halcyon the shop

halcyon the shop

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Stellar Record Armory and Strategic Sound Center
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halcyontheshop

halcyontheshop

May 10, 2010
edited over 9 years ago
the story behind halcyon...

Well it all started out innocently enough. I just wanted to chill out and play records with my friends in my Brooklyn apartment. Admittedly, our 12 hour sessions before a crowd of 30 or so, got to be a bit much for the neighbors so in 1999 my cousin Stephen, our friend Ben and I opened the original halcyon in a storefront one block from where I live, at 227 Smith St. The idea was to recreate the vibe of my Saturday afternoon record salons and invite the neighbors in for a coffee… all of them. The space had a coffee bar/café that served beer and wine too, rotating art shows adorned the walls and there was a comfy lounge outfitted with eclectic mid-century modern furnishings that were for sale, so the décor constantly changed. Towards the back was the record shop and a little patio. The DJ booth occupied center stage with a sound system that was by all reasonable measures complete overkill, as was the oversized disco ball that presided… We honestly had no idea how people would react, we just opened the doors, turned up the music and let them in to hang out and make the place their own. The rest, as they say, is history. One year later Time Out New York’s annual Clubs edition featured halcyon on the cover, declaring it “The Beating Heart of NYC’s Underground”

Funny… turns out when you take DJs and electronic dance music heads out of the foreboding nightclub and throw them in a day lit space with the general public, they two get on just fine. Straight folk even enjoy reading the Sunday Times to deep house music, which they will gladly purchase too, so long as they aren’t made to feel ashamed for not knowing what it is called. Who knew unless you try, right?

So therein lies the mission; halcyon is about sharing a passion for music and instilling a respect for DJ Culture in a wider community. We’ve gotten into just about every aspect of the scene over the years but those themes have been constants.

In 2004, when the original halcyon succumbed to the socio-economic changes that were sweeping NYC, we opened halcyon the shop, an expanded music retail operation with a gallery and design boutique in Dumbo, Brooklyn’s chic gallery district. In 2008 halcyon became one of the first independent retailers to launch it’s own online download shop with halcyondigi.com, and since we’ve steadily developed halcyonlline.com into an e-commerce and digital publishing platform from which we serve music, media, information and commentary to what is now the widest audience the brand has ever reached.