Music Complex Seoul, Awakening Your Sensibilities with Vinyl Records
At this new place in Insa-dong, you can pick out an LP and play it on your own turntable. When you’re on a date, nothing beats putting on headphones and sharing great music.
LP-playing cafés and bars help bring a joy of analog music back to these digital days. And they can offer a particularly invigorating experience to digital natives. You can now find one such place in Insa-dong.

From the entrance, the place screams music.

Insa-dong Spot Filled with Music
Music Complex Seoul is located on the fifth floor of the cultural complex Anyoung Insadong. From the entrance, you can tell you’re about to walk into an extraordinary place. You will then be greeted by red ceilings and walls, and contrasting black tables and chairs, and finally, LP records in shelves along the walls. The large Altec A4 speaker, popular among audiophiles, stands on one corner, playing a song ever so gently. You would first find it strange that a music bar would play something so softly, but there’s a good reason for that. Each table is equipped with its own turntable. Guests pick out albums that they want to play and listen to them at their own tables.

Music Complex Seoul, where you can pick your own music and listen to it as you please

The place is often crowded even on a weekday afternoon. There are mostly couples and friends, but you will also spot people who come alone or foreigners, or even young couples with children.
“If you visit a good museum or music shop, you will find some high-quality and expensive pieces of equipment. But you can’t actually touch them or play anything with them. Music has to be listened to. That’s why we are allowing people to listen to music from their own tables.”

Even on a weekday afternoon, Music Complex Seoul attracts a sizable crowd hungry for music on vinyl.

Picking Your Own Music
Music Complex Seoul operates differently compared to your average LP bars or cafés. Guests won’t all have to listen to the same songs. You can pick out albums you want and listen to them for yourself only or with your friends. Order your drinks at the counter, and then go choose your record, and grab a table. Each table is equipped with a popular Audio-Technica AT series turntable and Audio-Technica or Shure headphones. You don’t just get to listen to music; you’ll enjoy it in high quality.

You have more than enough records to choose from, satisfying all sorts of tastes.

Shelves along the walls are filled with records, not to mention boxes on the floor. Music Complex Seoul holds about 12,000 LPs.
And they cover a wide spectrum of genres. You will find albums by such jazz greats as Chet Baker and Bill Evans, and pop artists like Michael Jackson and Exhibition. You will find some of the best-known albums in popular genres. There is also a separate booth for seasonal records. For Christmas season, carol records and albums featuring songs for winter will be placed there.
They first tried to sort records by genres, but it didn’t take them long to realize it would be a fool’s errand. After a while, albums would be all over the place. Even staff members have a hard time picking out records. And sometimes, you will find good songs on a random record you choose. That’s the joy of music in essence.

There is no extra fee. Order a drink and off you go with your music.

New Music Complex, New Destination
Before Music Complex Seoul opened, the same location once housed a store that sold smartphone photos in colorful Lego frames. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, CEO Kim Hyeong-seok opened Music Complex Seoul.
He oversaw interior design and construction, with some help from a friend. He had specific ideas of what he wanted, in terms of design and the shop’s overall concept. And as soon as the place opened, visitors started flooding in. It went viral on Instagram, thanks to such powerful interior color schemes and the concept of allowing people to listen to their own music.

A long queue outside Music Complex Seoul is a common sight on weekends. It’s not difficult to imagine another Music Complex in a different region. And if that indeed happens, then the new Music Complex will be a new travel destination for music lovers.
This is a perfect place for the young generation that’s not resistant to new, unfamiliar experience, and hardly anything is more unfamiliar to them than placing a vinyl record on a turntable and working the needle. Members of ‘Generation Z’ want others to respect their tastes. And what better ways to do so than letting them pick their own music?
And perhaps Music Complex Seoul, for all their analog sensibilities, is the perfect spot for the new generation.

Address 5th floor, 49 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Inquiry +82-0507-1308-2939
Instagram Music Complex Seoul

Where to Stay in Seoul: LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL
LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL, located in Sogong-dong, is Korea’s finest luxury business hotel. Four interior design companies worked on 1,015 guest rooms, giving them unique looks that reflect the latest architectural trends.
Its prime location, with Myeongdong, Euljiro, Cheonggyecheon and other landmarks nearby, will satisfy business travelers and tourists alike. The hotel also serves as the perfect setting for family gatherings, luxury wedding ceremonies and major international conferences, and has hosted guests of the state and other luminaries.

Address 30 Euljiro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Inquiry +82-2-771-1000
February 2023 Editor:Jung Jaewook
Photographer:Kim Zun

Where to stay?

  • February 2023
  • Editor: Jung Jaewook
  • Photographer: Kim Zun
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