Just say goodbye to your money now.
Staring at my vinyl collection recently, I had the very familiar itch many music fans will know – that itch of wanting to do some *probably* unnecessary crate digging in the chase of the elusive scoops. Like a lot of hip hop heads, I’ve enjoyed looking through stacks of records in numerous stores overseas (Japan, you have my heart), but where are the good spots in Melbourne? There are loads of record stores strewn throughout the city and surrounding suburbs but for newcomers, there are some that you just can’t go past.
Oh! Jean Records
A great space for browsing a tightly-curated collection of vinyl, seeing in-store sets, grabbing a coffee and even catching some basketball on TV, Oh! Jean has become a favourite of mine over the last year. Zac (co-owner) is a hip hop head too; his knowledge on the genre is great, his appreciation for vinyl even greater. Oh! Jean Records stocks everything across indie through to jazz and hip hop, championing Australian releases and offering a hands-on approach; if something you’re looking for isn’t in, they’ll make you a priority and source it for you to the best of their ability.
Find Oh! Jean Records at 276 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy or visit their website.
Plug Seven Records
A particular haven for jazz, hip hop, Afro and soul music fans, Plug Seven is awesome to check out if you’re not pressed for time. Thousands of records are housed here, curated by Ari Roze, who is attentive and always on the lookout for new music to bring into the fold from overseas too. This is a store I find I can rely on for the hard to find, left-of-centre records. You walk into this store looking for one item and you come out with four or five extra additions to your collection.
Find Plug Seven Records at 313A Smith Street, Fitzroy or visit their website.
Continuing with the Fitzroy theme, we can’t go past Northside Records. Bonafide Melbourne legend Chris Gill has been at the helm since its 2002 genesis, ensuring that the shop’s stock of soul, funk, hip hop and reggae goodies remains healthy. Also offering some hectic in-store/street parties at different points of the year, Northside has become a bit of a touchstone for the Melbourne hip hop and soul community. The collection always has some hidden surprises for you, while their list of records are also great for those on the hunt for rare cuts and second-hand discs as well.
Find Northside Records at 236 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy or visit their website.
Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.