Our beloved London certainly deserves to be on the list of the best cities to go shopping for vinyls. Even though most of the people turn to ordering their music online, nothing can beat the feeling of going to a shop for some crate digging and being able to find some unknown and rare sounds. There are dozens of record shops spread across the capital covering every genre you can imagine, but we are going to focus on the best electronic music stores.
Location: 51 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7LZ
Founded back in 2003, Phonica Records quickly established itself as the go to store for electronic music. The shop on Poland street stocks plenty of house, techno and various other sub-genres in between.
The store has 8 listening stations which you can use to be more informed of your selections. Most of the new releases have a write up accompanying it that is about a paragraph or so, consisting of a description of the artist and music that might give you a better idea of what the album is about. Phonica are also known for their infamous in-store events, from open decks nights to artists like Ellen Allien, Bicep, Roman Flügel, Daniel Avery for their new album launches. It's not a tourist spot, but it is a place to browse and people-watch and snoop.
Rough Trade East
Location: The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL
Rough Trade is a group of independent record shops in the UK and the US. The first Rough Trade shop was opened back in 1976 in Ladbroke Grove. Now they have 5 stores: Rough Trade East (London), Rough Trade West (London), Bristol, Nottingham and NYC.
Rough Trade East, is located in the former Truman's Brewery in a courtyard off Brick Lane and puts on free music gigs on a high-spec stage, allowing for an audience of 200. The shop sells some chart titles, music from bands without distribution deals and a quarter of the merchandise is vinyl. Every item, vinyl and CD, has a written description to encourage browsing and discovery. What is more, their electronic music catalog is pretty impressive! The shop has a fair trade Café and a 'snug' area with iMacs, sofas and desks. This shop is particularly great if you have time to spend while purchasing items and also want to grab a drink, network and meet like minded people and see your favourite artists in a small and intimate gigs.
Location: 44 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XJ
One of the capital’s best looking record shops, Kristina is nestled in the heart of Dalston and serves a more experimental fare than most other spots. Great selection of genres - centred around House & Techno but reaching much further into the leftfield. This record store has a great cataloging system, the minimally clustered shelves and refined racks allow you to pin point exactly what sound and style of music you’re after. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable and are always happy to get you to discover something new and share their passion.
Location: The CLF Art Cafe, 133 Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST
Rye Wax is located in the basement of Bussey Building, devoted to media in its physical form: vinyls, comics, prints, books, magazines and more. Enter the store through a small door that’s almost hidden in an alley and you will descent to a basement where you are welcomed by a bar, cafe that shares the space with the record store. The store has a great selection of all stripes and shares of new and second hand electronic music. Very relaxed atmosphere in the day and evening with a regularly hosted djs or live music. Always an eclectic mix of music being played, which adds to the independent spirit. One of the best records shops to spend vinylaxing!