Record Store Day is upon us. A day to spend some time appreciating -and buying - some great records from some great stores.
Rounding out our series we've got some tips from supreme record collectors DJ Kaos, Monseuir L'Agent's Alexis Le-Tan and our very own Beni, and Glen from Modular A&R.
Berlin's a treasure trove for the vinyl connoisseur, at least it was until DJ Kaos drank the cities deep record wells dry. As well as releasing loads of dependable dancefloor cuts over the last 10 or so years on labels like K7!, Compost, Rong, DFA and his own Jolly Jams, Kaos is also one of the cities best DJ's and a vinyl ambassador to the end. Here's his pick.
My favourite shop is A1 Records in New York. They have a great selection of Soul, Disco, House and obscure tunes at good prices, and very nice staff. Ask for Jeremy, he knows shit .. and is really helpful. I've found a lot great tunes there.
GLEN GOETZE, MODULAR
B-Side, Paris. Maybe not the best store in Paris but it's 5 minutes walk from my house, the owner is super chill and there's always high energy disco pumping regardless of whether there's anyone inside. You can't ask for much more in a local.
B-Side specialises in disco, soul, funk and hip hop, and if you ask nicely he'll let you pump whatever you want over the system for as long as you need before you decide to buy. You can find him at Les Puces each weekend too, just follow the funk.
To be honest, and I'm sure I'm going to sound arrogant and ignorant and cute but...my favorite record experience definitely has to be when my first 12" was released.
The track was 'The Acid Never Lies' as Riot In Belgium, the project I did with Joel Dickson aka Nike Delta.
It was released on Headman's label Relish in Berlin. I remember arguing with him about the artwork for months, not really understanding where I actually sat in the situation. He could have dropped it in a second and I'd still be running behind a garbage truck. But receiving the record in the post and realizing he was right and the artwork was perfect? It felt better than good.
The ever first tour I did in Japan I went to Bonjour Records, and amongst all my favorite records there it was, in between them all on the shelf.
ALEXIS LE-TAN, MONSIEUR L'AGENT
Alexis Le-Tan is the Parisian digger behind some next level mixes for Permanent Vacation, Noise In My Head, Ill-Studio and Test Pressing amongst others, as well as the man behind the excellent Monsieur L'Agent creative agency. He doesn't get a whole lot of time to dig these days so is an online advocate, but when he does get out on the pavement he believes it's not where you go, but who you go with...
Having been to so many record shops definitely makes it a hard task when you have to pick your favourite one. The fact that so many of them have closed down over the past ten years also underlines the point that unfortunately a lot of the best ones are no longer here.
Bearing this in mind, my immediate answer which probably also defies the whole point of this exercise would be to say www.discogs.com. At least you are sure that in a few clicks you can instantly find most of the records from your wantlist!
Having said that, nothing beats the rush of getting out there and going for a good dig, so what is it about an actual record shop that makes it so special?
First of all, if digging is something which like me (in my old age) you only do occasionally; the feeling of butterflies in your belly when you enter that door and start getting your hands dirty, hoping that your holy grail is only a few records away, is definitely not the kind of kick you will get behind your screen. The smell of vinyl and dust, sometimes mould, body odour or cold tobacco is another factor which can remind you that you are in a human environment where many people have passed before you. Winding up grumpy shop attendants and bringing their prices down in seconds with the right arguments is also another factor which can make these trips exciting, much more so than getting into futile arguments on nerdy forums...
Last but not least, my favourite thing about these excursions are the people who you go on them with. Nothing can beat these bonding moments where you share information and find records for your fellow diggers, especially when you know they will return the favour. So, if I have to answer the question "what is my favourite record store?", I would tend to say it's not the store or what's inside that counts, it's who you go with!