Image credit: Florian Wehde
7 Best Record Stores in Berlin
“Best record store” lists undoubtedly depict a biased slant. If the list is “curated” by a single writer or a cultural aggregator of lists (we’re looking at you, Thrillist) posturing as a local, best is ambiguous at best. With our series of city-specific Best Record Stores, you’re getting the definitive list of spots according to some well-known record lovers in the city they call home. Sounds pretty simple, right? We’re certainly hoping so because we’re continuing our record digging adventure with the best record stores in Berlin, Germany. Discogs asked some of our favorite Berliners like Kristoffer Cornils of Groove Magazine and Natalye Childress of Berlin Beat to chime in on the best record stores in Berlin!
“…a wicked selection of jazz, funk, and soul.”
“OYE Records has been my favourite spot to visit in Berlin. I’ve been a big fan of the whole crew and the music they’ve been releasing over the last 5 years or so and they always show me so much love when I’m in town. Not to mention a wicked selection of jazz, funk, and soul.”
– Kamaal Williams, Yussef Kamaal, Musician
“…what makes Melting Point a very special and criminally underrated Berlin record store is the welcoming atmosphere.”
“Melting Point is a small store nestled in one of Berlin’s most gentrified corners of the city, serving as an inviting reminder that Prenzlauer Berg was once a dance music hotspot in the city. In fact, the store’s owners kicked off Melt Festival some twenty years ago. Nowadays, Melting Point is an unassuming store with tons of second-hand records scattered about the floor, 5€ per piece, or 2,50€ if you buy ten or more. Between Strictly Rhythm hip-house singles and an endless stream of Get Physical releases, you will also find the occasional Def Jam EP or LPs from the very genres that both house and hip hop were built on: soul, funk, and disco. Sure, you could fetch most of those from the local flea market or on your next Discogs spree, but what makes Melting Point a very special and criminally underrated Berlin record store is the welcoming atmosphere. Here, you won’t feel judged if you finally stock up on essentials or grab the best-selling techno banger from the (expertly selected) new arrivals section. Instead, the clerk will quietly slip you a copy of that proto-house EP he was playing earlier because he noticed you were tapping your foot along to the rhythm. When you go to Melting Point, you don’t necessarily come for real gems, but for a shared passion.”
“The blues section is crazy…”
“This was one of the first shops that a close friend of mine took me to when I’d just moved over to Berlin. The blues section is crazy. In fact, the whole place is crammed with absolute gems, some of which get hauled over to the flea market at Mauerpark. That’s where I found Patti Smith‘s Easter – the perfect Christmas present for my partner last year.”
Bis Aufs Messer
“In a city like Berlin with dozens of scenes and countless artists, they make it easy for me to find stuff I love.”
“I’m a punk kid at heart, so when I first discovered Bis Aufs Messer, I immediately felt at home. It’s not a particularly large shop and the selection is very specialized (hardcore, punk, screamo, indie), but you can tell the two owners, Robert and Stefan, are passionate about the music they sell and try to curate a collection that reflects their personal tastes. The store started off as online mail-order before expanding to include a brick-and-mortar location. It’s also the home of the labels Adagio830 and Vendetta Records. When you write about music like I do, you’re exposed to a lot, often to the point where it’s really difficult to be surprised or get excited about it. But whenever I look through the vinyl at Bis Aufs Messer or browse the online shop, I’m always amazed by how much I don’t know. It brings me back to being 16, spending hours at my local record store, picking something random that just feels right, and getting super stoked to go home and listen to it for the first time. The hyperlocal focus at Bis Aufs Messer is also a big plus, and in a city like Berlin with dozens of scenes and countless artists, they make it easy for me to find stuff I love.” – Natalye Childress, Berlin Beat
“Bis Aufs Messer is my favorite record store since it’s enthusiastic, honest, and reasonably priced and also carries a wide selection of different genres that reflect the different tastes involved. Mostly new stuff and imports of harder-to-get stuff (like Mount Eerie, Mississippi, Orindal, obscure black metal, noise, garage, etc.) It’s also the home of Adagio830 where our stuff is stored, shipped, etc. Friendly and nice.”
– Robert Schulze, Adagio830
“The record store has a little café next door, which makes it even easier to meet a jazz drummer or a famous local rock singer, casually hanging out to have a cappuccino…”
“I have a rule to never spend more than 3 euros on a record… unless it’s a real gem that I need to own, such as a rare and fantastic German new wave band, like Malaria! or Din A Testbild. That’s why I usually just browse flea markets. Berlin has an amazing flea market culture, from the famous Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg to the deepest backwaters of Neukölln. Berlin has a variety of amazing record stores, but my favorite is 33 rpm. Adem, aka Jeff Özdemir, is not only the curator of this excellent selection of records, but also a very prolific musician who likes to connect with a lot of artists and collaborate on collective creative projects. The record store has a little café next door, which makes it even easier to meet a jazz drummer or a famous local rock singer, casually hanging out to have a cappuccino and chat about their future projects.” – Manon Heugel, Laisse-Moi
“I like to buy used records at flea markets too, especially the ones at Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain and Arkonaplatz in Prenzlauer Berg. The prices are low and there is always some sausages to buy somewhere between the stalls. I found my most beautiful low-budget German pop and Italo records some years ago at Arkonaplatz. The stall owner was a big bear dressed in leather and chains, and he was obsessed with metal, disco… and beer. He would drink beer every Sunday morning behind his stall, selling his records.”
– Marie Klock, Laisse-Moi
“It is situated in Berlin-Schöneberg, the artistic area of Berlin. Once the homes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Marlene Dietrich…”
“My favorite spot is Dodo Beach in Schöneberg. It’s a small shop with a nice selection of old and new releases. As I listen to nearly everything, I like a wide selection, and they got it! They also sell secondhand. And the best: It’s amazing and very kind people working there!”
– Fee Kuerten, Tellavision
“My favorite shop is one of the closest to my home – Dodo Beach on Vorbergstraße. It is situated in Berlin-Schöneberg, the “artistic” area of Berlin. Once the homes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Marlene Dietrich – and anyhow, also me. I am such a bad girl – I do not have my own record player – BUT I am not a fan of CDs either. What I actually do is listen to music on streaming platforms and if I really like it, I go to buy the vinyl record, no kidding! DoDo Beach has a great choice and is always up to date. If you need any help, just ask the guys. And fortunately, they are also connected to a ticketing shop, so most of the time a record alone does not work, but you will for sure also go to a concert within the next weeks! I love it!”
– Anastasia, ANA ANA
“The store was founded in the late eighties, shortly after the wall came down, and early on established a strong connection to producers and DJs in Detroit.”
“If you feel a little lost, you’re definitely on the right track. The Hard Wax record store is hidden away in the backyard of a typical Kreuzberg building, the way up the stairs marked by countless label stickers and graffiti tags.
Hard Wax is a techno institution, it breathes the musical history of Berlin. The store was founded in the late eighties, shortly after the wall came down, and early on established a strong connection to producers and DJs in Detroit. It was run by the two publicity-shy figures behind the Basic Channel and Chain Reaction record labels, it shares its space with the legendary Dubplates & Mastering studios, and, over the years, had some key techno players working behind its desk, like DJ Hell and Electric Indigo in the early days and Marcel Dettmann later on.
The shop almost exclusively stocks vinyl, with a strong focus on techno and house, the latest trends from UK’s club scene, and a huge selection of dub rarities and all things Jamaica. I always enjoy scanning through the latest arrivals and the big backstock, once in a while taking a peek at the impressive Killasan sound system occupying an entire wall of the shop and getting lost in the sound.”
– Arno Raffeiner, Spex
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