Sunday, September 17, 2006
As everything is on MP3 these days and all the great independent record shops, especially in London, are slowly closing down I started thinking about my favourites around the world..
Rock and soul, New York, USA.
A veritable heaven for Hip Hop, ragga and funk. This windowless cavern out the back of a second hand electronics shop in midtown Manhatten can furnish the any dj with a passing interest in Hip Hop. Myself and Dave from Punks jump up made way too many visits to this shop a few years ago and left with armfuls of rare ragga-hip hop that we could hardly carry on our return flight. The moody service here is a pure NY experience. Its run by some woman that used to run Sugarhill records or something. She screams at all the shoppers not ot open the records while the brash gum chewing Puerto Rican girls on the check out take your money swiftly. On my first visit legendary NY ragga DJ, Bobby Konders was in there with his new Massive B mixtape.
Rough Trade, Covent garden, London.
Often overshadowed by its Portobello sister, the basement of Slam city skates has provided me with some awesome finds over the years from dancehall seven inches to obscure electro to US indie. They are always at the forefront of music in London and sell stuff that no one else does. You can also marvel at the incredible selection of bands that a have signed their ceiling from Nirvana to Bikini kill. It breathes punk rock.
Mercado Negro, la Paz, Bolivia.
The enormous black market in Bolivia's capital slips down the Andean moutain slope and spills into the city like a chaotic, colurful landslide. The numerous bootleg cd ( no vinyl ) stalls are ridiculously cheap and they will play you anything to check that there is actually music on the cds. For a Third world country I was amazed how advanced they were in their titles. They had all the newest shit. For the price of about £5 you could get about 30cds from the latest Mars Volta to live Wu Tang bootlegs. They also sold an enormous amount of metal for some reason.
Doolittle skivor, Lund , Sweden.
The cold dark winters of Sweden can get a little depressing so where better than to while away the hours in this little backstreet store that houses a great selection of Hip Hop, rock , reggae and soul. The owners know their shit and they got an award for being the best shop in southern Sweden. Sadly I think it might have closed. A tradegy. It was Scandinavia's Rough Trade.
Turntable lab. NY & LA, US.
Never been to the stores but if they are anything like their online shop, they have an impecable selection of global Hip Hop. They get Baltimore, french electro-noise, baile funk and hypie stuff way before everyone else. Cleverly they also sell apple stuff, the freshest DJ equipment and clothes, books, DVD and anything else you want. I wish there was one in London. Then again I wouldn't have any money. Their blog is wicked as well.
Dub Vendor, Clapham & ladbroke grove, London.
Arguably the best reggae stores in London stocking the hottest wine material from JA. They also do great dancehall DVDs and hip hop 12s. I used to go to the Ladbroke grove shop and listen to them playing 30 secs of every new bashment riddim continuously for an hour, while building a satisfying little pile of gems on the counter.
Rythm Division, Bow, London..
Grime's heart and soul. A few years back I found this legendary shop at the end of my mate's road. You can get obscure Dizzee instrumentals, the lastest Wiley white labels, pile driving Youngsta productions and the hottest, rudest white labels in grime. The only record shop I have felt scared for my life.