South Space Records are a collective of musicians and visual artists from South London. Earlier this year, Finbar and Stan decided to take a trip to Japan. Stan explains it as "the place that we’ve taken a lot of inspiration from and that intrigued us over the years so we knew we had to visit and experience it for ourselves".
South Space decided to record two sample banks of city sounds, capturing the transport, people and atmosphere of each city. They gave the London sounds to local Tokyo producers and the Tokyo sounds to the London producers. The end result of this will be an album that connects two underground scenes from opposite sides of the world through music. The project is still ongoing and South Space hope to share new material with everyone soon.
While they were there South Space also created a small documentary of their Tokyo record store discoveries that they hope will be helpful for anyone visiting this amazing city looking to purchase some incredible records. Stan says that " while we feel we’ve only scratched the surface of what this city has to offer and there are definitely some gems we haven’t discovered, we hope this film is a good starting point for people to go and discover their own favourite spots".
This film features South Space members 5TATIC, ASTRO, CIL and Eugene Angelo with unreleased music from +44RAPTURE, Project Karnak, DukeC and 5TATIC.
"This store is tiny. Rare memorabilia all over the walls, my favourite being the Pink Floyd incense. They have a small listening area at the back where you can play records before you buy which meant I went a bit crazy with digging out a load of their house classics, Jazz funk and rare groove records" - Stan
"There was a little hatch on the front of the shop, framing the owner standing above his decks pumping out the vibes. I remember the first thing I saw when we stepped in was an ancient vinyl lathe on one of the shelves and thinking “I wish I knew enough japanese to convince this guy to let me cut a load of South Space tracks onto vinyl” - Fin
"I think this has to be the wildest interior of any record store we visited. There are t-shirts, trinkets, stickers and a load of other weird objects on display / for sale around the shop. Most records found here are obscure, all from underground artists in their respective scenes. Lots of Japanese experimental house and techno. To listen to records you have to ask the shop owner to put it on and he’ll blast it out the shop stereo" - Stan
"I don’t know if you could even call this place a record store, it’s more like if a pirate who was really into techno decided to hide his stash of records and souvenirs down a sidestreet in suburban Tokyo. Couldn’t recommend this place enough" - Fin
"Sub store wasn’t where I’d personally go to buy records but the experience was amazing. The selection of records for sale was quite small and ranged from Indonesian punk to abstract movie soundtracks to old pop records. We met Andi (who owns the store with his wife) after he took an interest in my VCR. We chatted about our projects in Tokyo and he told us to visit a store around the corner that was closing down later that week (02:55)" - Stan
"Sub store felt like the kind of place I could go to to get a load of work done or have meetings, they had a great bar and a small snack menu with thai style dishes and a couple little tables inside. The soundtrack to our visit was great, some sort of japanese folk music, perfect vibes for a green tea and smoke" - Fin
"Beams is a record store that sits right next to the Beams Japanese fashion store. The place is super small with a range of Japanese comic books, CDs, headphones, retro CDJs and slipmats on display. I was pretty excited because they had the limited edition Aphex Twin EP ‘Collapse’ in CD and vinyl form - both sold out in the UK. They stocked a wide music selection from a range of genres, mainly just new releases. They recommended the MFD LP to me which was a new release from Japanese techno artist Shingo Suwa" - Stan
"Yeah this place had a real professional feeling to it, you could tell the person on the counter really knew their stuff, they made some amazing recommendations. We had a great chat with one of the staff when we went, he turned out to be an ambient tech producer. You’ll see the best DJs in Tokyo visit this store for their musical groceries" - Fin
"The Dub Store was amazing. Everything from rare reggae 45s from 70s/80s to new dubstep releases from our Reprezent Radio family back in London (Zha + White Peach Records). This is one of the only outlets in Japan that imports wax direct from Kingston, Jamaica. I picked up some wild records from all over, Japanese reggae being one of the strangest genre blends I’ve ever heard! The selection and range of reggae, dub, dancehall, jungle and dubstep was insane and I can’t wait to go back and spend some solid hours digging" - Stan
"Dub store had the most insane collection of records, I felt like a lot of the discs in there won't be seen in many other places around the world, total diamond mind for any DJ or producer looking for some dub sounds" - Fin
"Big Love was our favourite out of all of the stores I think. It was difficult for us to find at first as it was up a staircase along a sideroad but once we got inside the place was incredible. The vibe of the store was relaxed with a bar and balcony at the back. We found records from our mate Zach Witness as well as rare XL Recordings releases that were sold out back in the UK. They had a wide range of local to international releases and I spotted a lot of new records from labels like [PIAS] and Warp" - Stan
"Big love are a proud family run business, and it really shows. The owners are engaging and interested, all they want to do is help you find what your ears need. On our first visit after having a great chat with the guys behind the store about our antics in London and plans for Tokyo, we were on our way out the door and we heard a voice behind us shout “wait!!”, we stopped and there was the owner with 2 Big Love Records vinyl bags insisting we take them for free and spread the love. This really summed up the feel of the place. By the way, they do the best gin and tonic you’ll have in a long time" - Fin