Local Music News

Dallas record label stands poised to rule the world of vinyl

Dallas record label stands poised to rule the world of vinyl

vinyl records
Vinyl record sales are up, up, up. Photo by Doug McGrath

Hand Drawn Records is poised to become the king of the vinyl world. In early December, the Dallas record company will take delivery of new state-of-the-art vinyl press machines that will give them the ability to press over a million records a year.

In 2015, the label launched Hand Drawn Pressing to fill the demand of the booming vinyl revolution. It has already been pressing vinyl on a contract basis from a facility in Toronto. The arrival of its new machines (built by Viryl Technologies) at its 10,000-square-foot facility will offer the capacity to produce records three times faster than vintage automated record presses.

Vinyl is a big millennial trend and audiophiles are collecting them more than ever. Fortune observes the resurgence among hipsters in their 20s and early 30s. Forbes has an illuminating graphic showing that vinyl sales have grown for 10 years in a row. That growth is projected to continue, at 55 percent per year through 2020.

In summary: Vinyl is big.

And yet the options for production are limited. According to spokesperson Amber LaFrance, there are 18 vinyl pressing plants in the United States and 30 worldwide. The majority of those use equipment dating back to the 1960's. Hand Drawn's high-tech system will cut the current pressing time of 16 to 24 weeks down to six to eight weeks, and with significantly improved sound quality.

Hand Drawn Records, a record label founded by musician Dustin Blocker with partner Alex Cushing, launched Hand Drawn Pressing to meet the vinyl demand. Calling themselves "the most advanced vinyl pressing facility in the world," their goal is press up to 1.8 million records per year. That includes pressing records for their own roster of bands, as well as pressing for client bands who want to release their own vinyl records.

"We are holding back vinyl capacity for independent artists, so we don’t fall into the same pitfalls as competitors," Blocker says. "Basically, we are building upon the foundation that has already brought success to our artists and music community."