While much has been made in the media about the resurgence of vinyl in recent years, indie music shops — especially ones that carry wax — have been quietly holding their own for years in Japan. A culture that appreciates sonic quality and the fine art of package design, an excursion to a record shop in the Land of the Rising Sun rails against the digital music revolution that changed the entire music industry. Pay a visit to one and you’ll see salarymen on their lunch breaks, corporate IDs tucked inside their shirt pockets, digging through stacks in search of new jams and rare nuggets.
One of Tokyo’s finest vinyl emporiums is Technique Records. Located in Shibuya on the second floor of 33-14 Udagawacho, a side street off the main street called Dogenzaka, Technique Records is a haven for techno and house DJs and enthusiasts. Carrying an amazing selection of new and used vinyl, the shop’s selection is incredible.
The first thing that strikes you upon entering the well organized store are the walls. They’re adorned with autographed white record sleeves from an array of world-class DJs such as Move D.
“Thank you Technique for keeping vinyl alive,” reads an inscription from Boys Noize.
“Thanks for the support! Love from LDN,” reads another from Eglo Records and Floating Points.
During my afternoon visit I was among a handful of customers in the shop. As a friendly clerk (pictured below) went about his business, I marveled at some of the classic records that were in stock.
Mike Huckaby’s “Baseline 88-89” was prominently displayed.
The used techno section was overflowing with releases from artists ranging including Joey Beltram, Joris Voorn and John Tejada.
The polite signs posted by the listening station states that records must be fully taken out of their sleeves when played on the turntable and that any record priced at ¥100 cannot be previewed.
Technique Records might be situated a little off the beaten path, but for the vinyl lover visiting Tokyo it’s a must-see destination.
Images by Darren Ressler