We hate to sound like a broken record, but vinyl is back. Last year vinyl album sales grew 10 percent, topping an 11-year streak of positive growth. That’s great news for one North Texas record label that’s hoping to become major player in the resurgence of vinyl.
Art&Seek caught up with the label’s co-founder Dustin Blocker to learn about his plans and his life.
Up in Addison there’s a giant packaging facility – it’s about the size of two Home Depots squished together. It’s filled with rows of boxes stacked floor to ceiling. In one corner sit two brand-spanking-new vinyl record presses, each about the size of a pickup. They’re the first record presses built and installed in the United States in more than 30 years.
Standing in front of the presses is the co-founder of Hand Drawn Records, Dustin Blocker.
“These are the record presses,” says Blocker. “They’re made by the company Viryl Technologies in Toronto, Canada and they’re named Warm Tone.”
Blocker doesn’t look like your average businessman or manufacturer. He’s not wearing a button up shirt or tie. He’s not even wearing a shirt with his label’s logo. Instead, he looks like a musician or an artist. He’s rocking a black t-shirt from a popular bar in Denton. The back of the shirt reads “Support Local.”
As of today, Blocker’s Warm Tone presses are one of a kind. They’re smaller than older presses, fully automated and they’re run by cloud-based software. But that’s not all.