Lost Berlin: Vinyl Finds

Rhythmic house and techno beats reverberate out from record stores all over this city, renowned for its colourful music scene. In times when digital music is supposedly taking over, Berlin has vinyl stores springing up like plain-clothed ticket inspectors. Techno and house are the main specialities, but you need not travel far to find records […]

Rhythmic house and techno beats reverberate out from record stores all over this city, renowned for its colourful music scene. In times when digital music is supposedly taking over, Berlin has vinyl stores springing up like plain-clothed ticket inspectors. Techno and house are the main specialities, but you need not travel far to find records from whichever genre, country or label that gets your feet tapping. Tucked away down an alley and up three flights of stairs is Hard Wax. This store is run by techno and house production duo Basic Channel. Electronic dance gems are spun on the record players in the back, in a standard try-before-you-buy scenario. This is the place to find rarities from labels such as Tempa, Madhouse and Atlantic, for an average of around €15.

If house is not your style, VOPO Records brings together metal, rock and garage all under one extensively-decorated ceiling. Crossbones on bunting are strung from corner to corner and punk posters are plastered above. Get your hands on records such as AC/DC’s Lock Up Your Daughters for €15, or The Rolling Stones’ Black and Blue for €14,50. For a more homely feel, visit POP’s intimate interior and comfy, well-worn armchairs. Singles can be uncovered here for a €2 to €4 steal. This store does have a small hard punk section, but grooves from the 60’s and 70’s are the majority find. Unearth bargains such as Johnny Cash at San Quentin for €10. Fridays see the spot play host to (tiny) gigs and readings.

OYE Records is proudly decorated with signed LPs from artists that have played there, including British electro artist Scuba. House is the main genre on offer, but you can also explore the realms of Nu Latin, Afro Funk and Jazz. Or head to the back room for your Neo Disco. Some modern tunes can be found, such as Nick Mulvey’s First Mind at a reasonable €19,50.

For a large collection and a chic interior, check out Space Hall. This shop fills three large rooms. A photo of a green forest covers the wall of one, giving the illusion of being in the midst of nature, exploring new things in the safety of a peaceful sanctuary. Albums such as Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City can be found for only €14, and Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence can be taken home for €25. Get your hands on the classics too, with albums such as Blondie’s Parrallel Lines available for €20. If you buy too much to fit into your suitcase—and in a place like this, it is a worry—the store will ship your purchases home for you.

“In times when digital music is supposedly taking over, Berlin has vinyl stores springing up like plain-clothed ticket inspectors.”

Team Curso/CTR Berlin
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Katherine McKenzie

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