After an eight-year break, Greg Molinaro is back.

Vinyl devotees will remember his name from Rhythm & Soul in Prahran, the record store he founded in either ’92 or ’93 (he can’t remember which), before selling up in 2008. “Towards the end I wasn’t having that much fun with it, with the advent of the internet and mp3 and all the rest of it,” he says.

Things are different now. After some rough years a host of small, artist-run labels have established a vinyl-first culture in the house and techno scenes. If you want their music, wax is the only way to get it.

“I can feel it’s the beginning of another interesting chapter,” Molinaro says. “The new wave of music coming out is inspiring. It’s in a better place than what it’s ever been.”

His new shop in Abbotsford, Hub 301, stocks brand-new house, techno, disco and soul records, plus the occasional dubstep or drum’n’bass gem. Expect to find EPs from Dolly, Klockworks, L.I.E.S and other international labels. Molinaro is also excited about what’s happening in Melbourne.

“For the first time, historically, we have our own production movement that’s recognised worldwide,” he says, referring to artists such as Sleep D, Tornado Wallace, Hysteric, Silent Jay, Len Leise and Andras Fox (“I remember him coming into Rhythm & Soul in his school uniform”).

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If you’ve ever tried record shopping at a place with a solitary listening station – or worse, none – you’ll know it sucks. There’s no such problem at Hub. There are three stations equipped with Technics 1200 MKII turntables. Molinaro became interested in the area after several years of DJing at Rice Queen and Vegie Bar, which are both owned by his mate Laki Papadopoulos. A gig at the nearby Dr Morse sealed the deal, overcoming his deep-seated loyalty to the south side. “I just dug the vibe,” he says. “It reminded me of that early Greville Street period.”

Hub 301
301 Johnston Street, Abbotsford
(03) 9419 3333

Mon to Wed 12pm–6pm
Thu & Fri 12pm–8pm
Sat 12pm–5pm