The resurgence of vinyl seems unstoppable. In 2016, sales of records hit a 25-year high, and in December vinyl sales overtook digital for the first time. With more and more people buying vinyl, we’ve decided to round up some of the best record shops in Berlin, just in time for Record Store Day on the 22nd of April.
All in all, Dodo Beach have around 30,000 records for sale. In the main part of the shop, there is a superb selection of new records, everything from jazz to ambient noise and drone. Step through into the back room and you’ll find a huge assortment of second-hand vinyl, again covering a wide range of genres. If you’re into stuff like hard rock and metal this could be the place for you, as they also have a basement dedicated to everything heavy.
Not far from Dodo Beach is our black sheep of the vinyl bunch — Schönebag. And no, the name isn’t some clever vinyl-based pun, they actually are a bag shop. In fact, if it weren’t for the random crate of €2 records sitting outside you’d probably never think to go hunting for vinyl here. Squeeze past the racks of t-shirts and bags and you’ll find a room in the back, though, which has around twenty boxes of reasonably priced vinyl, everything from blues to hardcore.
When it comes to new vinyl, Spacehall is probably the best-known record shop in Berlin. Put simply, this place is massive, which is just as well as they have a huge collection for sale. It’s split into three sections, each of which could be a record shop in its own right. Firstly, at the front, you have a room dedicated to things like jazz, hip-hop and blues. The long room in the middle of the shop is where you’ll find all the rock, pop, electronica and such. And finally, in the back room, you have music for the Berghain crowd, such as house, techno and minimal.
Bis Auf’s Messer
Probably the best record shop if you’re into heavier stuff; Bis Auf’s Messer has a modest selection of around 5000 records, mainly covering genres such as punk, hardcore, stoner and sludge (which you’re guaranteed to hear as soon as you step through the door). They do have a few crates covering more niche genres, though, such as modern classical, ambient and fingerpicking guitar. The owners are really friendly too, and also run their own hardcore/metal/doom label — Vendetta Records.
There isn’t anything particularly mind-blowing about O-Ton, but it makes our list as a great all-rounder with a decent selection of various styles (including nice sections for ambient/EDM and Eastern European jazz). Everything is second-hand here, so you can expect reasonable prices. However, if you’re running low on cash and need to get a cheap vinyl fix, check out their other record shop — A&V Records — where everything is priced at either €5 for LPs and €8 for double LPs.
Platten Pedro is one of the most well-known record shops in Berlin and has a collection of more than 100,000 records covering every style of music imaginable (even marching band). The owner is known to give great recommendations and is somewhat eccentric. The opening hours, for example, are 10:07-16:53 on weekdays and 10:00-13:84 on Saturday; although these are different depending on what language you read the homepage in. He’s been running this shop for fifty years, and from its humble beginnings as a shop specialising in shellac records, it has now grown to encompass the most extensive range of vinyl in the city.
Words by Mark Wiltshire and James Fancourt. Photos by James Fancourt.