empty sleeve

a blog about record shops

Rainbow 45, Istanbul

The guy at this store is so nice! He has been collecting and dealing for years and has many stories of his travels he’s willing to share over a complimentary tea.

I have fond memories of lying back on the steps in the store (that lead up to a small cafe), in awe of Baris Manco’s Sözüm Meclisten Dışarı LP as its next level jams tore through the killer sound system. A nice souvenir to take home and for a nice price and good condition – both rare features of Baris Manco records in Istanbul where the guy is a real legend.

Rainbow 45, Moda caddesi zuhal sokak 3/a Kadikoy Istanbul, Turkey

Vintage Records, Istanbul

This one was tricky to find (though my internal compass is always off!) Apologies for the dud photos but I didn’t have my camera the first time I visited and when I came back, it was closed. At least we can show what the front looked like…

Nice set up in here. Well ordered, heaps of 7″s. Got that feeling where I knew there was hot stuff but I didn’t know how to locate it. There’s no actual listening station, just a booth set up behind the jump, a nice one actually. The guy asked if he could assist and I told him the things I was looking for.

He was happy to help and put records on while I kept looking. He was also more than happy to answer my questions about stuff. Limited English when it came to conversing but he let the music do the talking! Vintage Records is well worth a visit.

Vintage Records, Dr. Esat Isık Cd. 20 Kadikoy Istanbul, Turkey

Plakçi Hamit, Istanbul

Unfortunately the address for this shop is drawing blanks when I Google it. I stumbled upon this place so I didn’t have an address to reference in the first place. It’s near the other  record stores in Kadikoy so you could probably ask the staff for directions.

This shop really had everything. Killer stuff and all the classics. Only thing is, they knew what they had and a lot of the records were around $100. The store guys push stuff on you a bit and it’s like “oh nice, thanks but that’s a $200 record”. That said, I got a couple of nice ones for good prices and they have a lot of 7″s to go through. A really good store to go to if you know your Turkish stuff.

Plaçki Hamit, 45-33 Tas Plak, Kadikoy, Istanbul. (maybe)

Deform, Istanbul

I was super excited to be in Istanbul and have two days to dig. Record shopping is a great way to explore Istanbul (or anywhere) as the stores are in interesting areas. I usually get lost, but this is a good thing. I caught the taxi ferry across to Beyo?lu (the Asia side of Istanbul) which in itself is a stunning trip on the Bosphorous and the trip back in the afternoon sun is also a very memorable experience. Print or draw out a map of how to get there, you’ll need this as it’s a bit of a walk from the port.

The dollar bins out the front weren’t bad. Inside they have a good mix. Some interesting world music, nice jazz mix including cool stuff from Poland. Solid Afro selections also. The store was a good size, quiet and cool – which was a welcome rest from the hot Turkish sun outside.

I felt comfortable to go through everything and the listening station was A-plus! As for Turkish stuff, of course there was a good turn-out but not like the other stores I visited. Not a bad thing though, it’s interesting to see what sort of stuff from around the world made it to (and stayed in) Istanbul.

Deform is in a great street – after your visit to the store, take a break at the cafe next door. Super nice.

Deform Records, Turnac?ba?? Caddesi,  45 Beyo?lu Istanbul, Turkey

Vinyl Kitchen, Ghent

Vinyl Kitchen is a great shop! Heaps of cool stuff. A real mix of everything. Listening booths are a good set-up: like you’re at an internet cafe. Nice to rest your legs in. Owner was very friendly, relaxed in-store vibe.

Heaps of jazz, interesting world section. Great disco section! Found a killer Brazilian record here that I was surprised to find and the guy in the store even said that he had never seen it before. Vinyl Kitchen is highly Recommended.

Vinyl Kitchen, Lange Violettestraat 160, Ghent, Belgium.

Tune Up, Antwerp

Wow, cool store. They really care. Nice old wooden crates, spacious upstairs loft style. Big on their jazz and rock. Once you’re done flicking, why not take a seat and enjoy an espresso while the resident turtle blows you some bubbles, if you listen carefully I think he’d have plenty of stories to tell about the history of jazz!

Tune Up Records, Melkmarkt 17, Boven IMS, 2000,  Antwerp, Belgium

Record Collector, Antwerp

I read the reviews of this place on Record Junkie  before I made the trip and quite frankly I was put off! Having had the negative experience of being kicked out of a record store in Berlin, diggers comments about this place sounded all to familiar. I didn’t even bother writing down the address but came across it by accident and my curiosity got the better of me so I thought I’d give it a go.

I was nervous from the outset, felt like the store guys were watching me! There was just such an overwhelming amount of vinyl in there, more than I’d ever seen in one spot. I didn’t know where to start. The other thing that made it difficult was that it was so tightly packed, you really had to get stuck in. One guy there asked if he could help me and I thought, this is it, he’s going to kick me out -  but he showed me to the section I was after.

I pulled out some good stuff over the hour I was there. Prices were decent. Eventually my arms got so sore I couldn’t lift them to hold rows of records back as a lot of good stuff was on the upper shelves, so I listened to some of my selections through the store speakers. This is always a little bit awkward I find, but the store guys were interested in my choices, even asking what some were. I don’t blame them, with all the stock in the store they can’t remember everything.

There were some real hard core collectors in there at the time. Flicking super fast, talking mumbo, holding scrunched lists of records. It was a cool place! Don’t be put off. You gotta check it out.

Record Collector, Lange Koepoortstraat 105 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Boeken en CD Markt de Kaft, Ghent

I’m pretty sure I have the address right… if you catch the train from Mechelen  – which you would pass coming from Brussels I believe – get out of the station and follow the main road that has the tram line on it going into the main city square. It’s a bit of a nonsensical set up of a city in that the main station is almost 30 mins walk out of the CBD or tourist centre.

Anyway, I chose to walk so I could get to know the streets better. This paid off too because I came across this bookstore that sold records (bookshops often seem to be where you find the best records in Belgium). Picked up a rare Afro number and some cosmic 7″s for 1 euro each. Definitely worth popping into.

Make sure you continue up the street and into the main township. It’s really beautiful. Grab a waffle and just sit on the canal and take it all in. Marvellous!

Boeken En CD Markt de Kaft, Kortrijksesteenweg, Gent, België

Librairie Boulinier, Paris

Second hand book stores are where you can really strike gold! There is so much stock coming in constantly as Parisians come off the streets with pre-loved items they hope to get a few euro for. Stuff is priced cheap so they can keep stock flowing in and out again. Really worth a good dig in here.

They have a real mix and the French made so much killer stuff across the board through the 70s and 80s you’re bound to find something interesting. No listening station but with 7″s for €1 I just took a risk with a few that looked interesting. If you’re in Paris for even a week you should pop in to this bustling place a couple of times. Good luck!

Note: A few shops down there is a clothing/art/books boutique. If you go in-store you will see there is a stairwell down to a record shop underground. I forgot to take photos here but you gotta check this place out. Some sweet stuff here, solid LP’s and cosmic 7″s for 50 cents!

Librairie Boulinier 20 Boulevard Saint-Michel 75006 Paris, France

Crocodisc, Paris

Just up the hill from Boulinier, this place has been around since 1978! Imagine the records that have come through in that time…

Heaps and heaps of stock. A buzzing place. Music playing loud. I got the impression that there are guys in there assigned to different genres, as there were about four staff members  busy helping people in each section of the shop. Heaps of Afro and alike from the French islands. 100,000 records over the two stores but you should head straight to the one on the right. This has all the disco, funk, soul, afro, world stuff. Got some nice 7″s here too.

Next door is rock and Kraut heavy. Great selections. Crocodisc is a must visit store while you are in Paris!

Crocodisc 42 Rue des Écoles 75005 Paris, France