If you ask most people about vinyl records, it will stir up a distant memory about their youth and nothing more. If you ask a young person, they might give you a confused look while they put in their iPod headphones. But for that small dedicated group of collectors, that word will spark passion, opinion, and true fondness for the classic music experience. Zulu Records has provided that experience in Kitsilano for thirty four years now, despite the evolution of technology that almost rendered the discs obsolete.
But there’s a big difference listening to a song on an iPod and on a record. Higher fidelity provides a clearer sound and the method provides a feeling of nostalgia not found anywhere else. Sure, the internet lets you listen to any song at the touch of a button, but feeling is lost and the story or meaning put forth by the artist is gone. The true lovers of vinyl seek out that feeling and take solace in the massive selection of new, old, and used Zulu has.
Manager Nick Bragg has been with the store for ten years now and says vinyl is certainly still a niche market but a big enough one that encompasses visitors who have always listened that way or new ones inspired by the bands of yesterday or the underground ones the store promotes.
Besides records, Zulu also sells CD’s, tapes, and even concert tickets. The store also puts on concerts from time to time, making it a hot spot for anyone curious about local artists or what’s happening. You’ll also find Videomattica inside the building, a prominent video store that has called Zulu home for nearly two years. Bragg says the mixture of music and types of videos available there seem to cross over and attract the same people. If you have gone the way of the new millennium, you can trade or sell your records and CD’s at Zulu too; there is a loyal store fan base that would be glad to have them.
Yes, records have had their ups and downs throughout history but Bragg believes a record store serves a special cultural aspect that provides a certain type of entertainment and atmosphere of cool that will never truly go away. Whatever your taste, there is every genre and every period at Zulu, Georgia Straight’s Best Music Store 2014.
Visit Zulu Records at 1972 4th Avenue.
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