5 Picks Around Asia for Vintage Vinyl
What's old is new again as audiophiles ditch their Spotify accounts and head straight for the record rack. Diana Hubbell follows the cool kids in search of some smooth LPs.
Published on May 13, 2015
1979 Vinyls and Unknown Pleasures
This shoebox-size newcomer to Thailand's thriving alternative scene shines the spotlight on local talent with cheek-byjowl-packed concerts in the fashionably small space. It doesn't hurt that the store is located in trendy Thonglor, right at home in the same building as Black Amber, an old-school gentleman's barber; and the funky craft studio Smitheries. 4F Black Amber Bldg. between Thonglor Soi 5 and 7; facebook.com/1979vinyl.
Whether you're looking for throwback tunes or top-of-the-chart new finds, there's a little bit of everything at this eclectic shop. The Straits team is also behind a local record label of the same name, so it should come as no surprise to find Singaporean bands featured prominently here. Pay special attention to the reggae selection—most of the LPs are flown in straight from Jamaica. 24A Bali Ln.; +65 9681 6341; myspace.com/straitsrecords.
Trying to track down the latest Carsick Cars album? Still devastated that D22 club shut down? Get your Chinese indie fix at this popular Houhai joint. Rockland was a fixture of the city's underground scene long before it started to boom. The collection of local and Western albums is expansive and inspired thanks to the efforts of Xiao Zhan, a music junkie who's been running the show for more than a decade. 2 Nanguanfang Hutong, Houhai, Xicheng District; +86 10 6657 1926.
4. KUALA LUMPUR
Joe Rozario, the namesake and soul of this indie enclave, was selling vinyl way before it was retro. He started by hawking his wares at a stall in one of the city's weekend markets, but word spread quickly and a brick-and-mortar shop followed. The aisles are chockablock with serious vintage gems, musical paraphernalia and all sorts of curios. Amcorp Mall, 18 Jln. Persiaran Barat, Petaling Jaya; +60 3 7957 9173; facebook.com/JoesMACMalaysia.
5. HONG KONG
Honkers' hipsters might have just caught on to the cool cachet of putting the needle to the groove, but for some it never went away. Paul Au has been selling records in Hong Kong for 30 years and has the fanatic expertise to prove it. For those willing to make an appointment, his wealth of knowledge and 35,000 records—plus the 300,000 he's rumored to have stashed away—are more than worth the trip. 5F Wai Hong Bldg., 239 Cheung Sha Wan Rd.; Sham Shui Po; +852 9481 7136.