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Record Shopping in Dublin

By Visit DublinDublin's Official Tourism SiteBIO
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If DJs are craftsmen, then vinyl is their tool. The worldwide upswing in record sales owes a debt to the ardent record shops who have kept their shelves stocked when the internet looked like it would all but kill off their business. Take a tour of Dublin's best record shops with Dublin DJ, Frank B...

Record Shopping in Dublin

While the annual Record Store Day is proving more and more popular, the adaptiveness of a handful of Irish record shops means they’ve became an integral part of the day-to-day life of the city. Whether releasing their own records as labels, hosting in-store gigs or just keeping their shops a viable place to kill two hours of time, these record shops are not just surviving, but thriving.
We asked Dublin-born DJ Frank B to cap off an excellent 2013, in which his sleeper hit Chain Of Fools racked up acclaim from sites like Pitchfork and big names like Jamie XX, with a tour of the city’s record shops (and €100 to spend in them). Here he tells us about the records he picked up, and how the city’s vinyl merchants have influenced his own sound.

All City Records

7 Crow Street, Temple Bar

I started buying records when I was 14, 15, and I started in All City. I was doing graffiti at the time as well, and All City doubles as a spray-paint shop. They let me hang around the place, and eventually I ended up working there for a bit. It used to be more hip-hop, soul, jazz compilations, but in the last few years I think they’ve been really on it with the newest house and underground stuff. Their label is the most respected label in Ireland. 

They get so many international artists coming through the label, which is impressive for being based in Dublin. Olan, the shop owner,  had Hudson Mohawke early, and that really helped the label’s reputation. From there on he got into the LA beat scene when there was only really Stones Throw Record, and Brainfeeder I guess. Then Warp Records signed Flying Lotus from that scene, and Olan picked up some of the other guys who ended up getting bigger in Europe. 

The first record I picked up in here today is from a local guy, Lumigraph. He did a remix of Chain Of Fools for me recently. He’s living over in New York now, and this EP was released on a New York label, Mister Saturday Night, who I hear throw some good parties. I picked up a Sun-Ra repress too. It’s some of his most famous tracks, like 'Space is the Place'. I’ll probably sample some of this stuff when I get back to the studio.

And this is the new All City compilation, I thought it’d be fitting to pick this up. It’s a mix of exclusives from people who have been released on the label before, but mostly people who haven’t. There’s some hip-hop, some house and some general electronic stuff on here, with pretty well-known guys like James Pants, Dorian Concept.

Record Shopping in Dublin
Record Shopping in Dublin

Elastic Witch

Twisted Pepper Building, 58 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1

Elastic Witch is great for local bands, electronic and guitar stuff. Gib, the owner, is a man of many talents. He drums for Girls Names too. He’s introduced me to 80s post-punk and new wave, he knows so much about it all. I’ll tell him to listen to New York house stuff, stuff like L.I.E.S. Records, and he’ll turn me on to someone like Black Marble. He’s the man to talk to in town if you’re into that kind of thing.
Today, I picked up the I Am The Cosmos album, I’ve been meaning to pick this up for ages. Gib released it himself through Elastic Witch Records, and it’s probably the best Irish release this year. I tried to pick records that were representative of the shops, and Monochrome is the perfect record for the shop to release, really dark synthy stuff.
I also picked up Gerry Read’s new one. Gerry’s a young guy from the UK making lo-fi house stuff. His previous album Jummy was excellent – this one is called You’ve Got No Goddamn Groove. It’s on Fourth Wave, which is a sub-label of Ramp.

The Record Spot

R.A.G.E, Fade Street, Dublin 1

R.A.G.E. is a retro games shop that opened where Road Records used to be. Road was the main shop in town for years; when it turned into R.A.G.E. they continued selling records too, and now they’ve just opened up a record shop in the basement. It’s really good for soul and jazz, classic albums that you might find it harder to pick up in good condition – Freebird Records, nearby, is great for that too.

I picked up a soundtrack for The Mack, this 70s blaxploitation film. I haven’t actually seen the film but I know the soundtrack really well. It’s actually got the dialogue from the film overlaying some of the songs. The track I Choose You, by Willie Hutch is well-known, it’s been sampled by Wu-Tang and UGK and loads of others, and Brother’s Gonna Work It Out is a classic New York disco jam, with a big three minute intro, really slow, and then it kicks in. The last record I picked up is Marvin Gaye’s best album, What’s Going On.
There was this really weird track playing in the shop when I went in, something I never would’ve stumbled across online. That’s the special thing about getting records in real life, the shops are still good for discovering completely new things, opening up your eyes. The shop owner gets to share their taste with you.

Record Shopping in Dublin