London is a city that has been at the forefront of musical advancements since The Beetles took the world by storm in the ’60s and this trend hasn’t slowed one bit since.
There will always be a indelible link between the venues, artists, and promoters that break new and exciting music and the tireless vendors that introduce it to the public.
Read on for our guide on where to bag some of the best records in London.
A very comprehensive record store both in-person and online Vinyl Pimp also offers reselling facilities and regularly receives whole record collections to sell. The fact that DJ’s and collectors entrust their life’s work to Vinyl Pimp speaks volumes about the quality of their services. As you might expect the second hand and brand new records that are on offer at Vinyl Pimp are amongst the best in London.
Facebook | Website | 14 Felstead St, London
Having been in operation since 2011 in its various locations Kristina Records has built up a solid reputation in the vinyl community as a haven for digging. Ricardo De Meneses of Deep Challenger confirms this, “The first thing I picked up on was the warm vibe of the shop, all of the staff that I have met over the years there have always been very nice and never pressure you into buying records. They also have a great selection of new and used records across genres and are also supportive of the local music scene too by way of their in-store events.”
Facebook | Website | Discogs |194 Well Street, London
Phonica Records is one of the most instantly recognizable names in the world of record stores and rightly so. Speaking with Ewan Smith of vinyl-only label Nuances De Nuit and Bloop Radio insist there Phonica Records is his go-to store, “You can’t go wrong with Phonica, I’ve been going here for the last 10 years ago and for me it’s still one of my favourite records shops in London. Knowledgeable staff, plenty of listening stations and a great selection of house and techno. I always find what I’m looking for in there.” If you can’t get to the store in person there is other options, “If like me you do a lot of your record shopping online it’s also worth checking out their website as it’s super easy to navigate.”
Facebook | Website | 51 Poland Street, London
With the label of the same name being founded by Britpop legend Damon Albarn of Blur, the store in Ladbroke Grove actually pre-dates the record label. Another firm favourite of the local house and techno jocks in London and coming highly recommended by those looking for the right track for their next hot set. Also, offering a huge selection of music via their website it is in their store that the Honest Jons magic happens.
Facebook | Website | Coal Drops Yard, 115 Lower Stable Street, London
Rough Trade Records
Probably one of the most longstanding record stores in London in its original incarnation Rough Trade has been open since 1976. Perhaps better known for their rock and punk roots RT are no slouches when it comes to house and techno. The sheer amount of music and merchandise on display here is dizzying but if you have the time to dig we can guarantee you will find what you are looking for.
Facebook | Website | Rough Trade Records, 66 Golborne Rd, London
Offering a different take on the classic record store formula, this creative hub is a mix of bar / café / event space and of course vinyl cornucopia. Part of The CLF Art Café, Rye Wax is played host to best in under the radar artists since opening its doors in 2014 and will continue to do so for as long as they can. Rye Wax stocks a great selection of house, techno and electro and are more than capable of transforming your record collection in a single visit.
Facebook | Website | 133 Rye Lane, London
Having previously featured Jessi Vincent’s Wax Material during our deep dive article back in June, the mobile record store is still going strong and recently pitched up at Rotational Speed a few weeks ago as well as Hide and Seek Festival, Come Bye Festival and Bloop Radio. Jessi and her partner’s musical knowledge is well documented in minimal and micro circles and this is reflected in the small but perfectly formed store offerings. To keep on top of where to find their black van keep a trained eye on their Facebook profile.
Facebook | Discogs |Various Locations, London
Having been going since 1988, Palace Vinyl’s impressive stock of house and techno has been keeping collectors and heads happy for decades. A firm favorite of Toby Nicholas from Hamish and Toby and he stands by this store being one his go-to spots for tracking down some serious hot wax. As well as their physical store Palace Vinyl also has a great selection of house, techno and minimal on their Discogs account.
Facebook | Discogs | 1 Victory Place Westow Street, London
Having been a great addition to the London vinyl store scene since opening in 2017, Nicholas Petrou of Into The Woods London cites it as one of the best spots in town for finding unique house and techno, “Lobster Records is a lovely little compact space in East London, it’s very local to me, with a small but very broad range of stuff in there. Lobster Theremin, the diverse label behind the shop has been a favorite of mine for some time so seeing them open a store where they can engage with customers who are fans of the label really stands out to me as somewhere I want to shop for music or merchandise. Also, I think it may just have one of the best record store names in London.”
Facebook | Website | 5 Sidworth Street, London
Brand new to London, Hidden Sounds is a community-based store that offers a location for like-minded people to come hang out and of course grab some of the best vinyl in town. Having just had their mammoth opening weekend where they featured 30 DJ’s playing over the course of the weekend you can expect more instore events at Hidden Sounds.
Facebook | Discogs | 144 Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London
The Lion & Lamb Record Store
Having played host to some of London’s best intimate parties since opening its doors the venture between a group of very established promoters, artists and DJs has now reached the next phase of their project. Speaking with A-Bril, Goosebumps he gives us the lowdown on why it’s so good, “The Lion and Lamb record shop opened a few months ago and since then the collection has grown to be filled with goodies from local artists and over 3000 records in-house all are kept very well organised.” He continues, “The concept is great, on any off day you can go grab a drink and a bite to eat with some friends, whilst digging for some great music. If you happen to stay past 6-7pm you will be treated to some live music usually from local selectors but also from many wonderful artists from abroad.” It sounds like a great one-stop-shop to me.
Facebook | 46 Fanshaw St, London