Article by Tia Korpe, Astrid Engberg, Katrine Ring, and Katrine Choe Larsen
Copenhagen is quickly becoming a must-visit city in Europe in terms of gastronomy, design, and its enormous “hygge-factor” (hygge is the national word for ‘cozy’), but Copenhagen is also more than worth a visit for vinyl lovers.
According to Vinylhub, Denmark is home to 58 shops and just 5.6 million inhabitants, which makes it pretty much a sure shot to find something you’re looking for or something you didn’t know you were looking for.
Personally, I think Copenhagen is a great city to dig in. It’s small enough where you can actually visit several shops in a day, but diverse enough where you can really find some gold. Even though Copenhagen ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world, the record sales don’t actually reflect this, and you’ll often find really decent prices, and a couple of steals if you know where to go. Most vinyl shop owners will gladly offer you a cup of coffee and help you find what you’re looking for, and that kind of friendly service is what makes the experience when digging even better.
Further, you will often come across US press, original press, and lots of independent releases – especially within Jazz, since Denmark has a long history with American Jazz musicians.
Although there are a couple of digger’s guides to Copenhagen out there, this guide has been co-written with three women who all collect and DJ vinyl, and are frequent diggers in Copenhagen. I asked them to recommend their favourite digging spots based on selection, atmosphere, and specialities, so here go our must-visit record stores in Copenhagen:
Astrid Engberg is a singer, composer, producer and DJ, her favourite digging spots are:
In the neighbourhood Nørrebro, you’ll find Palmspree – one of my favourite hangout spots. Owned by DJ and radio-host Anthon Stacks, Palmspree carries both used and new. Original and repress. Brasil, beats, jazz, soul, psych & a fine selection of local releases. You can almost be sure to cross paths with some of the locals from the Copenhagen beat-making scene at Palmspree. The shop also provides in-store concerts and DJ-sets, especially during the summer.
Photo Credit: Palmspree
Just around the corner from Palmspree, you’ll find Paname City Records, owned by Parisian vinyl lover, DJ and connaisseur Adrien Pastor. Adrien is always up for a nice chat or the sweet quality of just leaving you alone while you go through the goodness. The shop holds a ton of good stuff; Hip hop, jazz, soul, funk, afro, brazil – And always a rare super dope 7′ behind the counter that just arrived. Beware, you might wanna spend your life savings in here.
Photo Credit: Paname City Records
In Tullinsgade, hidden between main streets Vesterbrogade and Gl. Kongevej, you’ll find Can Family record store and gallery, owned by Martin Aalykke Kristiansen and his wife Stine. Martin, who’s in charge of the records is a master at finding gems and will introduce you to some real gold. His passion for music and vast knowledge is pure, and I really enjoy passing by for a chat and ruining myself financially. A couple of my most cherished records are from Can.
Jazz, soul, afro, electronica, disco, danish. Rarities/super rarities. All original.
Photo credit: Future Female Sounds
Katrine Ring is a producer, sound artist and DJ. Her recommendations are:
Heimdalsgade22 is basically a great coffee shop in a residential of Nørrebro. The owners are childhood friends and passionate about music. You can enjoy good coffee while listening to albums with the greatest or the strangest tunes. That’s how I discovered a lot of good music. They have a curated display and sell quite a selection of exquisite jazz, library music, Asian music and music of their own import from all over the world. Here you’ll find funky stuff, jazz, library, sound, Danish, Japanese, Korean, and rare releases.
Photo credit: Hemidalsgade22
The owner Morten Kamper is one of Denmark’s great DJ’s for decades. He is into house from Detroit to Chicago and a lot of electronic stuff. He gathers a lot of his long-time colleagues in order to activate their enormous collections of vinyl. You will meet the DJ’s in the shop and have a good talk about music and get lots of anecdotes. The focus is on quality music, hidden gems and hard-to-get releases from their vaults. It’s possible to find rare stuff, within house, techno, electro, drum’n’bass, italo disco, new wave, synth wave, IDM and EDM. He also buys vinyl from private collectors, so you might find something quite rare.
*3030Vinyl_Collective opens at the beginning of December 2019.
Speakers Korner Records is a basement shop in the heart of Nørrebro. It’s tiny, but absolutely worth visiting. It’s got a very cosy and friendly atmosphere and the shop specializes in wax only. Second hand and new releases. Vlada from the shop hosts a monthly club called Frekvens Kontrol and djs very often in clubs around the city, playing the records from Speakers Korner. You’ll find a vast repertoire of genres like ethiojazz, boogie, jungle, jazz, funk, dub and electronica.
Photo credit: Speakers Korner Records
DJ KCL aka. Katrine Choe Larsen is a producer and DJ. Her digging tips are:
Ooh Ahh is a cozy shop filled with alternative music. They have little sections of soundtrack music, soul, funk, hip hop and world music, and a big section of rock, punk and electronic music. The owner is very helpful, and if you come by often enough, he’ll often throw in a discount. Spread across the floor, there are plenty of cheap crates as well, where you can get lucky diggin’ gold if you’re patient enough!
Photo credit: Tia Korpe
If you’re looking for Rap and Hip Hop vinyl, you’ve found a paradise for 2nd hand records. This place is especially great if you want to discover Danish rap, but you’ll also find tons of second hand and new releases. Rekords also has a nice selection of original US press. Prices are fair, and the service is good. You can listen to the records before you buy (too many of) them. Also ships worldwide.
Photo credit: Rekords
This small shop in Nørrebro has records, cartoons, magazines, vintage lamps, DVDs and much more. They have a large rock and metal section, and a small but interesting selection of music from Africa, The Middle East, Latin, Rap & Reggae. They also offer vinyl from independent Danish labels. If you’re looking for some different world music, this is your spot.
Photo Credit: Second Beat
Finally, I would like to contribute with a few ‘oldies but goodies’, which are must-visits on your Copenhagen record hunt route.
Without comparison, Sound Station carries the biggest stock and has existed since 1991. With daily new arrivals, it makes this place essential for both new discoveries and finding those classics that are missing from your collection. The team of guys running the shop are very knowledgeable and friendly, and will often go out of their way to recommend you records you might like (an actual real-life Spotify ‘recommendations for you’!). They carry a ton of jazz, rock, funk, electronic, soul, hip hop, reggae, brazil and all in between – as well as classical music and experimental field recordings.
They also have lots of cool memorabilia and collectables, like Arrested Developments Platinum plack, signed and hand-drawn copies from Dimitri from Paris. A must visit.
Just a 10-minute walk from Copenhagen Central Station in Vesterbro, you will find this relatively newly opened vinyl shop and café, with a big selection of exclusively new vinyl releases and books. With more than 10.000 titles in stock, and a relaxed atmosphere, it’s hard to walk away empty-handed. Make sure you treat yourself to the café’s delicious menu before hopping on to the next diggin’ spot.
This classic record shop in central Nørrebro is set in a little but packed space, filled with a diverse selection of both new and old, especially rock, folk, jazz and Danish rarities. But don’t leave without checking out the hidden basement! You’ll find sections of disco, funk, soul, some hip hop and more used vinyl for fair prices.
My last tip is to keep your wantlist very handy when travelling to Copenhagen, as one of Discogs’ biggest sellers globally (!) just so happens to be based in Copenhagen. With more than 600,000 vinyl for sale (yep, you read that right), you can possibly get real lucky, by simply ordering in advance and have the records shipped to your hotel room. Visit 1207 on Discogs!