The love of records knows no borders – from Cuba to Mongolia, here’s a fascinating look at record stores all over the world.
1. Dund Gol
Before Dunn Gol, one had to travel over 2000 km across the Gobi desert to get to the nearest vinyl store. But not anymore.
Photo credit: Dund Gol Facebook Page
Beyond the stereotypical image of nomads and cattle, is a burgeoning underground music scene.
Inspired by his time as a music student in London, Founder Batbold Bavvu's mission is simple – to make vinyl cool again. From Mongolian rock to Beegees, the record collection is eclectic to say the least. Given the rapid urbanization and global exposure Mongolia is facing, the music scene is definitely one to watch.
2. Seriosha's Record Shop
Step into a time capsule of records.
Photo Credit: Melting Pot
While it’s easy to get your hands on antiques and vintage goods in Cuba, records are a rare find. This is mainly due to the weather – hot, humid, and balmy – making it unfavourable for storage.
And then there’s Seriosha's Record Shop – well-stocked with a diverse mix of Cuban and international records from the 40s to 90s, with a collection so extensive that got Gilles Peterson raving.
In his words, it's a “gold mine”.
3. Lian’s Record Store
No sign-boards, no names, just an unassuming street store.
Photo credit: Celah Kota
Situated in the labyrinth of Surabaya Street's antique stores, Lian's Records may just seem like just another store selling kitschy vintage goods.
But don't let it's nondescript demeanor fool you.
Lian himself is no stranger to those familiar to backpacking and music forums. Thanks to the internet, Lian’s store has gained quite an internet following, making it one of Jarkata's best kept secrets.
4. Saphire D’Or
Mauritania, North Africa
Welcome to the first and last record store in Mauritania.
Image credit: Brownbook
Nestled in the dusty streets of one of the most historical cities of the Sahara is Sapphire D’Or.
From Senegalese salsa to Nigerian rock, founder Vall said that his collection is mostly made up of unwanted records collected from residents in an interview with Brownbook. "All the vinyl records that were in Mauritania, I pretty much have them here," he said.
This is what makes Sapphire D’Or, which translates to gold, the crown jewel of Mauritania.
5. The Beethoven
Music's a great way to understand a country’s culture and history.
And the story of The Beethoven is a great place to begin.
Image credit: Brownbook
In the early 1950s, The Beethoven brought in western and classical music – making it a hotspot for Iranian youths. The 60s saw it's peak, with the surge in the distribution of persian music.
However, the Revolution in the 70s robbed Iran of it’s once vibrant art and culture scene. Despite struggling, The Beethoven survived the ordeal. Today, it has now evolved into a music centre which functions as a label and store.
Any more record stores to add to the list? Tell us in the comments.