Every true music nerd is familiar with the seemingly anachronistic activity of crate-digging. Laborious and tiresome, it’s worth it for those rare finds and there is no city quite like New York City for the vinyl lover.
Unfortunately, record stores, especially in the genre of electronic dance music, had been dropping like flies all over the city long before the recession ever hit. In the East Village, the beloved record store Etherea on Avenue A closed last month, to the dismay of DJs and lay music lovers alike. Luckily, music dorks have a savior.
Vinyl Market, located at 241 E. 10th St. (between First and Second avenues), sells electronic music from House to Minimal Techno to Experimental with new releases imported from Europe and Japan.
Consistently stocking freshly pressed records from the best electronic music labels around, Vinyl Market has become an El Dorado for many serious DJs in NYC. With such a healthy patronage, the record store is coming up on its tenth year and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The store itself is on the small side, with the newest records lining the walls and one wall lined with crates. Off to the side, customers can listen to records on technic turntables and owner Kaz Okura spins Techno music on a DJ booth to his heart’s delight.
As a top DJ from Japan, Okura doesn’t speak English that well, but he knows his dance music inside and out. Acting like a friendly but quirky music guru, he not only gives great music recommendations but also gives advice on what records mix well with them, making the crate-digging process that much easier.
Be warned, however: Vinyl Market caters to a very niche market of DJs and music lovers and can make for a trying experience. Instead of by style, music is categorized by record label. This can be beneficial for DJs who have go-to record labels from which they regularly buy music, but can be somewhat aggravating for the average music listener who only has a vague idea of what he or she is looking for. Also, the record store is closed for extended periods during the year when Kazu is out of town, so it’s best to call in advance.
Granted, the store may pose a few challenges—but nobody ever said digging for buried treasure was easy.