Aesthetically intricate packaging, hard-to-find records, and up-and-coming artists are some of the titles you’ll pull at Den of Wax. Matt and Diana Friedman are the founders of Ossining’s newest record store, which officially opened its doors on November 25 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The husband-and-wife duo reside in Croton-on-Hudson, where their extensive music collection, dating back to the late ’80s, lives and will be transported to their newest den at 175 Main Street, Ossining.
Each record available for purchase has been hand-picked by Matt and comes with a “Put in Your Den” sticker. This sticker serves as a personal hype man for the record, providing insight into why it deserves a place in your collection (or your den). Once operations are in full swing, each record on the website will include this specialized note.
“Matt thinks the music is cool, and he can write about why he thinks it’s cool. That’s appealing, that you can talk to the person who picked this music out,” says Diana.
Simply put, you aren’t purchasing a record because of its impressive ranking on The Billboard Hot 100 chart; you’re acquiring a unique record from a curated collection. Matt, a music enthusiast since his early days, ventured into the entertainment industry back in high school when he sported the iconic Blockbuster t-shirt and played in bands throughout his teens. Eventually, he fully delved into the music scene during college and has since established three companies.
In the height of the pandemic, Matt and Diana sought out a community of melophiles (that’s people who love music) auctioning off records on Facebook live events. It caught their attention that most, if not all, of the records being auctioned off were quite similar: used, classic rock, or metal records. “We jumped in with the things we were into, which is more underground stuff,” says Matt.
Partnerships between the pair and lesser-known record labels began to take shape. The first was a tiny Russian record label that crafts record cases out of wood, fiberglass, and mirrors. Matt and Diana were particularly drawn to the eloquent and ornate presence of the cases. On Facebook, they introduced these distinct records to the community by playing and talking about each piece of vinyl. “These are records that even the biggest music geeks wouldn’t necessarily know,” notes Matt.
As sales thrived and the demand for intricately designed vinyl rose, it was time to take the next step and launch a website. Matt continues, “It got to the point where we realized we can take this experience of interactivity online and try to do it in a store.”
This is where Den of Wax, the upcoming destination for music enthusiasts to discover underground artists, enters the scene. With the help of local businesses in Ossining, the duo organized pop-ups around the community that attracted a promising number of customers.
Not only does Den of Wax offer a unique lineup of vinyl, but it also boasts a record label that seeks out artists from around the world. It began when Matt stumbled across three guys putting out fascinating DIY CDs and cassettes, which he knew he wanted to carry. There was just one problem; they had no records. Matt offered to fund the vinyl pressing for the trio and, soon after, Den of Wax Records was launched.
Matt notes that his love of music stems not only from the creation of melodies, but also his interest in the packaging, art, and music videos that add to the musical experience. With the record label – a longtime dream of Matt’s – comes the opportunity to provide these musicians with an artistic addition for their soundtracks.
“We’re trying to, from the backend, create an art extension of the music, so really it’s one package,” he explains.
For those on the hunt for genre-crossing records that will be difficult to track down elsewhere, Den of Wax is a must-visit to secure your next “Den-Worthy” album.