2018 has been a good year for record shops. We were happy to add newcomers Vinyl & Chill in Ieper, Flugzeug Records in Leuven and Warrecords in Antwerpen to our database of Belgian record shops. Close to the end of the year another brand new shop has popped up: ZoeZoe Records in Ghent. It is located close to the Vrijdagmarkt, on the corner of the cosy small Serpentstraat neighbouring clothing stores and a vegan restaurant.
It’s a small shop with plenty of daylight entering through the large windows. The record bins are still in the process of filling up, but owner Christophe doesn’t seem to be in a hurry. His store concept isn’t based on quantity, but rather on quality: “I call it offstream vinyl. Stuff that you wouldn’t find easily elsewhere. Of course I also offer the more common names, but I try to go off the beaten path and I make a very personal selection to get there. This is not the place to be for the next hype.”
The name tags in the crates confirm Christophe’s statement: Afrofuturism, Mathrock, Field Rec, New Age, … right next to Pop, House, Techno and so on. Christophe’s background reveals a bit of his shop’s musical personality. He has been working in music for 15 years now, as a consultant for distributors and libraries and as a writer for art and music magazine Gonzo Circus. Opening a record shop has been a lifelong dream: “I have been organising concerts for years, building up a large network. All of the sudden I realised it had to happen, I needed to open this shop.”
A crate with only records of Brussels label Okraina Records has a central place in the shop. This is an example of Christophe trying to make a difference compared to other shops: “I personally contacted Okraina, a label that only offers their records online. It’s a matter of persuading people to visit my shop instead of ordering records on the internet.”
Serpentstraat 1 – 9000 GENT