We're selecting the best DJs in the business and taking them back to the record shops that mean the most to them. They will then lay down an immensely special set from their record shop of choice, and needless to say, the mix is 100% vinyl
Earlier this week we kicked off Episode 4 of 100% Vinyl by speaking to Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky, aka Apollonia, about their love for wax, the difficulties they can face on the road and some of their favorite records. For the second part of Episode 4 we look at their favourite record shop and the location of their 100% vinyl mix out on Friday, Syncrophone Records in Paris.
Syncrophone has been an integral part of the French house and techno scene for nearly 10 years through quality service, fantastic selection and its highly regarded distribution service. As well as being one of the best record shops in Paris, it helps manage a variety of independent labels while also distributing for labels such as Robsoul and Apollonia. It even has musical output of its own, with releases from the likes of Theo Parrish, DJ Qu and Joey Anderson.
We spoke to part-owner Didier Allyne, the man who's been there from the very start and who once owned a shop with Dan Ghenacia back in the 90s.
We hear that you've known Dan for years and you used to run a record shop together…
I've known Dan since 1995. He worked in one shop, I was in another – and then we both left our respective shops and opened up Traffic Records. We were open for about four years and used to do a residency at local clubs too. We go way back, so when Dan told me they were going to start Apollonia we knew we'd be working together again.
How has the Parisian record shop scene developed over the last five years?
It's been very difficult. About five years ago lots of record shops closed. Digital took so much of the business and people were saying vinyl was dead and there wasn't that much hope. But now, lots of young people and quality DJs are completely back in vinyl. Today the market is doing really well, as are lots of the local shops, and we have to continue in this way. It's not just that its back in fashion; I think the standard of records coming out has really helped. It's not about lots of records, it's about quality records. Vinyl is in a really good place right now.
What's the record shop scene like in Paris today?
For the last three years there's been maybe five or six electronic music shops. Some specialise in old stuff, some indie, some disco, so there's lots of different styles. The mentality between us all is great, too; we're all in it together so it's never good to have a closed mind. Its competitive, but healthy.
A big part of what you do, and where it all began for Syncrophone, was distribution. How many labels do you look after?
I'm not sure exactly how many, but between 50 and 70. Labels like Robsoul and Apollonia, who will have a record out each month or every two months, but we also look after lots of independent labels, too, labels that have a release out once every four, five or six months. We distribute lots of French labels, which we think is really important to do, but Italian, American and English as well.
What's the average working week like in Syncrophone?
It's mostly Monday to Wednesday, when we're co-ordinating with some of the best record shops in the world, working out which stock to send. We also work on the import side of things too, dealing with labels from America and people like Rush Hour and Clone; basically working on bringing the very best records we can to the store. Its pretty non-stop and there's always lots going on, but it's cool. Our usual hours are 9.30am to 7.30pm, but sometimes I'm still working when I get back home!
What have been some of the store's most popular records?
In the last year Kerri Chandler 'Sunday Sunlight' on Apollonia was one of the best-selling records, and DJ Qu 'Undescribed' on Syncrophone also did really, really well. A lot of represses do well, especially from Mood II Swing. It's interesting, as so many young people want the classics. They don't have them already, and Discogs is very expensive. So represses are doing well. But you have to act fast to get the new stuff, too, because usually after six months the best of the new releases have sold out and the price goes super high.
After speaking to the Apollonia guys it seems that one of the things that marks the store out is its great vibe and customer service…
We try to have good records for everyone. It's not just about giving the good records to the big DJs; sure, we'll always put a pile to the side for the Apollonia guys, but we try and do that for all our regular customers, too. Quality music is there to be enjoyed by everyone.
Check out the chart of favourite new releases submitted by the Syncrophone Records staff.
1) Shlømo 'Rechaïm EP' (Bright Sounds)
2) Kosme 'Archipel Emotions' Fred P Remix (Cosmic Ad)
3) Bluereed 'Bluereed' (Fragil Musique)
4) Signalweiss 'Artificia' Milton Bradley Remix (Fracture)
5) Mura Oka 'Auftakt LP' (Latency)
6) Nummer 'Beyond Time / Interpretations EP' (Peur Bleue Records)
7) Greg Brockmann & Tolga Fidan 'Sweet Damage EP' Bruno Pronsato remix (Popcorn LTD)
8) Kris Tidjan 'Floating Therapy EP' (Phonogramme)
9) Gilb'r & Jorge 'Lundi' Willie Burns rmx (Syncrophone)
10) Etienne Jaumet 'La Visite LP' (Versatile)