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BEST MUSIC OUTLET

Juno Records

For the last two decades, the death knell of vinyl has been sounded annually. Usurped by CDs, rendered obsolete by the all-consuming march of iTunes and Beatport, there seems little rational reason why those heavy, fragile slabs of black wax should endure so long.

And yet in the DJ booths of 2012, those glowing Apples that were so ubiquitous even a year ago are slowly disappearing. In their place, jocks are returning to vinyl, bewitched by the immediacy and feel that even Traktor and Serato’s emulations somehow lack. “We’re running out of room to store vinyl,” laughs Richard Atherton, owner of online record store Juno Records, when we ask how the format’s performed this year. “It’s partly due to the download market being oversaturated. The music that does make it onto vinyl tends to be higher quality, so playing vinyl has become a symbol of taking music seriously.”

For those whose hearts palpitate whenever Hinge Finger announce a limited pressing, it’s cheery news, but Juno’s charm has always been that it’s not just for the heads.

With a nigh-on exhaustive catalogue, digital and physical, they respect the tastes of every customer, whether they’re after the latest EDM banger or a wax-only reissue of ambient drone. “We’re unpretentious,” explains Atherton. “We get some flack sometimes for selling some music that’s overly commercial, but that’s deliberate. It’s an all-inclusive policy that also lets us sell specialist and underground music other stores miss out on.”

So long as it’s working, dance fans can remain happy. Juno’s success comes from understanding the excitement discovering new sounds gives to anyone, no matter their niche. For as long as people still want to uncover new artists, new genres and new records, Juno will no doubt go from strength-to-strength.

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