Crate Diggers is all about supporting the record collecting community around the world. In the Crate Diggers Spotlight series we highlight record shops and their (local) initiatives to celebrate music and the record culture. This time, we want to put a-Musik and their monthly late night shopping event “Spätkauf” in the limelight. a-Musik record shop is based in the centre of the city of Cologne, Germany, and has been around for over two decades. We asked label manager Frank Dommert to tell us a bit more about their record shop, mail order services, distribution and record label.
Can you give us a short introduction to yourself?
My name is Frank Dommert. I work as a label manager (Sonig, a-Musik, Entenpfuhl), concert promotor (reiheM), producer, and I run the a-Musik recordstore (together with Georg Odijk & Wolfgang Brauneis). Our shop has been open since 1995.
How did you get into selling records?
I started my own label (Entenpfuhl) in 1987, when I was a curious 18 year old. Around that time I also started to trade records with international labels and started to sell locally.
What does your own collection look like?
My collection is huge, quite some meters with most vinyl records, but also some CDs. Experimental, Electronic, Industrial, Avantgarde & New Music, records by artists, Japanese, Caribbean, Dub & Reggae, Krautrock, Free Jazz …
What is your/the shop’s specialty?
Our background is experimental and electronic music (including electronica, techno, house), but apart from that we have records in many other genres: Contemporary, Avantgarde, Minimal & New Music, Avant/Rock, Non-Western, Blues, Jazz, Improv. We recently acquired a large collection of Classical music (including 20th century classical music) which we will be adding more of to the shop and online. And you can find basic Rock & Pop, some Funk & Disco, expensive and cheap stuff, bargains and CDs.
What do you enjoy most about running a record shop?
I like dealing with records AND music. And discovering new music all the time.
What is your favorite record in the shop at the moment?
I’ll pick one of the newer releases I bought myself recently: Monopoly Child Star Searchers – Make Mine, Macaw LP on Discrepant. I like Spencer Clark‘s fourth world sound, and amongst his many releases this one is really nice and strange.
What is the idea behind Spätkauf and what can people expect?
The shop is not only a shop but also a platform for music & arts. We want to provide a place where customers can meet people, talk, have a drink, listen to records, explore the shop and listen to the DJ, who’s able to play what he wants, no regulations like in bar or in a club! I always look around who’s in town, who’s active, networking, does musically interesting stuff and I try to invite different people from different scenes.
Head to a-Musik on Thursday the 5th of July for Spätkauf with White Centipede Noise!