Digging for black gold in Tokyo


Tokyo – some people come for the food, others come to dig deeper into Japan’s subtly complex culture and history. Me? I come for the record shopping.

Having trawled the bins of numerous record stores around the globe this past five years, no city surrenders rare and hard-to-find gems like Plastikman’s Spastik 12″ or the Morr music 3LP set Blue Skied an’ Clear quite as readily and as consistently as Tokyo’s multiple Disk Union locations (previously covered here). This vinyl lover’s personal favourite is the Shimokitazawa store.

Disk Union is also a great place to plug holes in one’s Bowie collection, especially if OBI strips and mint condition media are important to you. That’s the other thing about buying from Disk Union, the Japanese vendor, like many stores, tend to underrate sleeve and record condition and they rarely mark records up to insane levels. Mind you, Aphex Twin’s 4LP box of Drukqs regularly commands US$130+.

A copy of The Black Dog’s Spannerswhilst only VG+ at best, ran this 90s IDM digger a mere US$20. Back in Australia, even in this condition, it’s a AU$100 record. No wonder I save all my record buying cash for trips like these.

The Waterboys’ Live Adventures 3LP popped up not once but twice – a sign if ever there was one not to ignore the band’s killer cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” (featured here and only here) – and both times for way less than the current Discogs price.

Here’s a run through 90% of all that I dug up in one the world’s finest cities:

Further information: Disk Union


DAR 750 x 290

Written by John H. Darko

John lives in the NOW + HERE = NOWHERE. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also an occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
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  1. Photek. Monster record. Hardfloor, yes! That Sasha record has been on want list for years. Autechre, The Orb, man you’re killing it. Robert Leiner, stunning. FSOL!!
    Killer haul. Well played.