Where to find Helsinki’s vinyl revival
From cosy shops in the “Five Corners” neighbourhood to indie labels and DJs, Helsinki rediscovers the warm sound of vinyl.
Helsinki is emerging as a hotbed of musical cool – including a vibrant vinyl scene. New labels and shops are popping up in the hip Kallio and Punavuori neighbourhoods, while clubs and festivals are spotlighting DJs.
“I think Helsinki has a better profile of specialised stores than Stockholm,” says Anna Cadia, a former record store manager who DJs at Radio Helsinki and various clubs.
Tommi Kyyrä of the music industry association IFPI Finland notes that its members’ vinyl sales have multiplied more than twelve-fold in the past decade – and that doesn’t include private imports or used records.
“Virtually all major releases now come out on vinyl,” he says. “That wasn’t true five years ago. It was still more of a curiosity. A lot of people also stream; these complement each other. They may find new artists on Spotify and then buy physical LPs.”
Kyyrä adds, “LPs are part of the downshifting trend. They require a bit more effort and concentration. You can sit and enjoy the artwork and lyrics, which have otherwise almost disappeared.”
Vinyl fans value the tangible and time-honoured. Besides brick-and-mortar record stores, that includes vintage turntables. Young people who have never bought a CD are now dusting off their parents’ old turntables to hear vinyl-only releases by local bands. Older listeners may be motivated by nostalgia or even investment, with prices steadily rising for ’60s jazz, ’70s progressive rock, or underground punk.
Text Wif Stenger
Photo Henri Hämäläinen