Amsterdam boasts a number of excellent vinyl record stores that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Many of these establishments have deep ties to the city’s music scene and curate collections that are influenced by Amsterdam’s diverse musical landscape. Here are the best spots to dig for new and secondhand records in the city.
Concerto is the largest music store in Amsterdam and houses a massive collection of old, new and secondhand records, as well as other musically focused merchandise, including CDs and books. It has been selling vinyl from Utrechtsestraat since 1955 and its current showroom takes up four store fronts. The store also contains a cozy café, where collectors can relax after perusing Concerto’s shelves. The sheer volume of records on offer is astounding and most genres are well represented.
Waxwell Records is the go-to store in Amsterdam for hip-hip collectors, and curates an impressive range of classic, rare and mainstream rap albums. Apart from hip-hop, Maxwell also keeps its shelves stocked with secondhand rock, jazz and pop records. Its intimate showroom is squeezed into a beautiful townhouse inside de Negen Straatjes, just behind Dam Square.
Rush Hour Records started off in the late ’90s as a rare vinyl dealer, with a particular focus on electronic music, and eventually grew into one of the most recognized music production companies in the Netherlands. Underground legends such as Hunnee, Tom Trago and Robert Hood have all released work with Rush Hour and the label has helped shape Amsterdam’s contemporary music scene. Its record store is run by a team of discerning music fans and is renowned for its extensive techno, soul and funk collection.
Although Flesch Records has widened its scope in recent years, it originally almost exclusively stocked classical music, and is still the best place in Amsterdam to pick up orchestral, choral and avant-garde records. Today, Flesch keeps its shelves stocked with a large selection of vinyl, including jazz, esoteric recordings and soundtracks. The store also sells organic fruit from a local farm, which is kept fresh on green-grocer stands outside Flesch’s entrance.
As its name suggests, this record store is located in Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District and is actually located inside a windowed room that was formerly used by the city’s sex workers. The store is run by an internet radio station, called Red Light Radio, that acts as a platform for international music and regularly organizes events in Amsterdam. Its vinyl collection mainly sways towards electronic genres and regularly features rare, international presses.
Eardrum Buzz shares its entrance with a hair salon called Cut the Crap. This peculiar union can be found on the tail end of Harlemmerstraat, a trendy, westerly street that is renowned for its boutique stores and artisanal food vendors. Eardrum Buzz’s owners have managed to cram a huge variety of vinyl into the store’s limited floor space, and its shelves are lined with affordable 12’’ and 7’’ records that cover a wide range of popular genres.