Wasters’ Berlin 5: Soul Trader

As the owner of record shops in Berlin since 1989 Christian Abel has seen more than a few music formats come and go and then come back again. His first store, Trash Music Dieffenbachstr in 1986 was followed by Scratch in Bergmanstraße, another Scratch at Kottbusser Damm and finally Soultrade in Neukolln, which opened in 1993. Friends at the time were bewildered as to why he was moving to such a rundown area. His shop specialising in Jazz, Soul, Hip Hop and dance music was nearly the only open shop in the street at the time and 28 eight years later he is still there holding strong against all odds. The area now is full of cool bars or restaurants.

Of course a shop with this kind of durability has a few stories to tell. One being when Run and Jam Master Jay of Run DMC entered the shop unfortunately not to buy anything but to enquire as to where the nearest KFC was. There were none in Berlin at the time so Christian sent them of to one of a very few McDonalds in the city at the time. Eminem also popped in and scrounged a Slim Shady tour poster as a memento to his own gig in Berlin and Tarantino also walked in while filming Inglorious Basterds endlessly scouring the vinyl for some rarities.

These days Soultrade also offer an excellent selection of alternative music, t-shirts, a fine books selection and even a small Metal section but the emphasis is still on the soul jazz roots and the store is flying the vinyl flag. Occasionally Dj’s plays as well as and instore gigs and photo exhibitions. The latest, coincidently, is by Das Wastelands Martyn Goodacre.

Soultrade Recordstore. Sanderstr. 29, 12047 Berlin. IG

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