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[Boutique Beat]: Check Out Daily Vinyl's New Record Store Slash Guesthouse

The local diggers collective comes home. Here's a look inside Daily Vinyl's new appointment-only record store and guesthouse.
Last updated: 2017-07-04

Daily Vinyl: Just a couple of kids, Cookie (Shanghainese) and Endy (Jinhuanese), fighting that good fight for obscure music coming out in Asia and beyond, keeping it strictly on wax. A week or two back, the platform made huge strides in their operations, opening a dedicated vinyl shop, hang-out space, and guesthouse in a rustic but renovated lanehouse on Dagu Lu. In addition to running their own vinyl markets, club events for local and visiting DJs, a Taobao shop, a vinyl culture zine, and a few other odds and ends, they've also created this space for people to drop by and have a serious look through their catalogue.

In addition, they're also hosting short-stay rooms for out of town guests. If you want to seem super WITH-IT to your friends visiting from abroad, obviously this is the place to stick them. More on that below.

On the Racks

Daily Vinyl deals in hip hop, soul, funk, disco, "world music", and ambient music from the '50s and '60s on up. In particular, they've got lots of Chinese and Japanese releases, and also have ongoing partnerships with labels all over this side of the world to stock more. With about 1000 pieces at the house, their collection is pretty finely curated — you won't be pulling up any Journey’s Greatest Hits here. With lots of it not listed on their Taobao, prices are between 100rmb to 200rmb generally, and 6 to 700rmb for the more expensive records. Accepting the fact that I don't personally have much background in this kind of music (yeah, I've been known to rock the Journey from time to time), the vast majority of their stock is over my head.

Which means it must be for smart people with proper good taste in things.

But yeah, they have some turntables on-site so you can sample before you purchase.

Also interesting is that it's not broken down by genre really, which some might find inconvenient, but maybe that opens you up more to random discoveries that you might not have found if you stuck to your tried-and-true "Crusty Punk 7-Inches" section. Speaking to the Shanghai experienced diggers, if you like the selections of Asian funk, soul, and obscurities at Uptown, Daily Vinyl is the deeper cut.

The living room-style space also serves coffee (15rmb), tea (10rmb), beer (5-10rmb), house wine (30rmb), and Sake (varies), and they have a nice little patio you can hang out in. Probably better for just listening to music in rather than setting up your laptop though.

The Guesthouse

The three-story lanehouse also serves as a guest house for out-of-town visitors. They've got three bright and airy rooms priced 300rmb to 400rmb per night, depending on the size. The rooms — the whole house even — is clean and tasteful, and reflects the impulse towards a thoughtful sort of tranquility from the owners. It's real nice, is what I'm trying to say. I'd put my parents up in it, no worries. Modern bathrooms and all. Very classic Shanghainese but modernized for comfort, and right on the strip of Dagu Lu restaurants and bars. Hardwood floors and high ceilings.

On Visiting the Record Store and Booking the Rooms

Daily Vinyl is trying to maintain a low-key, away-from-the-hustle-and-bustle sort of thing like an anti-The Mansion — and are not publicizing the address. For both the shop and for booking the rooms, you've got to make an appointment in advance. The contact is the owner Cookie, and you can call or text at 134 8275 4222 in English or Chinese. You can also contact them through their official WeChat (WeChat ID: DailyVinyl).

But yeah, location-wise it's on Dagu Lu, pretty much in the center of Shanghai.

In the future at Daily Vinyl... look out for low-key vinyl-related events. Radio shows, video streaming, workshops — that kind of thing. Those will be on the SmSh events listings.