A music haven opens up in Hove

Nestled in the heart of Hove, Capsule Records is the newest gem on the local music scene. It is quickly becoming an essential destination for vinyl aficionados and casual listeners alike. This independent record store and cafe space sets itself apart with an impressive collection of new and rare vinyl records. Also expect enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

At Capsule Records, the focus is on music that brings joy. That means celebrating the rich tapestry of genres, including the lovingly curated selection of funk, soul, classic. Plus contemporary jazz, dance, disco, and hip-hop, complemented by a generous helping of electronica.

The store’s welcoming ambiance and their genuine passion for music make it an ideal spot for connecting with fellow enthusiasts. Perhaps chat over a coffee, immersing oneself in the world of sound.

We had the pleasure of connecting with Lawrence (co-owner with Sarah) to delve deeper into the story behind this exciting new hub and to share in the exuberance of their musical journey.

It’s truly refreshing to witness the opening of a vinyl record store in Hove. There is also the delightful perk of enjoying coffee as you browse through the newest additions! What inspired you to embark on this venture, particularly amid the prevailing economic uncertainties?

In truth, it wasn’t a case of forensically assessing ‘is the time right’. It was more intuitive than that. We only moved to this amazing city in 2020 (having been travelling for a couple of years). During the lockdowns we were figuring out what to do with our lives when we happened across the opportunity with the incredible property we’re in. We’ve always been passionate music people and the stars just seemed to line up with the property being available. Plus, the city being musically centric and us looking to align a passion with a day job.  Soon after, the idea for Capsule Records started to take shape and we pushed ahead.  

That said, it’s clear that vinyl is on a resurgence right now. Because of the superior quality and the sense of ‘owning’ something. But also because the wider implications of streaming on the creators of the music are becoming more widely understood by music lovers who, as a result, are increasingly looking to show their support by buying physical products again.  But, for many of us, coming (back) into the market for vinyl records can be a bit intimidating, or overwhelming, and it’s not cheap. So, at Capsule, we want to bring a bit of joy to new music discovery, and provide a way to make it a more accessible and enjoyable experience.

How would you describe the vinyl record store scene and its changes over the years in our wonderful city?

Tough for us to say given we are fairly recent interlopers! But, it was obvious to us very early on that music is a big part of Brighton & Hove life. Whilst the city has some fantastic and well established record stores already, there’s room for more.

What’s the newest release that you have on vinyl and what’s your favourite record in the store right now?

We take delivery of new stock several times a week, so our selection is being permanently updated. A very recent big seller has been London Brew – inspired by Miles Davies’ album Bitches Brew which was released 50 years ago. The album brings together a dozen or so of the great and the good of the contemporary London jazz scene to pay homage to that great album.

As for our favourite? We’re lucky enough to be able to fill the shop with all our favourites!

What genres of vinyl records do you have the most selection of?

We’ve focused on music that makes us smile! And for the Capsule team, that’s principally music of black origin – so funk, soul, classic & contemporary jazz, dance, disco, hip hop 

With a good dollop of electronica thrown in.

Do you have any limited edition or rare vinyl records?

Right now, the shop is full of newly pressed records – new releases but also the classics and the lesser known gems. We have a lot of space for the genres we offer, so can dig deep into the libraries and give lesser known titles and artists some air time which our customers seem to be enjoying.  

We don’t currently stock second hand/pre-loved vinyl. Brighton has some fantastic shops doing just that so we’d need to be clear about how we were going to do that differently if we were to dip our toe in…

Can you help me find a vinyl record that matches my personal music taste?

This is our bread and butter. Our ambition is to make new music discovery a real pleasure. So, as well as asking us what we like (or think you would like) we offer a really well curated selection of albums in Collections of like-minded titles. Think Spotify playlists but in the physical world. So, rather than staring at racks organised by A-Z, we chunk them down into smaller Collections – by label, by vibe, by artist or other groupings like, for example, Staff Picks, Summer Sounds, or Influenced by Dilla.

And then our secret sauce is that we put a QR code on every album that links to that album on our website where you’ll find descriptions of the album, notes about the artists and the Spotify version of the album. This means that rather than just asking us, our customers can scan the QR code on their phones to discover all about it and listen to it. Of course, we’re also happy to point out some crackers too….

Can you show me how to properly handle and care for vinyl records?

Sure can. Keep your fingers off the playing surface, using an anti static cloth to remove the dust, keep the record stored upright and away from heat and bright light.

You’ve partnered with Black Mocha coffee, what was the decision behind that?

We wanted to have a coffee area in the shop as a space to enjoy the vibes (the sound quality from our system is awesome!), but also where our community could mingle and chat about music. Brighton & Hove is not shy of coffee shops, so we wanted to work with someone local and needed to provide the very best quality. And we believe we’ve done that with Black Mocha. Paul roasts his wonderful Amber Cup blend just around the corner in Holland Mews, is a music nut himself and has a strong focus on sustainability and environmental impacts.  

In that same spirit of working with neighbours, we have also teamed up with City Books to offer a curated range of music related books. And with Sevenoaks to offer a selection of their Project turntable range.  

Overall, Capsule Records is a must-visit destination for music lovers in Hove and beyond. With its diverse selection and welcoming atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to discover new music and connect with fellow vinyl enthusiasts.

Capsule Records is open:

Tues – Fri 11-6pm, Sat 10-6pm, Sun 11-5pm

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.