The art of crate digging is alive and well, and there are plenty of record stores in Melbourne to prove it with vendors catering to OG hiphop heads, collectors looking for that rare find and DJs after a fresh haul for their Friday night set.
Wax Museum Records
Over its 15 year tenure in Campbell Arcade, Wax Museum has cemented itself as a mainstay of the record stores in Melbourne.
The store carries a considered selection of old and new records, and while there’s a strong focus on hip hop, you can find everything from rareties to the more popular releases across a myriad of beat-heavy genres. Wax Museum is a Melbourne record store for the crate-diggers, so make sure you set aside some time on your next visit.
Skydiver is the DJ’s record store in Melbourne. Opened by a trio of prevalent Melbourne DJs, you can find everything from house, techno, disco, Italo, synth-pop, ambient along with every sub-genre in between.
There’s a selection of tapes which proves nostalgia isn’t dead and they also offer a flattening service for your warped records.
Wah Wah Records
No matter your vibe, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to record stores in Melbourne’s inner-north.
If it’s a spot of good ol’ rock and roll you’re after, then sling into Wah Wah Records where you’ll find a healthy haul of 60s and 70s selects along with a grip of local Aussie releases.
Funk, soul, beats, jazz, rap, hip hop, electronica and so much more, Northside Records has played a huge part in Australia’s vinyl culture since 2002.
Here, you can find obscurities from across the globe peppered within the crates. The store also doubles as an event space for one-off gigs and signings.
The south is serviced with its fair share of record stores and has been for some time. Greville Records opened up back in 1978, and with over 40 years in the Melbourne record store trade, Greville’s wide and varied selection covers the classics and the more obscure releases across a plethora of genres from the golden era to today.
Basement Discs is tucked away down a flight of stairs off the lesser-known Block Place, which runs parallel to Block Arcade, in Melbourne’s CBD.
The crates here span far and wide across to the corners of grunge, to disco and dance, and then back around to dad-rock. Basement Discs host live gigs most Fridays at around midday, which isn’t a bad way to spend your last lunch break of the week.
When it comes to record stores in Melbourne, The Searchers reached institution-level several years back now.
Their shelves are stacked and you’re likely to find what you’re after purely by the volume of product (okay, you may not find Wu Tang’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, but you get the idea). They also serve coffee, so give yourself some time to while away in the crates.
Profile is another by 'DJs, for DJs' record store in Melbourne’s inner-south. Here, you’ll find dubplates from almost every facet of dance music; the team here seem to have a knack for getting ahold of rare records, and can usually help with tracking down those hard-to-finds.
Profile also offers Technics 1200 (the industry-standard turntable) repairs, which is a service surprisingly hard to find these days.
A record store, a record label and a coffee shop. Circa Trax beams dedication to Melbourne’s dance music scene loud and proud out through the doorway and on to the street.
Specialising in the left-field and underground niches of dance, you’ll often find the team here playing sets and sharing the latest releases from their label and others.
Flightless 168 is a record store moonlighting as a record label, or a record label moonlighting as a record store. Their focus is a fuzzy, psych-rock sound, and you can expect to pick up label releases from the likes of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Stonefield and the Oh Sees to name a few. The shelves aren't limited to just Flightless 168 records though, take a look through the stacks and you'll find an immaculately curated offering of rock, punk, pop and more.
Oh! Jean Records
Oh! Jean offers a slick space on the outskirts of Fitzroy with a massive selection of new and used records. They don’t specialise in one genre, but instead supply the crate-diggers en masse with everything from MF Doom’s latest release to a live pressing of Pearl Jam’s 1992 MTV performance.
They also do coffee, but that’s becoming the norm for plenty of Melbourne record stores, right?
Leaning towards the louder side of alternative and metal is Heartland Records in North Melbourne. The collection here is a mixed bag of new and used records, so you’re bound to discover fresh and familiar sounds throughout the crates here.
There’s also a sizable selection of band merch to accompany your record purchases.
Perched up in Melbourne’s Mitchell House, Rocksteady Records’ locale is a stunning as the selection here. The staff are experts in their own right and place emphasis on supporting the local scene.
Find your fix of rock, jazz, hip hop, indie and new wave along with the sub-genres that sit between.
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Image credit: Phillip Blocker | Unsplash