Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A trip to Prague - Record Store Heaven!

Upon our arrival in Prague it would be fair to say that encountering interesting record stores was low on my list of expectations, some way behind low-priced beer, cubist architecture, stunning bridges, castle walks and lots of potato! This skepticism proved unfounded as each little shop that was sought out bore sumptuous fruit. Firstly there was Bazar on Krakovska , a ridiculously higgledy-piggledy shop (see above photo to the right) with absolutely no sense of genre-division at all. The CDs were (thankfully) alphabetized but the vinyl, was at floor level, jammed tight and particularly browser unfriendly (a cursory flick through, suggested that this was not a real travesty as the majority of the records looked rather crap). Back to the CDs, however and it is no exaggeration that in the 'L' section Leona Lewis was sandwiched by Laibach's Wat and Luror's The Iron Hand Of Blackest Terror! Alas both albums are already in my collection, but after around an hour's blissful and hurried (my long-suffering wife was waiting for me) browsing I exited with 3 Einst├╝rzende Neubauten deluxe CD reissues and a Lydia Lunch retrospective. Not bad for starters!

The second and by far most surprising store we encountered was very close to our excellent hotel - Kings Court, called Music Antiquariat CD-LP, which is more of a vinyl specialist really; the majority of which is second hand and particularly browser friendly. The counter is bedecked with a turntable, which the owners are happy to fill with records of your choice - if only in my case for fleeting moments - not surprising given the nature of my selections! Well, sufficed to say I ended up spending rather more than I expected in-store after finding...are you ready... Atlantean Kodex's incredible Pnakotic Demos in a 10" box set; Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio's Onani on white vinyl; Wire - Pink Flag viynyl; Sir Richard Bishop's beautiful drone record While My Guitar Violently Bleeds; Hypothermia's rare Kaffe & Blod again on vinyl and two Amon Duul II records! There were other gems inside the shop including records on Cold Meat Industry, TESCO and some tempting black metal picture discs. I could have gone even madder than I did. So, if in Prague pay these fine places a visit and you never know what treasures you might uncover. Please feel free to share similar stories of great travel finds by commenting.

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