Gramaphone Records Brings Electronic Beats to the Chicago Record Store Scene 

Calling all electronic music fans: Chicago has a record store specialized just for you. Gramaphone Records focuses its stock on electronic and dance music but also curates house, techno, hip hop, drum n’ bass, disco, italo disco, and more. In other words, pretty much any genre you could ask for. 

The store is located in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood at 2843 N. Clark Street, easily accessible from the Belmont stop off the L. I walked into the store and immediately felt club vibes. There was a DJ toward the back of the store, setting the perfect beat for leisurely looking through the bins. To put it simply, with its checkerboard floor, moody lighting, and vinyl decorations hanging from the ceiling, Gramaphone Records is just really cool. The walls are lined with posters and other merchandise, and any electronic music lover will feel right at home. 

Gramaphone Records has been doing its thing since it was founded in 1969. Starting in about the ‘80s, the record store began selling house music, one of the only in Chicago to do so at the time, making it a must-stop for DJs in the area. Now, it continues its legacy by promoting Chicago house music. What sets Gramaphone apart from other shops in the area is that it’s a DJ-based vinyl store, currently owned by Chicago native and DJ Michael Serafini.

The shop’s stock is full of underground tracks and rare finds in the genre you might not find in a typical record store. So get digging through the crates and see what unique record Gramaphone will hook you up with. Or, ask an employee what they’d recommend because trust me — they know what’s up. The customer service was super friendly, willing to help me find anything I was looking for with a solid knowledge of the music scene. There’s also everyone’s favorite: 99 cent bargain bins. 

Gramaphone is also known for fun events, so if you ever have a free Friday or an open weekend, consider checking out what the shop has going on. Last Friday, there was a special label showcase for Continental Drift Records with a live performance by label boss Conoley Ospovat. And on Sunday, May 7, from 2 to 5 p.m., Gramaphone Records will host the Lizard Label Release Event, supporting Chicagoan local electronic artists Wav Fuzz on Chicago’s Lizard Label for their first release. With DJ performances throughout the day, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to check out the store, so support local and pick up the latest CD release. 

Since the store is open from 12 to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, make sure to schedule in time to visit when it’s open. Whether you’re a fan of Serafini, big on electronic music, want to explore specialty genres, or just in town and looking for fun, pop into Gramaphone Records. 

Stay posted for more deals, events, and performances at Gramaphone Records by checking its website, Facebook, and Instagram — you don’t want to miss out on what this shop has to offer. 

karapeeler Author
Hello! I’m a journalist at Northwestern University, and I love writing about all things arts & entertainment. Keep up with my work on Twitter @karapeeler.
karapeeler Author
Hello! I’m a journalist at Northwestern University, and I love writing about all things arts & entertainment. Keep up with my work on Twitter @karapeeler.

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