January 26, 2010

Recommended Site - Hardwax

"Kids…never judge a book by its cover…but you can probably judge a city by its record store"

Hardwax record shop was, and still is, the quintessential model for all independent record shops in Berlin. It has been going now for 20 years. Almost an exact anniversary with the fall of the Berlin wall. For along time I have seen this online record store as somewhat of a connoisseur site. Never compromising on quality, and unlike a lot of the online stores at the moment, they do not bombard you with thousands of poor new releases everyday. The releases which range from Disco, dub, techno, house, all of which have that "hand picked" hardwax stamp of approval to them.

As for the actual store itself, I went there for the first time in December. Tucked away in Kreuzberg, its appearance definitely encompasses the vibe of Berlin. A dark entrance, full of graffiti and old flyers, leads to a small stairwell also completely covered in graffiti. Walking up the three flights of stairs, almost in the dark, the familiar bass sound lets you know that you're in the right place and keeps you climbing. There wasn't too many people in there when I arrived, which gave me a chance to take my time and really absorb the place. For once, I was in a record store where the staff didn't care if you stayed there all day listening to their music. In between listening to the music I could hear the staff telling people about cool parties they must go to that week, they were more than happy giving their recommendations to people and it definitely felt like I was a part of something when I was there. After a few hours there, I offered to put back the numerous records I had been listening to when I decided to leave, the guy behind the desk simply smiled and said he would sort everything and passed me a flyer for the their 20th Anniversary party (in which I actually already has tickets to) but I accepted and walked away smiling.

They are currently running a night called Wax Treatment. The next party has Peverelist headlining and is on the 31st January "...on the Killasan sound system @ horst krzbrg, Tempelhofer Ufer 1. Also here is a link to their monthly Wax Treatment Podcast run by the staff there.

"Devoid of any sales clerks taking the moral high (fidelity) ground, this vinyl vault is a must-visit for record lovers..."

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