A Black Swan event occurred in early 2020 when Apollo Masters— one of the only two lacquer manufacturers in the world– burned to the ground. This began a ripple effect throughout the industry, impacting both the rising costs and scarcity of lacquers. This has led to bigger plants prioritizing bigger runs by bigger artists, as a result making it more difficult and costly for smaller artists to have their music pressed with traditional lacquer.
At Liquor Donuts, we believe that pressing your music on vinyl should be available to all musicians, and in our current streaming world, it is an important revenue source for working artists. BLKSWNZ are an affordable alternative to traditional lacquers, not a replacement. Using a different cutting material and lathe process– not unlike that of a cassette tape– there is a slightly higher noise floor (most audible between tracks) that is tonally warmer as they favour the mids and lose some of the upper highs. However, be assured that we are continually perfecting this process and achieving increasingly better results.
We would not recommend BLKSWNZ for artists looking to press pristine jazz, classical, or acoustic albums, or likewise if you are looking to press 500+ units as the savings provided by BLKSWNZ (over traditional lacquers) become nullified due to volume.
With that being said, if you are an independent rock, metal, punk, hip-hop, electronic, country, or experimental artist looking to capture your music on vinyl, then BLKSWNZ may just be the one for you. BLKSWNZ significantly lower the barrier to entry and are especially approachable for any independent artists wanting to press their first single or album, especially if they are looking for short runs (<200). Audiophiles may turn up their nose, but fans will connect with your music as they always have – based on the power, emotion and authenticity of your songs.
In terms of packaging, BLKSWNZ are identical to regular LPs and 7-inches; they undergo the same plating and pressing process with the same high quality jacket and label printing. Colour vinyl is no problem. The end product has the same look and feel.
As an added bonus, we are offering special rates to early adopters seeking that want to join us in this journey as we perfect and innovate BLKSWNZ.