Don't let the music stop
Don't let the music stop
- By Dechen Tan
- | Feb 13, 2019
Analog music may be a dying industry, but we’ll be damned if we don't admit that the flicking of fingertips through crates of alphabetically-arranged LPs isn't an irreplaceable experience. It’s like browsing a jukebox, but the preview echoes in your head in hummed memory, instead of as static blarings through a stereo. The album art too, is a lost artform best appreciated in its full glory on thick paper sleeves. If you're a vinyl romantic like us, check out these record stores that have managed to withstand the test of time.
You have your international superhits (think The Beatles, Pink Floyd, AC/DC), then you have the more obscure rockers, independent, local or regional (like Check out After the Sky and Paris in The Making). Canopus Distro goes above and beyond with their extensive collection of the best of both worlds. As a bonus for gig enthusiasts, the store looks and feels like a merch stand at a show. Cop some band merch and a couple of vinyls if you find yourself at this Jalan Sultan stalwart. #04-16 Textile Centre, 200 Jalan Sultan
This may be one place that strikes a chord with many on a more emotional level. If you've been one of those who came here to browse or pick out records when growing up, your life unfolding to the soundtracks of The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Norah Jones and Bob Marley, you'll know what the whole vinyl experience is truly about, with each tick and pop as the track fades being filled with memories and emotions your subconscious can't disassociate with. #01-39 Burlington Square, 175 Bencoolen St.
With a shopkeeper as badass as Khaal, who is also the vocalist and guitarist of local black metal band Balberith, you know that Ravage Records isn’t your everyday feel-good throwback dealer. We’re talking shelves of distorted guitars, double-footed blast beats and guttural growls. Metalheads, you know where to go. #02-41 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Rd.
Come for the well-furnished crevice of organised record crates, stay for the impressive array of '80s nostalgia. If the synthetic textures of the '80s' New Wave bands is your thing, drop by RetroCrates for your fix of Duran Duran, Blondie and Roxy Music. While record stores are generally small, RetroCrates’ basement location binds you to the record you’re clutching in your hands with the cosiest, most personal vibe. It’s just you and your LP, baby. 448A Joo Chiat Rd.
The first step to a vinyl collection is acquiring a decent record player. Retrophonic Records has all that you need to kickstart your vinyl addiction, including equipment. While the music collection is more mixed than it is curated, this Chinatown record store is your one-stop-shop to spinning your life away. 53A Duxton Rd.
In the community of ardent phonograph record collectors, there is something known as rarity when scouring for albums. The rarity grading depends on several factors, such as pressings and if what they carry are limited editions. And at Vinylicious, their Vinyl Vault is probably why they've become one of Singapore’s most esteemed record stores. The vault is an entire room dedicated to ultra-rare releases and collectibles that will easily induce a squeal from any analog music enthusiast. You just might find yourself an original pressing of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. #B1-41 The Adelphi, 1 Coleman St .
Founded by Cherilyn Tan, Vinyl Kakis is one of the fresher record stores on this list. It's run by Tan’s family, truly putting the “kakis” in Vinyl Kakis. Here, no musical choice is discriminated, so feel free to pick out Jackie Chan’s The Young Master with zero judgement. #B1-28 Excelsior Shopping Centre, 5 Coleman St.
Hot on the heels of other multi-concept lifestyle stores, White Label Records joins the Ann Siang House complex with fresh perspective and a dedication to vinyl. Started by the founders of social e-commerce company #vinyloftheday, the cozy space is the brand’s first brick-and-mortar venture—an integrated record store, performance space and bar. 28 Ann Siang Rd.
No matter your views, there is no denying that Mandopop is a titan in the local music scene. Sift through the racks here and you might just discover a Mandopop gold mine, with classics from the likes of Teresa Teng, Tsai Chin, Fei Yu QIng and Wang Jie to add to your collection. Bedok Shopping Complex, 292 Bedok Rd.