Call me old school, but I still love shopping for CDs. The iPod/MP3 thing doesn’t do it for me, partially because I don’t use headphones anymore and partially because the quality of a lot of MP3 files is substandard. I even received a $50 iTunes card for Christmas that I have yet to use! (I’ll get to it, I promise. There are a lot of songs I want.) With digital downloads taking over and indie music retail stores dwindling these days — an estimated 2,000 in the U.S. , down from 5,000 a decade ago — it’s become harder to enjoy shopping for CDs. Perusing online has its advantages, but sometimes I want to see the full package in my hands in front of me. It’s the tactile experience that I crave.
Which brings me to this profile. I recently went to London for the second time, and once again I journeyed to the rockin’ section of Camden Town on a quest for goth and metal music. My favorite spot? Resurrection Records, located downstairs within a merch shop. Nestled in the back, it’s modest and cozy, and what a treasure trove of albums it possesses. If you’re looking for classic Eighties goth and industrial, Nineties ethereal goth and synthcore tunage, or more recent dark music incarnations like goth and medieval metal, they have it all — from Sisters of Mercy to VNV Nation to Xandria. Other genres they offer include punk and J-Rock. Resurrection also carrys vinyl and DVDs, including limited edition releases.
Some of the prices might be a little higher or a little lower than what you’ll find online, but regardless you’ll often find things you can’t easily get online and can see their condition right then and there. You’re also supporting an independent business, which is vitally important these days. On my latest trip, I purchased Home, the first solo album from Persephone, aka the elegantly ethereal side project of Sonja Kraushofer from L’Ame Immortelle; the European edition of Diabolos, by chameleon-like J-Rock artist Gackt; and Black Radio, a live concert bootleg of the veteran Australian goth rock band Ikon. While browsing for those CDs I was astonished at the number of great indie albums that I normally would have to browse through a website to even get near. Just being able to see everything at once and flip through the bins was mesmerizing.
Equally cool is the fact that the store also runs a mail order division online, so you can browse through their new stock before you head into the store. (They also offer used discs, some of which are hard to find. You need to visit to see what’s in stock.) While the exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro has been tipped against Americans in recent years, that has waned a bit recently, and if you know what you’re looking for you can research things prior to your trip. If you give them advance notice before you visit from out of the country, store owners Katrina and Andrew can special order albums that are in print. That’s a nice plus. And yes, they take credit cards, which will give you the best exchange rate possible.
Ultimately it’s a helluva lot of fun to shop at Resurrection Records. Take a pilgrimage to this music mecca next time you’re in London.