These days, all the music you want is fundamentally one click away, yet ever more people are obsessed with vinyl and fashionable stores are popping up in every city riding the hype. Some cities, however, still have some battered, heroic pioneers surviving from the old days, when your local record store was the umbilical cord connecting you to the music you loved, where you’d enter with your heart beating faster knowing that your much-coveted order had just arrived. Wave, inconspicuously hidden on Révay köz, a small side street with a stunning view of Saint Stephen’s Basilica, is such an establishment in Budapest.
Continuously open since 1989, it is the size of a living room, but one that holds within itself a world of dreams, hopes and possibilities. In Wave, you will always be welcomed with a smile and some friendly banter, whether you’re there to buy a truckload of records or sift through the entire collection to leave with nothing — I’m guilty as charged of the latter, yet I try to always buy my physical concert tickets from them.
If you’re spending more time in the city, it’s worth asking for some recommendations. They always strive to bring the hottest new releases, but collectors can also find enticing second-hand rarities. Wave prides itself in having been visited by the patron saint of indie DJs, the regretted John Peel, and is a member of the Record Store Day initiative since 2010, also organizing occasional events with local musicians.