27 December 2010

Favourite Record Shop Now: Bombo Tower

It is official: my current favourite record shop (yes, that now increasingly archaic institution from the last century since download killed this social phenomena called record shop, especially the independent ones) is Bimbo Tower in Paris. The thing about this amazing shop is that even though it has a webpage but besides the address and some basic information and a Japanese influenced graphics at the centre of the page, that's it! No online catalogue, no shopping cart, no release updates, no frills. When you finally manage to locate the shop after walking for about 5 mins after leaving the Ludru-Rollin Metro station, and when you about to pay as you are pulling out your wallet and pass the man behind the counter your credit card, he will tell you, sorry no card, we only take cash and he will direct you to the nearest ATM machine.

Well, what does all this mean? It means it might be anachronistic in today's hyperreal, globalised, digitalised and paypallified world to have a shop like Bimbo Tower existing in one of the biggest cosmopolitan cities of this world but looking at it from another more considered and less neo-capitalist world or simply the mainstream culture, Bimbo Tower is an excellent example of counter-cultural, anti-mainstream/neo-capitalist TAZ around the world today. Stuffed to the brim with 12", 7", cassettes, CDs, fanzines, magazines, books, DVDs, posters, T-shirts and other paraphernalia of music genres spanning the most exciting and transgressive today: Noise, Psych, Out Rock, Improv, etc. I was overwhelmed initially when I was at the shop as I have not been to a REAL record shop for a long time (well, I was in London prior and though I have been to a few there, they are ones which I have been to in my previous trips there so no such exhilarating emotions) as I was flipping through the racks and shelves.

It is sad that authentic record or even independent shops of any sort like this increasingly disappearing by the day as most societies have succumbed to the Americanised/transnational corporate sponsored malls sprouting up everywhere. With the internet, the downside also see us increasingly more wired but less human devoid of real-world, face-to-face human and physical-tactile experiences. Personally, the internet is great for some of us who are not living near the main scenes of the cultural agitation in the other end of the world as we get to stream, purchase online (physical or virtual products), get instant news and updates, communicate and have meaningful exchanges but it should not replace basic human interaction like discussing and sharing within a common real space and feeding off each other's excitement and enthusiasm and pulling out a record or fanzine from like, 1 metre away to prove or illustrate a point.

Well perhaps I am just someone from the "old" world, partially mourning for the gradual loss of it to the new.

1 comment:

harold said...

wah best must go Paahhreee soon....and prepare wads ov cash!!!