The demise of the iconic Tower Records retail chain in 2006 was in many ways the final nail in the coffin of the 20th century music business model, but as vinyl sales unexpectedly revived over the past decade, the company relaunched in 2020 as an online retailer. Since then, there have been many rumblings about of some kind of bricks-and-mortar Tower relaunch — there was a vaguely defined space on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, and rumors, stickers and posters have been seen around New York for many months.
On Wednesday, it made sense: The company has unveiled Tower Labs, a new creative space in Brooklyn, New York. Located on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Tower Labs “is designed to engage and stimulate music fans with a range of offerings including live music events, album listening parties, and a new speakeasy style ‘vinyl drop’ window for limited edition music and merchandise releases,” according to the announcement.
It will also relaunch its long-running in-house magazine, Pulse, in April. The new Pulse will be digital, consisting of filmed interviews, performances, podcasts and events at Tower Labs.
The first events at Tower Labs include a performance and meet-and-greet with singer/songwriter Caroline Rose (March 24) and a fan-focused event with R&B/pop star Lolo Zouaï surrounding her sold-out New York show on April 27.
“With the relaunch of Tower Records, our goal has been to bring fans a new music discovery experience while preserving the brand’s legacy and storied past,” says Danny Zeijdel, president of Tower Records. “The opening of Tower Labs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn marks a new era as the neighborhood has become a music and cultural hub. Our new space will not be a traditional retail store, rather a hybrid center for performances, pop-ups, listening parties, and content creation. Fundamentally, the intention here is to develop a blueprint for future Tower Records locations.”