Neukölln’s newest record shop isn’t what you’d expect – rather than an indifferent bearded clerk who won’t talk to you unless you can identify which outsider punk jangle he’s listening to at the moment, you’re welcomed by the loveable German shepherd who gave Rita Records its name, in the tail-wagging flesh or in the enormous photo behind the bar. Yes, bar.
For those paying attention, this is the second iteration of the café-venue-Wohnzimmerkneipe KussKuss (which actually sold records for a while after its 2012 opening), reborn as a more merch-focused hub for Berlin’s indie music scene. Hung on decorative window-panes opposite the bar are records and tapes from local favourites like Candelilla, Chuckamuck and Walls & Birds, with techno 12-inches from the Berghain and Tresor labels still to come.
The selection of wares is admittedly rather meagre at this point, but fairly priced (€10-20). Furthermore, co-owner and recording engineer Daniel Graba possesses the means of sonic production and is planning a single release by Walls & Birds (incidentally titled “Rita Breaks My Heart”) as well as a bunch of vinyl compilations featuring local talent, the first of which is to be released on Record Store Day, April 22.
To top it all off , there’s a selection of zines and prints in the back. While for the moment only open for the extended weekend, it’s a nice place to hang out for an intimate gig or a cup of tea on a rainy Sunday afternoon.