EVERY DAY IS RECORD STORE DAY! A GUIDE TO VINYL RECORD STORES IN MUNICH

Sometimes friends come to town and ask me about used record stores in Munich. Which ones would I recommend. In the past, I have seen some rather incomplete or outdated lists on the web, but maybe my musical focus is just different. So I have compiled some info here which I hope helps you vinyl fanatics. I have been buying records since the 1980s when I lived in Berlin and when I had little pocket money to spare. Since those days I visited quite a few record stores around the world. The list below is far from complete, it’s missing some stores that for some reason I hardly ever visit and don’t find worth mentioning. I might add info about those in the future, though. 

What I buy usually falls into one of the following categories:

– Rare (well, more or less hard to find) Punk, New Wave, Industrial, and some Metal.

– Pop and party records for my DJing needs, but only if they are cheap.

– Some records which I already own, to upgrade in condition or to forward to friends.

For more information about Munich stores, also check out the following websites:

– Vinyl hub (excellent resource, brought to you by the fine folks at discogs)
– Recordshops.org (great for finding the locations of stores)
– Recordjunkie.com
– Record stores worldwide

I moved this store’s description to the top because this is the coolest of the listed ones.
Running a record store in Munich with new stock, focusing on anything Indie or even Punk, seems like a suicide mission. But Michl from TAKEN BY SURPRISE did rise to the challenge and opened a store that he now shares with a screenprinting place. This definitely is the best Punk record store in town, hands down. There now even is a movie about it. Check out https://vimeo.com/270716787 to see the trailer. The store is located on a long block right behind the famous Augustiner brewery (Westendstr. 49, 80339 München) and carries new and used punk, hardcore, indie, power pop, garage etc. – vinyl only. They also sell  MaximumRocknRoll fanzine and tickets to local gigs.

BEST RECORDS is located at Theresienstraße in Schwabing (Theresienstraße 46, 80333 München), close to the famous Pinakotheken (art museums). This is probably my favorite record store in Munich because of its atmosphere. If I were to shoot a movie about a record store in town, this would be the one to use. Apparently, Thurston Moore shops here when in Munich. While ECHT OPTIMAL explicitly chose their slightly pretentious name, this store is not called “Best” by choice, but because this is the owner’s second name. Christoph Best comes across like the nice teacher you had at school. He is a humble and smart guy as you can tell from this interview about the state of second hand record affairs “Über die politische Ökonomie der Schallplatte” (in German, sorry folks): http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/39/39462/1.html. Usually by the counter you find some music connoisseurs discussing various topics with the chatty Mr. Best. Opposed to other record stores which usually attract 50-and-over guys with receding hairlines that mumble about their LED ZEPPELIN live bootlegs to the more or less interested owner, folks here actually have intelligent conversations about eclectic musical styles which I do not understand – this impresses me. The small store is chock full of records which are partly in browsable displays, but mainly standing around on the floor or stacked, because it is too much to fit. Roughly 50% of the stock has price tags (there is a sign on the counter that stresses that these are fixed prices), what stands on the floor without a price sticker is usually around 7 to 10 Euro, unless it is really trashed or an obvious gem that the owner has not put a sticker on yet. BEST carries all genres, but has a focus on Soul, Funk, Hiphop, Jazz, Brazilian, but also a selection (to varying degree) of Rock, Punk, Indie and Metal. Also lots of 7″s. In this store you really have to dig around, also in the back room. What also impressed me was that one time I was spending a long time in there looking at everything and I got my hands dusty. I did not even ask, but the owner offered me to wash my hands in the back room. That is customer service, folks! Please do not get me wrong, this store is not the mekka where you can find X-CLAIM originals, but a really great small second hand record store. They do not make record stores like this anymore!