There’s no denying that Amsterdam is one of the best cities for everything related to culture and music. Contrary to popular belief, in the last decade, vinyls and CDs have faced a resurgence in popularity and these record stores in Amsterdam have definitely contributed to this trend.
Who can forget the fuzzy and exciting feeling you get the first time you step inside a record store? The music lover’s library, it has its own distinctive smell, it’s a visual overload, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. Amsterdam has its fair share of nifty record stores and with Record Store Day right around the corner, we’ve rounded up eight that are doing their part in invigorating vinyl culture.
We couldn’t help but start the list with Amsterdam’s oldest record store. Concerto first opened its doors in 1955 and has since been a must-visit place for many collectors and music fans. Self-described as “Walhalla for music aficionados” and five-storeys tall, you can find new and second-hand albums, from nostalgic rock ‘n’ roll classics to irreverent funk and jazz, world music, and more. They even have a specialist for each music genre to guide you through the latest releases! If you want to spend the day in Amsterdam’s vinyl Mecca and spend hours rummaging through record bins, this is the place to do just that.
2. Bordello a Parigi
Located in the heart of the Red Light District, this clean and minimalist-looking record store has a huge collection of a range of spacey italoesque music mixed with techno and electro-synth.
Originally only a label, having produced some of the coolest techno, synthwave, Italo and Russian dance artists in the likes of Palermo Disco Squad, Hypnotique and many more, Bordello a Parigi opened its vinyl store in 2011. Many well-known DJs and artists such as Honey Dijon, Miss Kittin and Jennifer Cardini have passed by the now iconic record store for the ADE sessions. The store even has their own Bordello Radio, where they upload jam sessions from some of the most promising up-and-coming artists.
📍Oudezijds Kolk 71
3. Platypus Records
This store is an overabundance of colors, patterns, posters and you guessed it—vinyls! Vinyls in every nook and cranny! Located in the heart of Amsterdam, this record store offers a wide range of second-hand and new vinyl records. They probably have every genre in stock and house. For anyone that wants to sell vinyls, they also look to purchase LPs, Singles or Maxis. Platypus also releases live streams of jam and DJ sessions and hosts parties in various venues to promote some of the most promising artists. So if you’re into reggae, synth, speedcore, salsa, boogaloo—you name it–you should definitely go and check it out.
4. Velvet Music
This women-owned business is located in the scenic neighborhood of Jordaan. Velvet Music offers old-school vinyl in a modern setting, from Frank Zappa, Deep Purple and Toussaint to contemporary artists like Little Simz, Billie Eilish, Adele and Bruno Mars. Velvet Music is the friendly go-to record store for anyone that loves vinyls. There’s a sense of familiarity when you first enter the store, which is welcome in a setting that could otherwise be overwhelming.
5. Rush Hour
Perhaps Amsterdam’s most famous record label, Rush Hour has since its inception become a haven for music nerds, crate-diggers and collectors alike. Founded in 1997, they initially started importing obscure house and techno records from around the world, then later exporting similar minded Dutch releases to overseas companies. They gradually evolved into a label in 1999 and have been hosting events and parties ever since. Definitely popular with visitors, they’re most importantly beloved by the community for propelling new local artists and DJs to the international scene.
6. Distortion Records
It might initially feel like you’re stepping into the set of Hoarders, but after you squeeze in through the narrow corridors of vinyls at Distortion Records, you’ll ease in, breathe again and rummage around for hours. You can find what pleases you most, new and second-hand, or cheapos and collector’s items. Its vast collection comprises a range of genres, including punk, new wave, dubstep and house. Another Jordaan gem, this place has been around for 25 years and its owner and human encyclopedia Amond Spee, is always there to help.
7. Charles Muziek
It’s usually difficult to find a record store that has a great collection of classical music, since most tend to offer 50s music and onward, but Charles Muziek is the last remaining shop in Amsterdam that is completely specialized in classical music. Opened in 1954, its classical collection covers the period from the Middle Ages to the present and includes artists from Korea, Japan, India and the Middle East. If you’re also into Ethnic music, you can put your hands on overtone singers from Tuva or Mongolia, pygmy singing from Congo, or electric West African music.
Last in our list is another local favorite, KILLACUTZ. Although it doesn’t seem too grand, this cozy little store has more than enough charm and vinyls to feed the whole city. Their collection has more than 3000 records and represses, specializing mainly in all electronic music subgenres, like Detroit techno, Chicago house, UK tech house and deep house. And if you also want to take a trip down memory lane, other Soul, Rock and Funk classics are also well represented.
📍Nieuwe Nieuwstraat 21