Recently got home from a few days in New York City where I had the opportunity to visit about 20 record shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Prior to the trip I had done my homework. I had listed 22 stores in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and when in the Big Apple I stumbled on a few more, for example the beautiful In Living Stereo in Greenwich Village.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to visit Queens and Breakdown Records and Stray Vintage & More, so I focused on Manhattan and Brooklyn, especially East Village/Lower East Side and Williamsburg.
And what a great city for a record collector. Probably the best city I have visited when it comes to hunting records. It is heaven, especially for collectors of soul, funk, hip-hop and disco. But the reggae bins were also nicely filled in several shops.
During my visit I bought no less than 30 albums and had to get myself a new bag to carry them back home. Among the best items were New Breed’s Tribulation, Teddy Brown’s Bad Man Wagon and In Crowd’s Natural Rock n’ Reggae. What struck me though when it came to reggae, was few rarities in the bins and not many 70s roots albums. Mainly 80s and 90s stuff.
If you have a few hours in New York City and nothing to do – which is often the case, I know – I suggest you head over to Deadly Dragon Sound in China Town, one of the best record stores I have ever visited, A-1 Records in East Village and Academy Record Annex in Brooklyn. It will be time well spent.
For a full list of all the record stores I visited check Reggaemani on Instagram.
You know there are myths about French people being rude? Well, that’s of course a stereotype and a misunderstanding, but when I was in Paris looking for records the other week I actually experienced it. For the second time. Both times it has happened in record shops.
The first time was two years ago when I visited the grumpy old man at Goodies Records. He asked me to leave, or rather threw me out, when I didn’t buy anything.
And three weeks ago it happened again. I wasn’t asked to leave though. This time it was the other way around, since I wasn’t allowed to pay for my records at Crocodisc until I had listened to five records suggested by the record store clerk. When I finally got to pay for Ras Michael’s Rastafari in Dub, The Skatalites’ Rolling Steady and Prince Jammy’s Computerised Dub he slammed each record down on the counter as some kind of statement. A very weird experience.
Luckily all other people I met in record stores, or at other places, were not ruder than in any other country. The owner of Heartbeat Vinyl was extremely helpful and friendly, so was the people at Betinos, Superfly Records, Music Avenue, Le Silence de la Rue and Patate, the latter probably being the most well-known reggae record store in France.
For a full list of all the record stores I visited check Reggaemani on Instagram. For a very comprehensive list of record stores in Paris you can check this thread on Discogs.