Kojima san of Replace Records

After last week’s Tokyo Record Style Day meetup at Tent Records in NishiOgikubo, our pal Christopher, who knew the neighbor better than most of us, suggested we go to a new-ish record shop called Replace Records just a short walk away. Christopher explained that Replace opened just a little over a year ago and that it was quite cool, and never having visited before, we were all keen to check it out. So we walked and talked along NishiOgi’s cool backstreets, spotted Tsuburai featured in the previous post, and enjoyed the laid-back stroll to Replace. When we came upon it, we saw it was within a little strip of covered shops. Outside the wooden ship facade were some cheap records, some cool wine boxes and record cabinetry, an eye-catching orange Luscious Jackson 12” in the signage, a big Beatles poster, and a promotional flag that donned some of my favorite katakana letters: “レコード” or “RE-KO – DO” (“Recor” and by the way, some of my other favorite katakana letters at “カメラ” or “KA ME RA” – “Camera”… but I digress.

Upon entering Replace Records, we were welcomed with a great scene, heaps of records above and below the racks, a shelf of CDs, a charming little rock garden and paper lantern lighting (left over from the Bonsai Tree shop tenant before), a beautiful blue pumpkin noren curtain divider by dot-obsessed artists, Yayoi Kusama, an actual “Jeremiah the Innocent (Hi, How Are You),” Daniel Johnston Monster sculpture (which is actually a frog in case you ever wondered), a Black Flag skateboard, a pair of JBL4311s, and a really friendly shopkeeper named Kojima san, who not only shared a warm hospital smile and hello, but who mentioned that he was actually expecting us, adding that he already follows Tokyo Record Style, and had been told just the day before by our mutual friend Keesh that a gaggle of record-homies and photography-heads might be showing up on this day. Our reputation preceded us – how about that!

Replace had some great records – I picked up a copy of Brazilian organists Walter Wanderley’s iconic “Rainforest” for just $5, and a copy of Mozart’s No.41 “Jupiter” symphony conducted by Bruno Walter for the Columbia Symphony Orchestra for just $3 (which blows my existing copy by the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Karl Böhm.) I owe a thank you to bemsha for that insight after he blasted Bruno Walter’s version on a big PA at a recent pre-show set that took my breath away. I stacked it up against Karl Böhm’s and it was no comparison. The Columbia Symphony Orchestra has twice the passion for this performance than the Vienna Philharmonic had. Or maybe it’s all Bruno Walter vs. Karl Böhm! Whoa, it just occurred to me that the two records I scored were both “Walters”! I didn’t realize till just now, haha!
Stopping by Replace Records was a great way to end the day and I was really happy to put it on my radar of record shops to know about. As a matter of fact, besides a couple of Book Offs, Replace Records now became the closest record shop to my own house, so Kojima san can probably expect to see much more of me …hmmm maybe today? Speaking of which, I asked him if we could do a future Tokyo Record Style Day at Replace to which he replied, “もちろん!!” (“Mochiron!!” – “Of course!!”) It’s now on the list! Fantastic! Thanks, Kojima san, see you soon!

And thanks for reading everybody! More TRS on the way.

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