Finding itself at the heart of Europe and different music traditions, Brussels definitely deserves a bright spot under the international music radar due to its wide range of music bars, diverse festivals, and a museum fully dedicated to musical instruments. Moreover, Brussels raises the bar by hosting an interesting number of independent record stores, true music temples for both connoisseurs and aficionados.
The Collector Courtesy of Thomas Gillot
Veals and Geeks | Courtesy of Thomas Gillot
Thoroughly entangled in Brussels’ central musical roots, this petite but well-stocked emporium constitutes an excellent starting point. Eager vinyl enthusiasts have been wandering the Collector’s fully loaded shelves since 1983, getting lost within piles of vinyl that represent a variety of genres and ages. Given its peculiar location, it is not so uncommon to run into some renowned artists from the surrounding venues digging for extremely rare pieces. Specialties of the store include pieces from the ’60s and ’70s. Opening Hours: Mon–Sat, 10:30am–6.30pm; Sun, 1pm–6pm
Few individuals would imagine that just behind one of Brussels most famous symbols – Manneken Pis – there is a shop specializing in psychedelic music. Veals & Geeks has been around since 2008 with its crates full of carefully selected LPs as the object of a constant search for hidden gems. Veals & Geeks’ unique selection makes it easy to dig into lively psychedelic tracks, Eastern European music and other odd assortments of genres thanks to its quick and weekly refill of offers, which satisfies connoisseurs, enthusiasts and tourists alike. Opening Hours: Mon–Sun, 11:00am–8:00pm
Located on la Grand Ile, Doctor Vinyl is considered a major institution for all dance and techno music lovers. Given its cutting edge selection, this is literally the Mecca for renowned DJs from the city’s über dance scene to get their new beats – think FUSE and Libertine – just to name a couple. With such a reputation, chances are you can bump into the most praised DJs on the scene while they’re getting their vinyl fix. With a constant flow of new titles every week, your best bet is to grab your top choice straight away or risk losing your perfect catch.
Ideally located in front of the Ancienne Belgique concert hall, Caroline Music is the place to be for all independent music lovers in Brussels. On the market scene for the last 35 years, Caroline Music is a vivid example of indie music’s resistance against multinational labels. In case you don’t own a record player, don’t worry: its inventory can satisfy both CD and vinyl aficionados. A collection large enough to get easily lost in, Caroline’s Music is an establishment just waiting to be explored. Opening Hours: Mon–Sat, 10:00am–7:00pm; Sun, 1:00pm–6:30pm
Established in 2012, 72 Records is the only vinyl record store that stocks a large number of outdated collectors tunes, spanning decades of LPs from the ‘60s onwards. Punk and metal tapes fly off the shelves quite quickly, so if you’ve got the time, dig until your hands get dirty to find your music fix. Opening Hours: Mon–Sat, 12:00pm–7:00pm; Sun, 2:00pm–7:00 pm
This is the shop for all the industrial, neofolk and gothic music lovers; Elektrocution is your legitimate source to discover some of the rarest music. Founded in 2003, this central little spot attracts all musical aficionados with its curated selection of new and second-hand vinyl and CDs. From time to time, it holds in-store performances, often advertised on their FB page. Opening Hours: Mon–Sat, 10:00am–6:30pm
With a name akin to Janis Joplin’s classic song of 1969, this store music offers a healthy dose of CDs and vinyl of both newbies and rarities to a faithful and loyal clientele. But beyond what you can purchase, this spot is known for its highly selected in-store shows. Before entering, just be sure to have taken care of all your vital needs, as you’ll likely be there for a while. Opening Hours: Mon–Sat, 11:00am–6:30pm; Sun, 12pm–6:00pm
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