Pearsall's Tunes

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

A (Brief) Guide To UK Online Record Stores

For years I've had a hopeless vinyl buying habit. Vinyl is a bit of an inexplicable choice these days, considering the quantum leaps made in recent years in the technology of cd decks. Cd's are a lot smaller and easier to carry, you can burn them off yourself, and in general they are just more convenient than vinyl. However, vinyl is just so, so, well...nice. There might be more exciting feelings then getting a package through the mail, ripping it open, and pulling out some fresh twelves, but I'm not sure what they would be. Anyways, here's a cursory guide to buying music off the net (there are just so many sites that to list them all would be nearly impossible). The sites I've listed are pretty much all British, as that's generally where I get my records from. Does anyone know any decent American online record stores that have a decent selection of techno and are pretty reliable (I've found that sites like Satellite Records and Sonic Groove tend to have lots of stuff listed that is actually out of stock).

General dance music:

Chemical Records - An excellently broad selection of tunes, covering pretty much all the different bases of dance music. Particularly strong in terms of their drum n' bass and breakbeat selection, but also quite good for hard dance and techno. Very efficient with quick turn-around times. Highly, highly recommended as they are one of the best.

Juno - The broadest of all the dance suppliers, they have a lot of literally everything. Sometimes they don't get in things that more specialist niche suppliers get, but generally they are an excellent resource. Very fast turn-around - there were times when I was still living in Britain that I would place an order at three in the afternoon and have the records the next morning! Very highly recommended.

Old stuff:

DJ Needs - Excellent trawler site, with all kinds of rare tunes. Not the cheapest site because Keith (the guy who runs it) really knows what he's doing, but I've found a lot of stuff there that I've spent years looking for. Especially strong on the harder, more obscure side of early-mid 90's European acid/trance/techno.

Replay Records - Another excellent site. Quite a general selection of tunes, but always worth a look if you are looking for something. Less non-UK stuff than DJ Needs, but quite good for UK dance releases.

Gemm - Not a single record store, but a clearing-house site for many shops all over the world. An excellent resource for finding old tunes. Can be quite expensive, and many of the shops tend to be unreliable. Make sure that what you want is actually in stock before you order, but if you buy with your eyes open you'll be good. - Always worth a look.

Banging stuff:

Banging Tunes - Excellent selection of hard house, hard trance, acid techno, and techno. I've been using their forum for the last four and a half years. Very good.

Tune Inn - Best selection of techno, bar none, in the UK.

Nu Energy - The home of the Nu Energy collective. Probably the best place to buy hardcore.

IMO Records - Another good shop for hardcore.

Vicious Circle and EUK Records - The online homes of Vicious Circle Recordings and Energy UK Recordings. They both run shops that are excellent for upfront hard house and nu-nrg and the more banging end of the techno spectrum. I'm not so into that sound any more, but very very good at what they do.

MP3 shops:

Trackitdown - Excellent resource, covering all the bases from techno to breaks to house to drum n' bass to hard dance. Old tracks, stuff that's never been released on vinyl, fresh upfront tunes, dj mixes from some big names. Great resource.

IMO Download - The download part of IMO's site. I use it to buy old trancecore stuff that I never got at the time (and that would be ludicrously expensive to buy second-hand on vinyl), but they do other stuff as well.

Drum n' Bass & Breaks:

Red Eye Records and - I tend to think of Chemical Records (see above) as the best for drum n' bass, but these two are worth a look as well.

Streetwise Music - I tend to think that Chemical (yeah, again) is the best for breaks, but these guys are worth a look.

Grime & Dubstep:

The sites to check are Rhythm Division, Uptown Records, Blackmarket Records, Chemical Records (yeah, them again), and Independance. Check in the UK Garage sections of these stores.

|| RPH || 2:03 PM ||


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