Soul & Dance Exchange Notting Hill Gate // My favourite shop closes

By: aspyhole

Feb 19 2013

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Category: Architecture, Hip-Hop, Japonise, London, Long Gone, Shops

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Probably at least once a fortnight since I can remember, I have visited Notting Hill Gate’s Soul & Dance Exchange. To describe it as a trove of rare and undiscovered Hip-Hop treasure would be a profane understatement of the highest order. So last week, when I swaggered up to treat myself to a rare Mo’Wax misprint or some Rephlex on a 3″, a Stones Throw import or an Anticon promo, or to treat someone else to a bargain-basement-all-you-can-carry-for-50p-exaggeration, something inside me ceded as I found it had closed for good.

The shop, part of a network of 2nd-hand and ‘vintage’ shops on the stretch and beyond, run by what can probably only be described as a benevolent landlord (but I have always wanted someone to enlighten me on the precise history of these shops’ existence), was a local institution which attracted visitors of all creeds and calibres. As far as I know, nowhere else in London managed to consistently collect such a variety of high-quality “House, Soul, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Drum&Bass, Techno, [____], [_____]”(please fill in Les Blancs), as its yellow- (once white-)texted banner proclaimed. I would say that probably 1/3 of my CD collection comes from this shop.

London’s crate-diggers have lost their spiritual partisan home. Some will take heart in the fact that a chunk of the store’s stock has moved a couple of shops East and a couple of storeys up (where has the rest gone!?), but the walk through a shop full of the gloom exspired by indie-rock types has certainly put this fan off a regular rummage. “FROZEN YOGHURT”, said Rino Pagnozzi.


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