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Dance Music Record Stores

Bristol, one of the largest cities in the South West UK is a great place for finding music. Although the main influences seem to be Drum and Bass, Hip-Hop and vile Indie music, there is a fair amount of quality dance music, if you sniff round the right areas.

Bristol - UK

First of all we head down Gloucester Road, the best in Bristol for music of all types.
  01 Music Exchange - 0117 922 7517 - When I first entered this shop I was astounded. They must have THOUSANDS of secondhand and ex-shop CD's and records, and I'm not joking! Spread across three storeys, I've spent hours at a time rummaging through racks and boxes of records and CD's. Downstairs you'll find all the records, every genre imaginable is catered for here in quite some detail. There are a couple of real nice guys running the place who are great at finding stuff when you're overwhelmed with all the titles. They have numerous offers on CD's and Records, such as 3 for 2. Most of their 12" singles are priced between 3 and 6 - and they have some real rarities, including a Hooj Choons sections full of really old Choons I'd never heard of before finding this site.. CD's are also a great forte of theirs, they must have over 3000 CD singles! and countless albums, soundtracks and compilations etc. CD singles are unfortunately not sorted by genre, but only by name, so it takes a good hour and a half to check them all out - needless to say you'll find something rare, collectable, or just something you never knew existed! The CD singles are usually only 2 each, which means you can often (in conjunction with their 3 for 2 offer) pick up 3 real gems for just 4. I've recently seen loads of brand new Hooj Choons at just 2 each which is the cheapest I've ever seen. . Overall 5/5
  02 Prime Cuts Music Exchange - This is a hard one to find, only recognisable by a smallish billboard outside a charity shop - but once you get past all the smelly old clothes and screaming kids and find the basement, you'll be glad you found it! Its suprisingly clean and tidy and has very clearly defined genres, all of which are catered for in quite some detail. All the records are second hand or ex-shop, and they seem to have a lot of undiscovered trance oldies - for example at present they BOTH discs of the original Cafe Del Mar release on Hooj Choons! This ones really worth your attention, and just because its beneath a charity shop doesn't mean its full of junk or run by a couple of deaf old biddies. Definitely worth your attention.. Overall 5/5
  03 Music Stop - www.music-stop.co.uk - 0117 942 3044 - This shop is the best of them all in my opinion, there's a great selection of Vinyl, both new and used - loads of new releases, quality promos, and some great oldies - with regular acquisitions of second - hand vinyl, you never know what you may find. There's also a vast selection of CD singles, also with some second hand and old stock. Prices are also a great point, new 12" and promo singles are usually 3 - 4, when HMV regularly charges 6 for the same items. The shop is run by various people, one of whom is a really friendly local DJ who's helpful and often knows about that rare title you're after, and may well find it for you. There's another Music Sop on Whiteladies Road, nothing dance-wise except a comprehensive range of compliations. Overall 5/5
  04 Disc N Tape - www.disc-n-tape.co.uk - 0117 942 2227 - Not even a stone's throw away, Disc N Tape is another superb shop. With ALL the latest releases (not always the promos, see above for them) on CD and Vinyl at incredible prices - often 3.50 for a brand new 12" or 2.50 for a new CD single! Their web-site is superb, it always shows all the weeks new releases and saves the trek down to HMV. Online ordering is safe, fast and very friendly. I've seen (and bought) quite a few Hooj rarities from here - they still have stocks of the FFRR release of 'Schoneberg' by Marmion on CD! and quite a few oldies too. The stock shown on their website does not cover everything, - their old stock of CD and 12" singles on the shop-floor contains some undiscovered gems not listed on their site. They are listed on Netsounds - www.netsounds.com - THE best place in the UK to buy rare and secondhand music. Overall 5/5
  05 Rooted Records - 0117 907 4372 - A couple of doors down is Rooted Records which covers all genres, specializing in Drum and Bass. Nearly all stock is on vinyl and it's run by a couple of friendly, easy going guys. Their 1 boxes have been the source of my most wanted 12" single ever, as well as a few other bargains I've not seen before. At this time they have Hooj60R and Hooj68R for a quid each brand new, - but not for much longer I shouldn't think! Very DJ friendly. Overall 4/5
  06 Plastic Boy Records - A little further down, this is a second hand shop, with most stock being on vinyl. The shop specializes in Classical, Rock and Indie, and has no dancce section. However, it is in these shops that - albeit very rarely -one finds a real steal, put amongst all the rubbish. - this one's worth checking if you've got the time. Overall 2/5
Now we leave Gloucester Road and head south to Perry's Road, which becomes Park Row.
  07 Bang Bang - 0117 922 7377 - The only record store on this short stretch, and it's quite good. You're instantly impressed by how smart this shop is, but this is reflected somewhat in the prices, it's not the sort of place where you spend Saturday afternoon listening to dozens of discs then leave without spending a penny - (see HMV for this). However, the staff are very friendly and helpful, and the shop has a great relaxed atmosphere - no nose pierced knuckle draggers as are so commonly found loitering in record shops. (see Imperial music). They've got some great stock (all new), which often includes some real rarities, especially form the US and Europe. Overall 3/5
Shortly after Park Row, we turn down Park Street proper and are faced with another high density area of music shops.
  08 Replay - 0117 904 1134 - www.replay.co.uk - Replay is a record shop typical of Bristol, - specializing in Drum and Bass, Hip Hop etc, but it does have a fair amount of dance, a few new releases and some promo's, as well as special offers. It's great for second hand compilations. I've picked up a nice new 12" lately for just 3.50! There is also another Replay down in Boradmead, in a rather gritty underpass. It's crammed with second hand vinyl, and although it's mostly rubbish, you might find a real bargain. Overall 2/5
  09 Rayners Compact Discs - This small shop does not stock vinyl, but has a great range of CD's, often at rock bottom prices, I've picked up a newly released single at under 2 brand new. You may well find an old CD you thought everyone had forgotten about. Overall 2/5
  10 Imperial Music - Again, this caters for all tastes, their dance section is fairly inexpensive, and always has the latest releases. Not too much of a back catalogue, but very friendly service. Interestingly, they put all their newly acquired second hand vinyl straight into their bargain racks, so if you come at the right time you might find a real bargain before anyone else does. The shop also has a small clothing section, which seems to attract all the half-wit skateboarder types. Overall 3/5
  11 Onyx Music - 0117 929 0419 - Even further down Park Street we find this shop. Very much like Rayners Compact Discs, it doesn't carry vinyl, but has a good selection of singles and a great selection of albums. I found one of my most treasured Hooj Cd's at this shop. Don't be alarmed by the goth-type running the shop. Overall 2/5

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