London’s best record shops
With the vinyl revival ongoing, we explore our favourite London record shops…
If you ask anyone in the music industry and they’ll tell you vinyl is back and back in a big way.
The statistics supporting the vinyl revival are clear. The physical format accounted for one in every 10 physical music sale over the past four months, according to the annual BPI report: a 26.8 per cent increase year on year.
With sales of vinyl records at their highest level since 1991, business is booming. So with Record Store Day also taking place and championing the physical format, we thought it a good time to explore our favourite places to snap up a vinyl release. Check out our favourites below…
If you’re into dance music of any description, then it’s likely you’re well acquainted with the brilliant Phonica. Located in the heart of Soho, this emporium is dedicated to all those things that (electronically) go bump in the night. With many of those working behind the counter also brilliant DJs, there’s a wealth of dance music knowledge expertise here. Check their monthly podcast too for great insight and their website for regular evening events…
51 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7LZ.
Honest Jon’s is one of London’s most legendary record buying institutions. Set up in 1974, it was previously a butchers so during the early days records were displayed on marble slabs that had once been used for chopping up meat.
But the rare cuts it since deals in are meaty in a different guise – from jazz to rare reggae via experimental 12 inches, the shop is something of a mecca for music heads across the capital.
278 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TE
Sounds of the Universe
Entering Sounds of the Universe is like stepping into an alternative dimension where the only things that matter are bass, bass and more bass.
Featuring a huge array of vinyl and expertise, this shop is also a the hub for the brilliant Soul Jazz label where the team dust off classic reggae, dub and disco sounds for the next generation of ears to get there musical teeth into.
Check out their extensive catalogue of releases that spans the musical gauntlet from proto-dubstep to vogue heavy disco and house.
7 Broadwick St, Soho, London W1F 0DA.
Rough Trade East
While the original Rough Trade was set up in West London, the empire now expands to Shoreditch as well as various branches set up everywhere from NYC to Nottingham.
The outlet just off Brick Lane is everything that a modern record shop should be. With a huge array of records going from acid skiffle to classic country and more, it features a great selection of books, amazing live events and even a coffee shop so you can enjoy a brew while rifling through the racks. Perfection!
Dray Walk, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
Flashback Records is a North London institution having offered music lovers a wide-ranging selection of records since its inception in 1997. While London has changed around it, Flashback has grown too updating its stock and lay out but always with a focus on quality sounds.
With their stock including a huge amount of great indie releases alongside dub, reggae and dancier sounds, you'll also be able to visit Flashback branches in Crouch End and Shoreditch too.
50 Essex Rd, London N1 8LR
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