In defiance of the digital age, music lovers still retain their love for vinyl records. Cologne is no exception and long-established record stores in the city stock the must-haves of all genres alongside some rarities. Here are five of Cologne’s best record stores.
Early Bird Records
Frank Schneider has made quite a name on Cologne’s hip-hop scene as DJ Schneider. His store, Early Bird Records is the place to go for hip hop and old school fans. Loyal customers come here looking to expand their second-hand record collection and chat over coffee. Chances are you’ll find some jazz and rock rarities as well.
Early Bird Records, Lindenstrasse 77, Cologne, +49 (0) 221 79007778
Initially, the Underdog Recordstore specialised in indie, punk and hardcore records but has broadened its range over the years. Since 1997, customers have appreciated the vast selection of guitar-centric records and the store defies CDs, MP3s and the rival mega electronics store around the corner. The owner also runs their own label Defiance Records and organises gigs regularly.
Cologne’s oldest record store Groove Attack is an all-time favourite among vinyl lovers. The independent shop moved into the basement of its original location in the Belgian quarter a few years ago and gave way to the men’s boutique Monsieur Courbet. But that did not harm the excellent selection of non-mainstream records. The focus here is on hip-hop, but you will find the best of funk, soul, jazz, techno and pretty much every other genre in stock.
Groove Attack, Maastrichter Strasse. 49, Cologne, +49 (0) 221 522037
Kompakt is an internationally renowned record label, store, distributor and home to what’s known among musicians as the ‘Sound of Cologne’, a distinct mix of electronic music. True to its roots, the shop stocks the best of techno, minimal and trance and its owners are known to be experts in the field.
Kompakt, Werderstrasse 15-19, Cologne, +49 (0) 221 9499 5110
From second-hand to new and from mainstream records to sought-after rarities, Parallel Schallplatten stocks it all in their Belgian quarter shop. Customers browse the vast collection of records on their shelves, looking for everything ranging from pop hits, rock ‘n’ roll classics, reggae and jazz to singer-songwriter releases.
Parallel Schallplatten, Brabanter Strasse 2-4, Cologne, +49 (0) 221 2706 794