Skydiver is owned by three DJs with a solid pedigree in both business and music. Mark Free is the man behind the Daydreams parties and Everyday Coffee, just a few steps up Johnston Street. Then there’s Mike Wale, aka Orca, and Animals Dancing member Tom Moore, who’s also one half of Otologic.
The trio opened the store in 2016, after a serendipitous chat at one of Free's parties. Later, it moved into this more spacious home around the corner, adding an inside bar and long back courtyard, allowing it to operate as a wine bar at night. An outdoor oven turns out a handful of simple pizzas, and there’s a tidy selection of new wave wines. By night the place attracts a young, switched-on crowd as keen on the DJs and what they’re playing as anything else.
The store’s vital elements are constructed with plywood to give it a warm, homey vibe. From the street, listening stations along the front window leave you in no doubt as to its core function – this is a DJ’s store. Sections include house, techno, Italo, disco and Balearic. Skydiver stocks a small-ish selection, but it changes regularly.
The counter sports a record de-warper; a Japanese-made contraption sourced from the UK. One of only a few in the country, the machine is designed to do what it says on the label, and customers are welcome to bring in their own warped records and give them a new lease on life.
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