March 31, 2015
Independent mastering, pressing and dubplate service weighs in on the RSD debate.
Far from uniting a burgeoning industry as it has done in previous years, Record Store Day 2015 is rapidly becoming a divisive issue. Having drawn criticism in recent weeks from indie labels Howling Owl and Sonic Cathedral that it has been “co-opted by major labels”, RSD has faced renewed criticism from within the industry, this time from Carvery Cuts, whose mastering engineer Frank Merritt has told Gigwise that “Record Store Day puts an enormous strain on to an already overstressed record industry, and it’s predominantly hi-jacked by the major labels.”
It’s one of the first times a manufacturer has spoken out about the impact of the annual event, which this year has over 500 limited edition titles available. Raising the larger issue of supply, which has already been stretched by the relative paucity of pressing plants left top sustain the increased appetite for records, Carvery also revealed that they have opted out of any Record Store Day-related work this year because it took them “over six months to recover from all manufacturing worldwide for vinyl, because of Record Store Day.”
Initial criticism from Howling Owl and Sonic Cathedral drew a response from Record Store Day who issued The Vinyl Factory with an exclusive statement, claiming that small labels were “misrepresenting” what they call “the most important catalyst in the recent revival and growth in number of independent record shops”. As they point out “the clue is in the name”. [via Gigwise]
With the debate set to rumble on until and beyond Record Store Day on 18 April, we suggest you take a step back and look at the state of the worldwide vinyl supply economy in these four interactive maps.