Made in Hackney: How the process of cutting vinyl records begins with lacquers manufactured at Curve Pusher

The VMS 70

The VMS 70 - Credit: Archant

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week, with sales of vinyl records at a 20-year high, we find out how the process of manufacturing discs begins in a cutting room off Mare Street.

At Curve Pusher, lacquers are cut.

They go on to be electroplated in France to make nickel stamps that are in turn pressed into hot vinyl to make records.

It’s a complicated process – but means many a dance music disc has a little bit of Hackney pressed into its grooves.

The cutting, mastering and recording studio in Darnley Road off Mare Street cuts the lacquers using a Georg Neumann VMS 70 lathe.

They are then sent to a factory in France where the master lacquer is used to mass produce vinyl.

The majority of its customers are house music DJs and producers, although it works with a wide variety of music.

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Leo Dunster told the Gazette: “The process can be done in a day, but there’s a backlog because the demand over the last couple of years completely outweighs supply.

“Many of the factories closed years ago when vinyl started to decline because of CDs and MP3s, but all of a sudden it’s fashionable again.

“Over the last few years, vinyl has made an incredible comeback, outselling CDs for several years running now.”

In years gone by, even more of the process was done in Hackney: Curve Pusher’s Hackney Wick factory was forced to relocate to France in 2012 because of the Olympics.