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Friday Fives: Record Stores Around The Globe

For the second addition to our new Friday Five’s feature we’ve decided to compile a list of five record stores from across the globe that each have something unique to offer…

In the aftermath of the musical carnival that was Record Store Day we’re still feeling inspired by the road-block attendance in London this year and the rate that this annual celebration continues to grow. With our recent guide to Record Store Day 2014 focussing very much on London, we wanted to use this week’s Friday Fives feature to profile some interesting record shops from across the world. Read on to find out about what it’s like to play vinyl in space, where you can get a bargain in NYC, stock up on Montana 94’s in Dublin and what to do if you have a spare afternoon in Cape Town or an entire week in Tokyo

Spacehall

Zossener Str. 33, 10961 Berlin

http://spacehall.de/

Spacehall (Berlin)

Existing for twenty-years, Spacehall is situated in Zossenerstrasse and boasts a unique collection of back-catalogued rarities and new releases. The enormous space and darkened aesthetic plays houses to a multitude of genres, from the expected and extensive Techno and House collection, to Jazz and Punk, Booty and Breakcore. Although intimidating to some, the atmosphere is intended to be a welcoming one, where customers are encouraged to dig and spend time with the music. Spacehall is discrete, yet established and respected. Blessed with a unique space and esteemed collection, Spacehall continues to thrive as one of Berlin’s most treasured and original record shops.

The Thing

1001 Manhattan Ave, Brookyln, NY 11222, United States

the thing new york

Ominously named, this diggers paradise is a bastion of tradition in its increasingly gentrified neighborhood. The masses of records available inside aren’t organised whatsoever, instead appearing in an unruly mess of dusty treasures that could take days to properly comb through. Whilst the selection on offer may veer towards the overwhelming in terms of size, you’d be loathe to argue with the prices, with every 12″ and LP costing just $2 (about £1.19). What The Thing may lack in social media presence or readily excepted 21st century frills, it more than makes up for in happy customers-with one online reviewer claiming the shop had ‘the largest ensemble of records’ he had ever come across.

All City

4 Crow St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

http://www.allcityrecordlabel.com/artists

all city

All City is a Dublin based record store and label set up around 2003. With a penchant for Hip Hop, bass and all things street these guys have long supported the city’s graffiti culture.

Stocking hundreds of graff products and a fine collection of vinyl rarities, these guys like to host pop-up shops from local artists and heavy in-store Dj sessions. Having put out over 70 releases on the label they’ve helped launch the careers of many prominent artists today such as Mike Slott and Hudson Mohawke. All City is a world-class underground stronghold and Dublin is lucky to have it. If you’re ever in town it should be your first point of call.

Mabu Records
2 Rheede St, Cape Town 8001, South Africa
mabu

Mabu Vinyl is a record shop located in Gardens, Cape Town, that was established in 2001 by Jacques Vosloo. Following a stint of self-discovery expedition around various parts of the world, Jacques returned to SA to work at his Father’s Kloofmart shop in the record section. After the business closed down Jacques took the leap and set up his own record store, the name influenced by his active participation in Kung Fu training.

If you’re shopping for music in Cape Town, this place is a must. The shop is dripping in nostalgia and carries a large selection of new and second hand items including LP records, 12” singles, 7” singles, 78’s, CD’s, DVD’s, cassette tapes, videos, books, T-shirts, comics, magazines, and even a selection of refurbished turntables and hi-fi’s.

As Jacques says about Mabu Vinyl “Over the years the store has become a creative hub, where we find creative people of Cape Town coming in to the store, browsing through records whilst striking up conversation with other creative people.

Tower Records
1-22-14 Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0041, Japan
Tower-Records-Japan

If you’re lucky enough to have been to Japan then perhaps this choice won’t appear as the off the beaten track as some of the others, although we can all at least be united in marveling at the sheer size of the bloody place. Part of the global Tower Records franchise, this was already the biggest record store in Japan prior to a refurb in 2012 that added an extra 5000ft to it. Nine stories tall, this store has been a local landmark since opening in 1995. 

With one floor dedicated to both Japanese and English books and magazines, and two more given to the Tower Records cafe and the basement- which hosts live performances, the other six floors cover music of every possible description. Broken down vaguely in terms of genre (Classical, Pop, Jazz, Soul and J-Pop), the music available here is an exhaustive mixture of back catalog and new releases.Very much a social hub as well as a record store, the heaving crowds that can often be found at Tower Records are heartwarming evidence that there are still strongholds in the fight to save music in its physical format.