Thursday, August 09, 2007

Berlin Record Stores

Hair wax bottles at Core-Tex; photo by Val Phoenix
Core-Tex; photo by Val Phoenix
In my quest for certain hard-to-find indie records on Berlin-based labels, I embarked on an odyssey around the city, taking me from Friedrichshain to Mitte and up to Prenzlauer Berg. I discovered that Berlin indie record stores tend to be small and of minimalist decor, with none of the flyers and milling scenesters I tend to associate with London record shops. More´s the pity.

I also found that what they advertise on the net is not necessarily what is in-store. As I was looking for CDs by post-punk bands, I bypassed shops only selling vinyl. Ironically, it might have been easier to buy vinyl even for modern bands and most shops had turntables set up to preview.

In the end, I found Dense in Prenzl´berg (Oderberger str. 34) had a good selection, which was catalogued on computer, and available in both vinyl and on CD but it was pricey, at 16 to 17 euros per CD. The stock covered several forms of dance and alternative music and was classed by artist and local label, making it easy to search for other acts on the same label.

Other shops visited included:

Saturn, huge chain shop in Alexanderplatz; stocks mostly current releases

Neurotitan, Rosenthaler str. 39, 2nd hof, first floor; hard to find; overpriced and arty with not a very good selection

Rotation Records, Weinbergsweg 3; good stock of dance vinyl, plus an assortment of shirts

Das Drehmoment, Lychener str. 23; an entire section for Skinny Puppy; interesting architectural feature--a bust of Lenin

Vopo, Danziger str. 31; Deutscher hip-hop, hard rock and band T-shirts

Core-Tex, Oranienstr. 3; big selection of hardcore, oi and modern punk, plus Dr Martens shoes, hair wax (pictured above) and band T-shirts; quite macho

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