Perhaps the most charming record store in all of Tokyo, Ella is home to some very carefully curated vinyl. It’s not because all the wax is premium, rare, or obscure records, it’s just that it’s all solidly selected, all killer, no filler. Located in a quaint and quiet little pocket surrounded by busy Tokyo, it’s situated ever so slightly just off in the buzzing shadow and neon glow of Shinjuku. It’s actually the neighborhood where I spent my first 5 years in Tokyo, called Hatagaya, so its backstreets are my old familiar stomping grounds.
Ella opened in 2016 at the end of Hatagaya’s south shotengai shopping street in an old Japanese home/shop with a bunch of exposed crooked timber posts and trusses, making for a real warm and welcoming space. In both bay window nooks on either side of the center front door, are listening booths, both with classic silver-face Marantz console integrated amps in wood cases, both with Technics 1200s and a pair of JBL 4321a Monitors under one. Pretty slick. The same folks opened “Ella Warehouse” just last year I think, in Shimokita on the 4th floor above Peacock, where they sell ONLY 12” singles – quite cool.
Sitting behind the counter on the day I went last week was Mariko, AKA DJ Lily, who, with some cool hair, and interesting tattoos peaking out, and a friendly smile looked pretty photogenic to me. After she did a tour of duty at Disk Union, she’s now here regularly at Ella. Lily also DJ’s House, Techno, Jazz, Latin, Afrobeats, and more with sounds from her 2000pc vinyl collection, sometimes multiple sets a night, at multiple venues, including Womb, Air, Bridge, Tunnel, Redbar, and the like. Check her insta and catch this Archie Shepp Attica Blues mixed into her next set!
Most Tokyo Record Style on the way!
Archie Shepp – Attica Blues
Label: Impulse! – AS-9222, ABC Records – AS-9222
Series: University Series Of Fine Recordings
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, True Sound pressing
Style: Soul-Jazz, Free Jazz
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