While on the surface Shanghai may not seem like the most musical of cities, it actually has a lot to offer. From hard-to-find but worth-the-hunt music stores selling original vinyl records, to dozens of instrument stores providing a vast selection of equipment, to an array of venues and individuals dedicated to constantly improving the scene by bringing in international acts, there's enough here to satisfy any music buff.
1) Uptown Records store
Opened in 2011, Uptown Records is the first store of its kind in Shanghai. Hidden underneath an apartment building on Pingwu Lu (near Jiaotong University metro station and DADA club), this winding lair offers music aficionados (okay, and hipsters) a one-of-a-kind haven to pore over records, enjoy a drink, and even pick up vintage clothes and accessories, all at reasonable prices. Uptown has an ever-changing selection of records ranging from old school rock to dub step, disco/funk, metal, reggae and soul from all around the world. Next to Rick James, De La Soul and Johnny Cash, you'll also find records produced in Shanghai by our own local musicians, like house duo The Horses and experimental noise group Torturing Nurse.
Uptown Records and owner DJ Sacco are also host to a variety of music and art events that are worth checking out for the live shows and all around good vibes. This month has already seen a launch party for new Shanghai-based band tee-shirt brand Twin Horizon. The afternoon event that day saw a handful of the city's rock talents perform, including Friend or Foe, Rainbow Danger Club and Boys Climbing Ropes. Tiger beers went for 20 RMB, while fresh hand screen-printed tees and the venue's regular record and clothing selections were also available.
Uptown Record StoreView In Map
Add: 115 Pingwu Lu, Shanghai (near Xingfu Lu)
Tel: 021 6223 8368
Opening hours: 14:00 - 21:00
2) Old record stores
For the more intrepid souls, Shanghai has a surprising and musty scene of old record stores scattered around the city. The most intriguing of these has to be on Yejiazhai Lu near Suzhou Creek, where on the upper floors of a light fixtures mall sits an old man sorting through box after box of original vinyl from Japan. You are bound to come across something special in his plethora of wax. If you have an afternoon (or many) to flip through piles of unsorted records, other stores worth checking out are Kook Music near Hongqiao Lu metro station and 2046 Movie and Music Record Store near Fudan University which also sells a wide selection of alternative CDs.
Lamp fixtures market record storeView In Map
Add: 38 Yejiazhai Lu, Shanghai (near Changshou Lu)
Kook MusicView In Map
Add: 6 Changshun Lu, Shanghai (near Hongqiao Lu)
2046 Music Record StoreView In Map
Add: Unit A9, 399 Handan Lu, Shanghai (near Guoding Lu)
地址：上海邯郸路 399号A9室 , 近国定路
3) Where to get your music equipment
Red Wolf DJ store located in an all but abandoned underground mall on Changle Lu is also a great little dig selling an array of electronic records from Japan for cheap, as well as professional DJ equipment of the finest quality. Sunnytone AV shop on Hunan Lu offers a wider range of digital music equipment for sale and entire sound systems for hire for events and venues. For musicians looking for instruments, Shanghai has a serious market on offer -- Jingling Lu downtown is full of instrument stores ranging from super cheap to high end guitars, drum sets, amps, and more (start at Shanghai No. 2 Music Store and check out their selection of classical Chinese instruments!); leafy Fenyang Lu near the Shanghai Music Conservatory has a smaller selection of shops selling classical instruments, often specialising in pianos (start off at Parsons Music); for a shiny sensory dream check out the mega Gibson flagship store on Hengshan Lu that features a stage, live jam sessions and a bar next to its endless rows of polished electric guitars.
Red Wolf DJView In Map
Add: Room C38, 190 Changle Lu, Shanghai (near Chengdu Nan Lu)
Sunnytone AV System CompanyView In Map
Add: 5 Hunan Lu, Shanghai (near Huahai Xi Lu)
Shanghai No. 2 Music Store?
Add: 271 Jinling Dong Lu, Shanghai (near Guangxi Lu)?
Parsons MusicView In Map
Add: 16 Fengyang Lu, Shanghai (near Huaihai Lu)
GibsonView In Map
Add: 10 Hengshan Lu, Shanghai (near Wulumuqi Lu)
4) Where to mix your own music
If you are looking for professional sound designers or a studio to master and mix your own sounds, contact the Shanghai go-to sound engineers and producers Laura Ingalls and Clement Pony. With over ten years experience in France and China, no-nonsense attitudes and a decked-out studio on Huashan Lu to match ("Studio Poney"), this pair will see you through. For recording needs, check out nearby Acid Juice Studios on Panyu Lu boasting a seriously posh set up.
Available by appointment only
Acid Juice StudiosView In Map
Add: B-10/F, Times Building, 390 Panyu Lu, Shanghai
5) The best live music in town
The underground music scene in Shanghai is small but growing. For up to date information on gigs, interviews with bands and even podcasts or mixes put together by our own locally-based DJs, check out layabozi.com. Be sure to stay tuned in to subcultureshanghai.com, where DJ Drunk Monk of Shanghai's reggae sound crew Uprooted Sunshine provides updates about upcoming international and local acts at the city's undisputed and literally underground electronic music retreat, The Shelter. For live music fanatics, Yuyintang Livehouse has a usually full schedule of gigs at yytlive.com plus a relaxing park out back perfect for our upcoming summer evenings, while rockinchina.com provides information all things rock. More info on great live music venues in Shanghai can be found here.
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Keywords: record stores Shanghai where to buy music equipment Shanghai vinyl records Shanghai recording studios Shanghai live music venues Shanghai
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