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On-U Sound In The Area

On-U Sound 'Friendly' Shops

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This page lists shops and websites I know of that do or at some point in the recent past have stocked On-U Sound related records, CDs or cassettes in reasonable quantity and variety on a regular basis. As this list is simply based on the places I know of it is far from comprehensive and highly biased towards the places I have been to myself. In particular the physical shops are mainly in the UK.

The Notes on each are for guidance only and based purely on my own opinion and personal experience (or those of the reviewer who has contacted me when in quotation marks). Also, the website addresses are only the ones I've been able to easily track down. It goes without saying that the sites linked-to from here are beyond my jurisdiction. Record stores are often very fluid places in terms of stock change, location, market and competition year-on-year meaning that my review is conceivably out of date if I have not physically been to the shop for a while.

Bearing this in mind I encourage you to send me your own reviews and details of stores / websites you visit to buy stuff (wherever it is in the world) or update me on any of the details here already. If a shop once had one Gary Clail CD in stock then perhaps this is not the place for it to go - but if it's a continual source of interesting product then I'd like to know about it. You can reach me via my Contact Page as usual.

1: UK Shops

NameWhere?Website addressNotes
Action Records 47 Church St., PRESTON "A good selection of items and occasionally the odd gem appears from their warehouse ... easy search engine on the website."
Amazon (Internet only) Various portals around the world including the US, France, Germany and UK. A large online shop offering mostly new CD releases. Though older stuff may be listed as available ("special order") it often in practice isn't.
Dub Vendor 1: 150 Ladbroke Grove, LONDON
2: 274 Lavender Hill, Clapham Junction, LONDON Stockist of in-print On-U and Pressure Sounds releases. Mail order / online ordering available.
eBay (Internet only) Various portals around the world including the US, France, Germany and UK. A personal sale and auction site that has at any one time an excellent range of usually used On-U related product up for grabs from around the world. Sale prices tend to be dictated by demand meaning that rare items often sell for astonishing sums of money but where it is quite possible to get a bargain on more common releases.
Gemm (Internet only) A sale site for individuals and shops around the world to trade from. It seems to be a great way of finding missing releases even if it could be a costly affair. I've no experience of buying or selling using Gemm to be able to comment on how well it works.
HMV Stores nationwide in the UK. Any of these numerous stores which have a dedicated reggae section will generally have a selection of currently in-press items - mostly in CD format. This ease of access is often however off-set by over-inflated prices.
Kingbee Records 519 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, MANCHESTER A small shop in the city's south-west suburbs that often seems to turn up 2nd hand On-U related product - and usually reasonably priced as well.
Music & Video Exchange 1: 208 Camden High St., Camden, LONDON
2: 281 Camden High St., Camden, LONDON.
3: 95 Berwick St., Soho, LONDON
4: 38/40/42 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill, LONDON
5: 23 Greenwich Church St., Greenwich, LONDON
6: 8 Smallbrook Queensway, BIRMINGHAM
7: 139 Cornwall St., PLYMOUTH
- An excellent chain of 2nd hand shops mostly around London (I've not visited the Plymouth and Birmingham shops) covering all genres with competitive prices (but often having sticky price labels that are hard to get off without damaging sleeves!)
MusicStack (Internet only) A means of searching online music shops from around the globe similar to Gem and Netsounds. "I've ... got some good stuff from MusicStack..."
Netsounds (Internet only) A sale site for individuals and shops around the world similar to Gemm. "...a market place/search engine for anyone selling online ... found some good rare stuff on this site...."
On-U Sound online store (Internet only) On-U Sound has it's own online store offering much of it's back catalogue for sale in physical or MP3 format as either entire sets or single tracks.
Out On The Floor Records 10 Inverness St., Camden, LONDON - A small but perfectly formed 2nd hand shop tucked down a side street which often has harder to find product in stock - though the owner seems to know what's rare and charges accordingly.
Piccadilly Records 53 Oldham St., MANCHESTER Always keeps up with new releases and maintains a fair selection of back catalogue CD's and vinyl too. Prices are typically 'the going rate'.
Pressure Sounds mail order (Internet only) Pressure Sounds mail order is probably the most reliable source of new Pressure Sounds, Maximum Pressure and Green Tea releases on all available formats including the back catalogues and other merchandise. The site also has news on forthcoming releases and sometimes offers price cuts on selected items.
Record Collector 233 Fullwood Road, Broomhill, SHEFFIELD - Usually has a handful of new or 2nd hand On-U related releases mostly on CD, sometimes discounted and occasionally rare.
Rockaboom 4 St. Martins Square, LEICESTER - Current On-U releases.
Rough Trade 1: 16 Neal's Yard, Covent Garden, LONDON
2: 130 Talbot Road, Notting Hill, LONDON On-U's links with RT go back to the earliest days of both. Mostly new releases. Both the website and mail order service can be VERY slow, but they usually get there.
Sister Ray 34/35 Berwick St., Soho, LONDON Current and some back catalogue items mostly on CD.
Soundclash 28 St. Benedicts St., NORWICH New releases and especially the Pressure Sounds catalogue.
Swordfish 14 Temple St., BIRMINGHAM - Selection of current and back catalogue new releases.
System Records (Internet only) Mostly new releases as they come out.
Tanty Records (Internet only) Dub and reggae from all over the world.
Tempest Records 83 Bull St., BIRMINGHAM - Selection of current and back catalogue new releases.
Vinyl Exchange 18 Oldham St., MANCHESTER Usually a selection of second hand On-U related product, competitively priced, guaranteed and occasionally going for a song, though it has declined somewhat recently.
Vox Pop Unit 1, Wellington Mill, Pollard St. East, MANCHESTER On-U bits and pieces are likely.
Wall Of Sound 42 John William St., HUDDERSFIELD An excellent selection of back catalogue On-U related items, mostly new at sensible prices.
X-Records 44 Bridge St., BOLTON Usually a fair number of new On-U CDs in the racks - though some of the stock would seem to have been there for quite some time!
Zavvi (Internet only) A former national chain, now internet only, typically selling recent new CD releases.

2: Non-UK Shops

NameWhere?Website addressNotes
Beatink - Beatkart (Japan) (Internet only) The online mail order arm of Beatink / Beat Records that also sells On-U, Soundboy, Green Tea and Pressure Sounds product licensed to Japan. While probably the best source of Japanese releases, particularly by Audio Active and Dry & Heavy, shipping overseas can prove costly due to the import taxes of individual countries.
B-Side (USA) 436 State St., Madison, WI 53703, USA. - "...full of more interesting fare than the usual reggae selections ... Bim Sherman, Dub Syndicate and so on..."
Ernie B.'s Reggae (USA) (Internet only) " reggae specialist store (a reggae fans' paradise actually with lots of vinyl, 7", many rarities and bargains) with lots of On-U stuff at very fine prices (and Pressure Sounds / Green Tea / Soundboy too) ... shipping charges appear daunting (30% with a minimum of $30) however its a 2 day courier delivery and the charge includes all payable duty. Their prices are very reasonable, worth investigating. Be warned On-U stock seems to be running low."
HMV (Japan) Stores across Japan? I've received some good reports about the speedy international service of HMV Japan's website (for also those Japan only releases of recent years). Expect to pay going rate import prices though.
Jet Set (Japan) Branches across Japan in Kyoto, Onde, Kobe, Tokyo and Leger (see their website) "I just wanted to big up Jet Set Records in Japan for their excellent service! ... they deliver at ultra high speed and Airmail postage for an LP is also supercheap ... They really are top notch."
Soundquake (Germany) (Internet only) "...on-line shop specializing in contemporary reggae ... Prices aren't that attractive ... but one can listen to sound samples of every 7-inch ... or check the latest tunes from JA..."
Red Devil Records (USA) 894 Fourth Street, San Rafael 94901, CA "...the store has some other very collectible On-U material ... I suggest you check them out..."

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