pictures of it, 3) answered the small questionnaire, we will write you back with someone’s name and address. You must send your tape to this person right away.
Will I receive a tape from the same person?
No, you will receive a surprise mixtape from someone else. That’s the beauty of it: the Metal Punk Tape Exchange works as a chain, like the chain mails of yore if you’re old enough to remember those. One person sends to another who sends to another one until the last person of the chain completes the circle by sending to the first person on the list.
How do I know when the round of mixtape exchange actually begins?
Each round will now last 30 days. As soon as we open registrations, there will be a 10-day period when everyone can volunteer to sign up… and start working on their tapes right away. Then we will close registrations and allow everyone 20 days to finish and send their tapes.
OK, one month time is more than enough-- think I’ll sit on it for a while before I turn the tape recorder on…
Please, don’t wait until the last minute to finish your tape. It happens all the time: a trickle of mixtapes at the beginning and a massive rush once we hit deadline. We try to repost your pictures as soon as we get them but more often than not, we’re swamped in a deluge of last minute additions. Also, with the new rules, you won't know who you're sending it to until you finish your tape!
Are all musical genres/styles allowed?
Well, technically, yes. But as we said, let's keep it Metal and/or Punk. There are enough subgenres already to make everyone happy. Oh, also, no nazi crap please. Black Metal and Oi! is all fine and dandy but let's avoid NSBM or any kind or racist nonsense. We’ve already pissed a few people off with that specific rule but we’re very keen on steering clear of the grey zone. To put it simply: any bands openly advocating hate towards any ethnic group should not appear on your tape. The world’s already a miserable place as it is, no need for further aggravation.
I hate Metal-Punk-Reggae-(insert genre here), how do I know I won’t get a tape full of music I don’t like?
That’s where the small questionnaire (and pictures of your own tape) will come in handy. We - the organizers - get to know you better and we most always hook everyone up with persons who share similar musical interests.
I’m broke and can’t send to another country but would like to participate nonetheless...
This should not be a problem. Just let us know in advance when you sign in and we’ll set you up with someone from your country to save up on S&H.
I see all those people sending shitloads of gifts and guitar pedals and the keys to their houses along with their tapes, do I have to do that as well?
No. This is primarily a mixtape exchange ring: send one tape, get one tape. Of course, gifts are always nice and we strongly encourage being creative in your packaging but feel free to do your own thing, as long as actual cassettes are involved somehow. The rest is entirely up to you.
I only have a 60-minute tape. Is that ok?
Yes, all lengths, all types of tapes are good. Just maybe make sure it still plays if you’re using dead stock.
How do I go about making my tape?
Well this is a highly personal question. Some people will stuff their tapes with plenty of rare tracks and obscure bands. Others will only put time-honed songs by well established bands. Some will try to think of a theme or a gimmick for their compilation, others will record random tracks and fill their tapes with the stuff they’re listening to at the moment. There are no rules in this department. Follow your instincts to make a good mix!
But I’m no expert! My tape is going to suck!
No! Not at all! We have so many profiles doing this every month, die-hards with decades of punk knowledge to absolute beginners/newcomers to the scene… everyone is welcome as long as they put their heart into it. And if you’re still not sure: one side Discharge, one side Slayer and everyone will be happy, hahah.
Do I have to proprint my j-card? I suck at photoshop!
Many people print their tapes but it’s not a mandatory thing. Some of us don’t have access to a printer or just want to keep it truly old school. Why not draw your own then? We love seeing hand drawn art as much as fancy graphics… once again, you do your own thing. Everything’s accepted as long as you put your heart into it.
OK, I made my tape but it’s way past deadline now. What should I do if I’m late?
Just let us know before so we can warn the person you’re sending to. Do not contact her/him directly, let us do that and keep your identity a surprise until the very last minute. You may be sending to a complete stranger or someone you know well, but try not to spoil it no matter what! It’s 80% part of the fun!
I haven’t received anything! What’s next?
Just wait on it a little more. We usually know when people are late so chances are you’ve been warned… but on the other hand, post offices sometimes work in mysterious ways… Rip offs are few and far between and they’re immediately added to our black list. But if nothing comes two weeks after deadline, write us and we’ll figure something out. Hopefully with the new set of rules things will be a lot smoother now!