– by Louis Humberstone
In an era of media streaming, torrenting, and digital downloads, physical copies have long been under scrutiny. In particular, the death and revival of vinyl is a recurring story, as the format moves in ebbs and flows of popularity. With the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) reporting that revenue from vinyl rose 38% in 2015, it is apparent the vinyl revival is well underway in Australia.
The best way to access vinyl is to get amongst some great independent retailers and trawl through their collections to find something you love. Finding a rare or special edition LP offers something that a download cannot; a musical journey of discovery and interest.
In Perth, for a small city, there is certainly a range of vinyl stores catering to different markets. Here’s our top five picks in the Perth area:
Noise Pollution Records
An obvious favourite, Noise Pollution is situated in Northbridge on the corner of William Street and Aberdeen Street near the TAFE building. Noise Pollution’s a great spot to find older Rock records but new arrivals are always coming in, and they often stock a variety of local bands. It’s also the spot to find a great selection of band t-shirts.
On the other side of the city, Dada Records on Pier Street is another favourite that stocks a wide variety of genres and formats. The emphasis here seems to be towards classic acts of the last fifty years, but as you move towards the back expect to find some more obscure content. Dada is the place to find singles, EPs as well as LPs, and the knowledgeable staff have got it covered with constantly updated stock.
For those living South-of-the-River, Rhubarb Records along Albany Highway in East Victoria Park is a great spot for picking up some affordable and great quality vinyl. Even if you don’t live in Vic Park, Rhubarb is a must-visit stop. The store has genre-sectioned crates, from Post-Punk to EDM and plenty in between. The bargains here are the second-hand LPs and singles that give you that original sound at a great price. Another store with great customer service, Rhubarb Records also have a tasty range of cassettes.
Fremantle’s place in the WA music scene is well documented, and Junction Records is just one of a number of record stores to be found there. Able to attract a wide range of customers, Junction specialises in guitar music like 60’s Psych and Blues, but expect to find much more. They also have an extensive CD and music DVD collection, so you can always find something you’re into.
The newest store on the list, Highgate Continental offers an extremely diverse range of hard-to-find music alongside the more Indie-flavoured Pop gems. Located on Beaufort Street but with a solid online presence, Highgate Continental is as likely to sell South African Disco rarities as they are a new Ty Dolla $ign LP. For book-lovers, the store also features some really interesting editions of a variety of texts.
This is by no means a definitive list of record stores as there are a heap of other great outlets, big and small, that are dedicated to bringing the best vinyl to Perth. Keep away from the cash-ins like JB Hi Fi to keep local niche business alive, and continue the vinyl revival.
Noise Pollution Records
280 William Street
36 Pier Street
Shop 5/851 Albany Highway
East Victoria Park WA
27 William Street
479 Beaufort Street