18 Jul Flat White Records in Spain
June 2017 was the month where Flat White Records took a break from selling wax and embarked on a road trip around Spain. The plan was to see as many cities as possible within the month, as well as to enjoy Off Sonar festival in Barcelona.
With me being so drawn to record shops wherever I go, it seemed like a good idea to write brief reviews on the ones I was able to visit.
Anyway, you get the idea..
The first stop after driving down through France was San Sebastian. If you like food, and/or surfing, this is the place for you. But what about if you like records?
I showed my naivety on the first day as I turned up around 2pm (Siesta o’clock). I did however manage to swing by the day afterwards and wasn’t disappointed.
There was an extensive selection of Jazz and Blues which I took a fancy to. Aside from that it was mainly Prog Rock and more stuff along those lines (not really my thing).
Aside from the selection of 12’s and 7’s, the walls were filled with comics and books.
I took a couple of stabs in the dark and purchased a couple of Jazzaldia EP’s from years gone by with a view to not only adding to my collection of Jazz, but also to potentially chop up and sample.
A nice shop that is located right in the heart of the old town, with a massive selection of records. This shop is in the perfect location if you ever fancy a few beers and a dig.
The stock ranged from Soul, Funk and Disco to Reggae and Ska. They even had an extensive “Made In Spain” section which was interesting to look through, along with the other “world” sections.
San Sebastian has a couple of other shops from what I understand but they’re mainly punk and rock orientated.
The hunt for house music continues!!
The first thing to note about Zaragoza is that if you’re going to hire bikes and cycle from record shop to record shop as we did, make sure it’s not 40 degrees.. RED HOT.
Located close to the busy Calle de Alfonso l, this shop is in an excellent location. As well as records they stock CD’s and merchandise but do however cater for a more rock based clientele.
This wasn’t open but it specialises in Heavy Rock and from it’s appearance, looks like it does pretty well.
There were posters detailing future events but as it wasn’t really my thing, I didn’t fancy risking sunburn waiting for it to re-open after the “siesta”.
They had a very broad range Pop Rock (this is starting to become a common feature of Spanish record shops). I picked up a few random 7’s (including one from a local band) and a 12’ of some exotic percussion that I will be looking to sample.
After cycling what felt like the length of the city we arrived at what was Discos JL. Upon arrival it was obvious that this shop was no more. This was the shop I had the highest hopes for in Zaragoza from what I had read but unfortunately the shutters were down and the shop up for sale. Flat White Records Zaragoza? I’m not sure there’s the scene for it here and I would guess that’s why Discos JL has folded.
We arrive in probably my favourite city to meet the rest of the gang for a week of good music during Sonar week. Of all the parties we booked, the Secret Sundaze gig held at Parc Del Forum was the best in my opinion (for the second year in a row).
Every time I come to Barcelona I manage to spend a considerable amount of time in this shop. Located in the Barceloneta district of the city, it’s perfect if your friends want to waste time sunbathing on the beach as you can slope off around the corner for a dig!
FINALLY some House / Electronic music! I picked up records by Kerri Chandler, Dez Andres as well as a Brawther release on Secret Sundaze.
After having a chat with the guy in the shop (sorry, I didn’t catch your name), he put me on to “Jimi Disko” with a view to utilising their distribution services. Look out for some Spanish heat hitting our shelves soon!
You know those record shops that you could easily waste a day in? This is definitely one of those. I spent a good couple of hours in here digging through their extensive collection of records, and I wasn’t disappointed. I left with my arms full and my wallet empty. They cater for a variety of tastes, panning across the House and Techno spectrum. There are four turntables which helped in deciding which records I couldn’t afford!
After a considerable amount of time, I decided to take home releases by Sameed, Harvey Sutherland, Ron Trent, Smokin’ Beats and Brawther. And as if this wasn’t enough, I managed to pick up a nice copy of Dennis Ferrer’s “Son Of Raw. Delighted to say the least.
With such a heavy schedule of events, I only managed one more shop (purely by accident) on the way back to where we were staying. Revolver Records is a record shop that dedicates itself to rock music and other genres along the same lines and have a very wide selection covering two floors. No house music here unfortunately, however I did pick up a James Brown record in their bargain bin.
During my time in Barcelona I managed to grab a couple of drinks with the owner of Parisian House and Techno label, Junction Records. Mathieu is somebody who I had spoken to on numerous occasions after being brought together through the La Chineurs de House Facebook group but had never met. It’s always great to meet people with the same mind set when it comes to music and he was also able to give me pointers for starting my own label (hopefully with you before the end of 2017).
A big shout out to former Leicester but now Valencia resident, Luis Aguilar aka “Luis Under” for pointing me in the direction of a few record shops in Valencia as I had done limited research due to the week prior being so mad.
K&H Vinyl Store
This was the first stop on our hunt for records and we found it on Calle del Doctor Sumsi. The record shop doubles up as a bar so it was nice to have a couple of beers whilst browsing through their collection. It’s apparent that they specialise in Techno with the back half of the shop being dedicated to this. Near the door however there were a couple of House sections that I took a fancy to, and I was able pick out around ten records including a really nice release on Black Angus Records called “Kick, tom & hi-hat Vol.2”.
There are two turntables in the middle of the shop so we spent a while listening to potential purchases, including some out of the 1 euro box. This is a cool shop and from what I understand they have local DJ’s play there regularly as it is fitted out perfectly to provide as a bar/club environment.
Next on the list was Ultrasound Music. Located on Marques de Zenete this shop surprised us with the amount of stock it had. Records, CD’s and merchandise, they have it all. The shop has a nice layout with a variety of genres including plenty of House and Techno. There are turntables to listen to records of your choice as well as merchandise. We were pushed for time so didn’t stay for long, however it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in Valencia.
These guys started as a label back in 2014, with releases from artists such as Legowelt, Oskar Offermann, Cliff Lothar, Neville Watson, Medlar and more. After speaking to Andres and Carlos who were working in the shop, they informed me that the shop is only 6 months old and doing well.
This style of shop is exactly how I picture my own record shop to look like (if there was ever to be a physical Flat White Records). The shop layout is clean and easy to navigate and the selection of records was not too dissimilar to the kind we stock. PERFECT. They also have a studio in the basement which I thought was a very nice touch.
I picked up a copy of the Oskar Offermann release on the Riverette label and will soon be stocking this and other releases after finding out who handles their distribution.
A great shop, definitely one of the best so far.
Is The Place / Recycled Music Center.
The hunt for Is The Place was a bit confusing. It is located on the busy Gran Via (Madrid’s answer to Oxford Circus) and is on the 6th floor of an office block. After we finally figured out where it was, we were too late. We arrived at 2pm and this was when the shop closed for the siesta period. The guy that was closing the shop spoke very little English but pointed us in the direction of a shop called Recycled Music Center which I hadn’t heard of. After exploring a bit more of the city (and various other record shops that I will go into detail about later) we made our way to Recycled Records. It was definitely worth the trip.
A very cool shop with a variety of genres from House and Techno, all the way to D&B and Trance. The layout of the shop suggests that they have “in stores” with two turntables and a Vestax PMC 25 at one end of the shop. It turns out that this had only recently opened and is the new face of “In The Place Records. I acquired a few records including a Byron The Aquarius release.
This was actually the first record shop we visited in Madrid as it was conveniently close to where we were staying. The shop is rammed with records and I’m informed that they have another 10,000 or so records stashed away at a warehouse somewhere. With a wide range of genres covered I was happy to spend a fair amount of time in there. I managed to pick up an original copy of “Rhythim Is Rhythm – It Is What It Is” on Transmat. I do already own this record but it’s not a clean copy, so it’s nice to get a fresh one. Along with this I bought a nice Todd Terry Release.
The guy in the shop was extremely helpful, pointing me in the direction of the House Music and even set up a turntable for me to check my records. Don’t pass up on a chance to have a browse here.
I walked into this shop and felt like I was walking into some trendy, hipster bar in Soho. This place was very Indy. They stock new releases, second hand gems as well as a lot of re-releases of old classics. No house music to be found here, however they had a very interesting World Music section that was extremely tempting to take a gamble on.
My first impressions of this shop were quite poor to be honest. Everything seemed overprices and other than a wide selection of Rock, Pop Rock and all of that, there wasn’t much else. It wasn’t until I checked the bargain bins outside that I was pleasantly surprised. I managed to pick up a track by DJ Pierre & Marshall Jefferson, as well as a release on Smokin Beats, both for a euro.
Discos La Metralleta
This place is HUGE. This shop is underground and consists of a few large rooms. If you’ve got a bit of time it would be easy to get lost in here digging through crate after crate. Be warned, you could spend hours inn here trying to look through everything. They have a nice range of genres as well as a whole room dedicated to “bargains”.
Another one for the rock and Indy folk. We were greeted with a live DJ playing in store as well as numerous punters enjoying the music with a tinny or two. The Jazz section in this store was pretty decent but other than this, there wasn’t a lot here for us.
This shop stocked 80% CD’s however did have a fair few second hand records. Upon digging it felt like I was searching through the crates of a charity shop with not a lot to offer.
It’s apparent that the Madrid record shop scene has had a bit of a shake up in the last 6 months or so with the opening of two outstanding shops in Riverette and Recycled Music Center. If you’re in Spain and want records, Madrid is a must!
No record shops exist in Logrono. Only good food and wine.
I couldn’t work out whether these were people on the Camino de Santiago (A 500km pilgrimage) or if they were looking for record shops in the city….
Brixton Denda & Records
As soon as you walk in to this shop you feel as though you should be in Camden Market (even though the shop is named after Brixton). The shop is full of second hand army jackets as well as Doc. Martens and other items that follow trend. Towards the back of the shop is a selection of records, mainly punk/rock again however they also stock Ska, Reggae, Funk, Soul and a few other bits too.
Mainly books, however there is also a section of new and used records. All rock/punk/indy.
You need to set aside a good amount of time for this shop. Upon walking through the front door you’re greeted with crate after crate of second hand records. They’re mainly ordered alphabetically but there are also categories such as Jazz and Hip Hop, all the way to Brazilian and Latin. No House music in here, however I was impressed by the section they have dedicated to local bands/groups.
Located upstairs in what is essentially an office, this shop is one that you can visit by appointment only. It’s one that you don’t want to miss out on though!
After speaking to Gorka aka “Gorka Undersound” via Facebook, I arranged to visit the shop around midday. He wasn’t present, however his brother Juan Luis aka JL Form was. Juan Luis informed me that Cybertech has been running for around 20 years and the also frequently hold parties in the city. Mainly Techno to be found here however they have a good House section and I was able to pick up some nice releases by Lay-Far, Peven Everett, Dawit Eklund and a NYC Loft Trax record. Juan Luis mentioned that he was going to visit a potential new premises in the city centre later that day, so they could be relocating in the near future. Great guys that really have their heart in the right place, highly recommend this shop if you’re in Bilbao.
What I bought:
Stanley Black, Su Orquesta y Coro
Alberto Cortez – El Vagabundo
Los Fabulosos 3 Paraguayos – Y Viva Espana/Rio Rebelde
Wilfrido Vargas – El Africano
Brawther – Do It Yourself EP
Kerri Chandler – Fingerprintz EP
Andres – Second Time Around
Sameed – Late Night Noodles EP
Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda – Priestess/Bravado
Various – Abstract Afro Journey EP Pt.2
Smokin Beats – You Can’t Hide
Brawther – Le Voyage
Dennis Ferrer – Son Of Raw
K&H Vinyl Store
DJ Soch – Kick, Tom & Hi-Hat Vol. 2
Loleatta Holloway – Dreaming
Mr G – Rum Down South EP
Tom Jones & Mousse T – Sex Bomb
Jocelyn Brown – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Michelle Weeks – The Light
Johnny Fiasco – A Bag, A Drag and a DJ
Spiller – Mighty Miami EP
Latin Aspects – Estrela
Tom De Neef pres. Gattaca – Supasax EP
Boca Grande – Push
Oskar Offermann – Oldstory EP
Recycled Music Centre
Byron The Aquarius – 1988 EP
LC12, Autre – Split
Various – Mini Sampler EP Three
Erik K.J. Wesenberg – Egocentric
Rhythim Is Rhythim – It Is What It Is
Todd Terry – Unreleased Project Part 7
Discos La Metralleta
Hodges, James & Smith – Que estas pensado? https://www.discogs.com/Hodges-James-Smith-Whats-On-Your-Mind-Que-Estas-Pensando/release/6854347
DJ Pierre & Marshall Jefferson Featuring Janine Cross – Everybody Dance (Clap Your Hands)
Smokin Beats Volume 5
Lay-Far – How I Communicate Part 1
Peven Everett – Feelin You In And Out
Dawit Eklund – Ouroborous EP
NYC LOFT TRAX – Unreleased Vol.3 Quintuple Loft Classic