There’s no shortage of record stores in London, and each has its own uniqueness.
If you enjoy digging through Techno, House, Disco, Minimal and that sort of music then let me recommend to you 5 record stores in London that won’t disappoint.
Getting there: Soho, Oxford/Piccadilly Circus stations W1F 7LZ
Recommended for: House, Deep House and Techno heads.
Phonica is one of my dearest record stores in London, it truly stands up to its reputation. The staff have great music taste, I recommend that you grab 5 records from the crates, get a turntable by the wall of new releases (you may have to queue) and then let the guys know what you like and ask them to recommend you music, you’ll be surprised.
Follow their Facebook page and be in the know of their legendary in-store parties, they are simply AWESOME. I’ve seen Richie Hawtin, Four-tet, Tim Sweeney and others there.
By the way, it’s BYOB so remember to hit the off-license by the corner.
Their online store is also quite good, in my opinion, the best one of the stores I mentioned in this article Phonicarecords.com
Getting there: Hoxton station, E2 8JD
Recommended for: NuDisco, Disco and house lovers.
If you are mostly into Disco and House Love Vinyl should be on your must-visit list.
The vibe here is definitely more old school, you can feel all those years of experience oozing out of the crates and walls. That’s what makes this place so damn special, the music here has a very distinctive flavour, it reminds me a lot of the 90s in my hometown.
Enter with an open mind and leave with a bag full of house, and disco goodness.
Rough trade East
Getting there: Shoreditch high street Station, E1 6QL
Recommended for: Everyone
Probably one of the best-known record stores in London, it has two branches one in the hipster district Brick Lane and the other in the Portobello market.
I prefer the one in Brick Lane as it seems to have more of the music that I like. However, Rough Trade has a massive selection of music, doesn’t matter what you are into you’ll find good music here, rock, reggae, techno, trance, house, you name it and you’ll find it.
Also bonus points for their section with drum machines, samplers, and other awesome gadgets that you can demo.
Getting there: Hackney. 94 Well St, London E9 6QT
Recommended for: Techno and Tech-House head
Kristina is a lovely shop, it’s small and classy and has a unique minimalist-hipster vibe. But don’t be misled by its simple storefront, it packs a whole load of great music.
I’m not sure why but for some strange reason I usually end up buying Techno and Tech-house records whenever I visit, I’ve also found a few NuDisco vinyls in here.
There’s rarely any queue to listen to get a turntable to listen to your records and the staff is very friendly. Pay attention to what these guys play over the store speakers as well, I’ve ended up finding some gems that way.
Check out Kristina’s Record online store as well, it could be a better website but if you are patient you can pre-listen to most of their stock in it.
Getting there: Peckham Rye station, SE15 4ST
Recommended for: Techno heads
Located in the heart of Peckham, the route to Rye Wax is quite scenic; keep an eye out for street art, and don’t miss out on a good photo op.
You enter the store through a small door that’s almost hidden in an alley. You’ll descend to a basement, where you are welcomed by a pub that shares space with the record store. You could say that record stores don’t get any more underground than this.
One of my favourite features about Rye Wax is that the vinyl is already inside the sleeves in the crates, you can pick up what you want to listen to and go straight to one of the two turntables.
Sadly due to the pandemic, Rye Wax is still temporarily closed, however, they might re-opened any time soon so keep an eye on the website and socials. In the meantime, along with The Arts Council England, they have the Rye Wax Youth Music Programme which is a series of workshops, mentoring and masterclasses, they also have a radio show called Noods Radio.
Sounds of Universe
Getting there: Tottenham Road Court Station – 7 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DA
Recommended for: Everyone
Sounds of Universe is another well-known record store in London, not only for its prime location but because it stocks many different music genres. If you want to find really good second-hand records, then this is the place to go! You really will be surprised by the number of gems of Techno, House, Disco and Trance music you can find here.
They also stock many new types of Electronic Music; from Electro, Drum and Base, House, Techno, Disco and many more.
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