Walking in to this well-located shop the first thing you notice is the washing line hanging above the racks displaying the shops iconic T-Shirts. The shop is owned by Stuart Baker who also owns the legendary London label Soul Jazz Records. Starting off from a market stall 25 years ago, it is now one of the must visit record stores in the capital.
A long list of genres is well catered for in one of London’s coolest shops which is especially strong on Grime, Reggae, African, Dubstep, Funk and Soul, Brazilian and Hip Hop. The shop is affiliated to the reissue label Soul Jazz Records. Upstairs you will find new product with plenty of listening posts to test out potential purchases, you will also find ‘Soul Jazz ‘bags for sale in 7” and 12” sizes and a unique line in old-school vintage tracksuits.
Downstairs the basement is choker full of second-hand vinyl including some extremely rare albums and surprises. You would never except to pick up a copy of The Best of Lyn Anderson but I noticed a copy in the well-stocked second-hand country section. Do make the effort to look in the boxes under the racking as plenty of well-priced stock is located there.
You will normally find the shops main buyer Jonathan Burnip sitting in the corner behind the counter downstairs. He has a wealth of experience and is always pleased to recommend releases. However, over the next few weeks he is on paternity leave.
The shop also has one of the finest selection of new and used music related books of any record shop I have visited in the UK.
Giles Peterson and Jamie Cullum and Martin Freeman are amongst the more well-known regular customers but a big highlight for the shop was the day Prince walked in.
I asked owner Stuart what Proper and Essential releases he was enjoying:
Gal Costa – Classic post-Tropicalia album from the mid-70s from one of the founders of the Brazilian psychedelic movement that also included Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes and Tom Ze. Sounding fresh!
The Voices of the East Harlem – Can you feel It’ Seminal album of rare groove soul. Originally released on the independent Just Sunshine label in USA in the mid-70s and very collectible in Britain ever since.
Heliocentrics – From the makers of the Academy Award winning ‘Searching For Sugarman’. Two warriors for peace, a vat of chemicals and an LSD cookbook. What could possibly go wrong? Original score by The Heliocentrics.
Marjarata – Marijata was a group made up of three members – Kofi ‘Electric’ Addison on drums, Bob Fischlan on organ and Nat Osmanu on guitar, hailing from Ghana. ‘This Is Marijata’ is the group’s first LP; released originally on the Gapophone label – it is pure, rootsy, raw, driving African funk music of the highest order, now highly sought-after in both its original and previously reissued forms!
If you would like to be Proper’s Featured Store, contact Graham Jones
Sounds of the Universe
Tel: 0207 734 3430
Vinyl, CD, Second-hand, Clothing< Merchandise, Books
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 5:30pm
Sunday: 11:30am – 5:30pm
Sounds of the Universe
7 Broadwick Street