My Favourite Places To Get MusicIt is impossible to find the type of music I like in the Bay Area, so I tend to buy online. Here are my favorite haunts:
Located on Poland Street in London's SOHO, I drop in every time I am in town. They specialize in vinyl-based dance music, primarily house and techno/minimal techno; if you're looking for limited-edition releases, Phonica tend to get them. The shop will let you listen to anything they have in stock on the turntables provided.
Their website is comprehensive and has every track available for listening online. Ordering is easy and they ship promptly and have good customer service should you have any issues. My orders are always shipped via DHL and arrive within 48 hours of being sent. The only downside to Phonica's website is it is not optimized for your phone, so you'll need to use an iPad or a PC.
Phonica have a really great weekly email that they send out of new releases. Sign up for it today.
Located in Florence, Italy, Viniil have the one of the best selections of european minimal techno on the web. The website has tracks to listen to online and ordering is easy. If you are looking for Romanian or Russian releases, this is the place. Similarly, they have a good selection of German and French techno. Although they are not as communicative as Phonica Records, ordering is easy and they ship promptly, via DHL.
Comprehensive stock of German techno and house, with all the usual other European releases thrown in. It is a great website to browse and listen and ordering is easy. My only issue with Decks is that while their shipping costs are comparative with Phonica's, or Viniil's, they actually ship by German Post so anything I order from Decks tends to take four weeks to arrive.
Piccadilly have a great shop in the middle of Manchester and a brilliant website that works on your phone, your iPad and a PC. Unlike the other stores on the list, they don't specialize in electronic. You'll find popular stuff, rock and pretty much everything else in between. It's easy to order stuff online, shipping is cheap and pretty fast, and they have an excellent weekly email that updates you on what is out and coming.
Boomkat are also based in Manchester but they are strictly mail order (I think). They specialize in highly limited editions of grime, noise and industrial music but you'll also find plenty of techno. Sign up for their emails and you will get a regular series of notes about upcoming releases, all of which tend to be quite limited in quantity. They also do a weekly update of all the MP3 releases, which tend to be made the week after vinyl releases.
The go-to place for any vinyl that you are missing from your collection. You will find pretty much anything - some of it new and some of it secondhand. I tend to use it to buy older releases of artists that I have only recently discovered, or to complete my collection of limited editions from a specific label.
Halcyon have a shop you can drop into in New York City and they also have a website. The website isn't the greatest - very few tracks can be listened to and the search is basically useless; I have never found anything that I expected to find by searching. Bizarrely, Halcyon also post a number of tracks on soundcloud, but if you then search the website, you can't find them. What makes Halcyon special is they are also the US distributor for various labels, including birdsmakingmachine, so they are essential for the minimal techno-lover. One final point of note though - I've always found that a number of the records I buy from Halcyon arrive with fingerprints all over them. My records were clearly played in the store prior to shipping to me!