Thursday, March 2, 2017


As we wander through Kobe without a thought in our heads, Lun*na and I came upon the greatest record store in the world.  It's called FREAK OUT RECORDS, and it's a tiny store that is packed full of used vinyl albums and CDs.   Right away it reminds me of the Paris bookstore Un Regard Moderne which is a store that is impossible to walk through due to the stacks of books from floor to the ceiling.  There is a very good chance that one may have a stack of books fall on you as you walk in the store.   In fact, only one person at a time can walk in that store.  FREAK OUT RECORDS must have been either inspired by the Paris bookstore or great minds think a like. 

When you enter, basically only one person can walk down the aisle due to the gigantic stack of albums from floor to (almost) ceiling.  There are record and CD bins and they are in order, but then there are boxes and boxes of vinyl placed throughout the store.  They have every category of music - Glam, rock, classical, Japanese rock, Enka, Japanese pops, soundtracks, French pop and so forth.  

There are areas in the store that is impossible to get to, due that stacks of albums are blocking other stacks or boxes.  There is insanity here but in a vinyl lovers imagination.  One can't possibly imagine that such a store exists.  I went though some of the stacks, and even that is difficult.  If you pull one album out of the stack, it will cause the entire pile to fall over.  So, clearly one has to have a certain skill in obtaining that album that is three feet away from you. 

The photos here really don't capture the essense of the space.  It's non-existent.  I was also intrigued with the various 45 rpm singles in various shoeboxes throughout the store.  I saw a great box of singels dealing with British invasion stuff  - mostly Japanese editions.  All picture sleeves.  

Even pulling a record out of the bin is great difficultly.  All records are in there very tight.  Not easy to use your fingertips to look at each album.  The best thing one can do is grab a handful and look them over on the top of the bin.   Outside there are boxes of vinyl and cds stacked upon other boxes as well.  FREAK OUT RECORDS is clearly an adventure in itself.  

FREAK OUT RECORDS:  Kobe Motokoh 1 Bangai  Phone 078-393-0240

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