Friday, 20 September 2013
I'm fairly certain that Kops Records was the first vinyl shop I ever set foot in. Back when it was Kops and Vortex, my sister's boyfriend at the time took me digging there and bought me a copy of Miles Davis' Siesta. Almost twenty years later, this Toronto stalwart is not only still going strong, it's finally branched out, opening a second location kitty-corner from Honest Eds at 592 Bloor Street West.
Don't let the dated awning for N. Markus Fashions lead you astray, there's black gold in those hills.
The focus for this location is a well-balanced assortment of boutique LPs (i.e. wall records, core classics and high-quality reissues) and dollar bin 7 inches, ample sustenance for an entire afternoon of digging.
The initial offerings I gleaned today - for example the multiple shelves of Japanese Beatles albums (with obis, obviously) - definitely cater to serious rock collectors.
However, this outpost also devotes a more than patriotic amount of floor space to Canadiana, and ample square footage to soundtracks (saw an original press of Zabriskie Point in there), 60s psyche, blues, jazz and even 78s. I've also been promised that there's a warehouse worth of CTI albums in the wings to keep the beat junkies fixed up.
The store had its soft launch this week but the grand opening shindig is Saturday September 28th. Expect deejays, bands, sales, general fanfare, heavy crates and dusty fingers.
Actually, all of the records have been vacuumed and sleeved, so expect fingers no cleaner or dirtier than they were when you arrived.
I'll leave you with some cuts from the records I picked up there today.
Various - Rewind 2, Ubiquity, 2003
Discogs: Rewind 2
Povo Povo "Uam Uam"
Big Bang "Speak Low"
And two Loft classics, the latter in the dollar bin!
Idris Muhammad - "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This," Turn This Mutha Out, Kudu, 1977
Discogs: Turn This Mutha Out
War - "Country City Country," Platinum Jazz, Blue Note, 1977
(The 13:18 version is originally from The World is a Ghetto, United Artists Records, 1972)
Discogs: Platinum Jazz