Sadly two things kill it stone dead... First off it's 'violently over priced': the records are so unjustly expensive that I actually felt angry flicking through them.
Hugely unrealistic pricing structure out the way gripe number two would be the woman that served me. I pulled the reissue of the first SUICIDE album from the racks and conceded, I have zero German, but you would have thought that anyone would understand:
'Flexi?...23 Minutes over Brussels mit schallplatten?'
She looked at me like I'd fucked her dog. Spoke German at me and then at her colleague who kindly translated.
'No this is not a flexi disc, it is a normal record. This is not a flexi disc.'
Come fucking on. You work in a proper record shop and you know what I am talking about.
'No, sorry, I mean does it have the flexi disc with it. This originally came with a 10" INSERT HAND GESTURE HERE flexi disc with it.'
More German backing and forthing, more dirty looks.
'Do you want the record?'
No I did not want the record.
This aside my personal other highlight was a copy of the reissue of the Spring album on Arkoma - 50 Euros.
I left empty handed. Good looking shop over enthusiastic pricing gun. But to be honest and in fairness to the moody staff I hadn't found anywhere much better than this seven shops later. Berlin is not a good place to record shop. Then I got to thinking why? Capitol city, vibrant scene, world class hipsters and bars better than almost anywhere on earth so why no record shoppy shoppy? Then it hit me.
The 39 year period from 1961 to 1990 pretty much covers the vast majority of all the music that I currently listen to: Sinatra and a spattering of early Jazz to 'Goo' by a SONIC YOUTH and 'Frigid Stars' by CODEINE. Interestingly enough Berlin was a fucking prison island, a city divided, behind the iron curtain and surrounded by the Eastern Block for the exact same period of time. So whilst obviously there were records and record shops in West Berlin during this period, practicalities would dictate that it would never have the same scene as Hamburg, Dusseldorf of Frankfurt. And now however many years later the fall-out from the WW II, the cold war and an unwanted Socialist state is finally hitting home in the shape of shitty record shops.