What’s a good way of measuring the hipness of a city? By the number of record shops, of course! Helsinki just happens to have a whole bunch of great shops for all music lovers and vinyl collectors. You dig?
I have a many friends and even family in the music business. Some of them are professional musicians, some work in small record shops, some create record covers for a living or design music festival posters etc. Whenever they feel like bonding with the like-minded, they head out to the recordshops. It’s always an adventure!
Here are my recommendations, which are all about atmosphere, passion for music and great selections:
Credit: Fuzz N’ Us performing at Digelius Music – Sigurdur Rognvaldsson
Digelius shop can be considered a legend, everyone knows it. It has served music lovers with jazz, world etc. for decades. There is always a very peaceful feeling in the shop, with no rock ’n’ roll attitudes whatsoever.
Black and White Records
Black and White is the one to go to, if you only have time for one. With 40 000+ sales articles of new and used vinyls and cds, covering all styles of music. B&W is even starting to have a bit of an international reputation, because tourists pop in, stop at the door and say: ”WOW!” Apparently, people keep finding stuff they have been searching for years.
Specialities x 5
Most of the smaller shops cater for very specific musical tastes. Hippie Shake Records is all about classic rock. Fuga, located inside Helsinki Music Hall, is for classical music. Goofin Records specializes in 50’s and 60’s rockabilly. Stupido Market Kallio is a continuation of their own record label, Stupido records. Tanner, a really nice new restaurant, has its own little shop for mostly electronic dance music.
Back to basics
In addition to the special ones, there are several shops that qualify as generic, old-school record stores: Levykauppa Äx is a nation wide chain with two stores in Helsinki. Keltainen jäänsärkijä (translates as ”Yellow Ice breaker”, don’t ask me why!) is practically located next to Tavastia, Helsinki’s oldest rock club. Music Hunter also sells all kinds of (cheesy) music memorabilia. Rolling records has a store near Sörnäinen metro station.
Luckily, Black and White, Hippie Shake, Stupido and Äx are all practically within shouting distance from each other in Hakaniemi, which also has many bars, cafes and restaurants. Just to be sure all the vinyl freaks are well fed and properly hydrated while they hunt…