Leeds has a deep rooted and well known relationship with electronic music and with that has come a long-term love for vinyl culture. With such a rich history, past and present and yet to come Leeds is home to some of the UK’s finest clubs, resident DJ’s and raves. One outlet dedicated to the local Leeds community is The Imaginarium, and having started out life in Kirkstall, they have now moved into the city centre. Not wishing to lose any of its original charm or focus on the things that matter most to the scene they combine vinyl and plants to great effect.
The Imaginarium has been reimagined into a compact but perfectly formed 120 capacity creative space that welcomes acoustic musicians the same way as they do the world of house and techno. Founded as a Community Interest Company (CIC) the event side of the outfit has been a warm and cosy home to local crews such as The Off Licensing and Subterranea.
When the finely tuned boutique dance space is not playing host to a packed-out rave there is the serious business of vinyl on the agenda. Their vinyl offering is curated by a crack team of industry professionals that includes Subterranea promoter Rory Flynn, Matt Long (Audial), Alex Kelsall, Plant & Deck owner Phil Warner, as well as founding members Roya Brehl and PR specialist and Catch Recordings label head Rob Chadwick. The afore mentioned Plant & Deck will set the tone for a digging session, a quick coffee or an in depth chat about last weekend’s top musical moments from around the city.
Another cornerstone of the UK music scene is Manchester, and their newest addition The Haunted Dancehall will be providing a carefully curated selection of minimal’s full spectrum. Coming from the mind of Etienne Groh and form his experience with the mighty French collective Yoyaku he now delivers a slice of Paris to The North. Like most things worth finding, The Haunted Dancehall can be found in the creative central Pollard Street East area. Sitting atop an iron staircase behind a bright yellow door lies the laser guided collection of pre-loved records that specialises in 90’s and 00’s gems as well as brand new bombs and those all-important reissues.
Having just opened, the Wellington House record store is in good company within the buzzing vicinity as it also houses radio stations, rehearsal studios and art galleries. One look around their website and it will be clear that this will become a haven for Manchester’s minimal heads as well as visiting diggers from out of town. While the name of the store is derived from the iconic Sabres of Paradise album of the same name this is a brand-new chapter in Manchester’s vinyl culture.