Create your own personalised vinyl from PhonoLab
Best known for its industrial estates, second-hand furniture stores, and fitness centres, Hamilton North increasingly proves itself as a creative hub in Newcastle, with PhonoLab, a boutique vinyl record cutting studio, a hidden gem amongst the action.
Opening its doors in 2018, the studio initially focused on short-runs, cutting limited amounts of records for bands such as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who were keen to get their music onto vinyl.
Whilst the short-runs continue to form an important element of what the pair, Justin and Dan, do at PhonoLab, but they've since expanded their repertoire, bringing you the opportunity to create your own personal record!
Available year-round, but with discounted prices in the lead-up to Christmas, PhonoLab uses cutting-edge technology to convert your individually curated Spotify playlists into vinyl records.
Think custom mix-tapes from back in the day, but with a modern twist—with this hybridisation of analog and digital technology, it has never been easier to musically memorialise your most special moments.
The process is detailed, but user-friendly, maximising the extent of personalisation for customers. To order head to the PhonoLab website and select a seven, ten, or twelve inch vinyl record.
Choose between nine different vinyl colours, provide a link to your playlist, and upload any graphics, photos, or designs to be featured on its centre-labels and cover-sleeve, and Justin and Dan will do the rest!
So how did a boutique vinyl record cutting studio come to be in Newcastle?
PhonoLab’s owner, Justin, has always been involved in the music industry. After studying audio-engineering at university, working in theatres and studios, producing music, and working as a DJ, Justin opened his business in Newcastle, cutting short-runs of vinyl for musicians and bands.
“The process is incredibly labour-intensive and hands-on; it takes as long to cut a record as it does to play it, so it’s very slow.”
While travelling the world and collecting records in 2017, Justin acquired the vinyl cutting machine in Germany, undergoing intensive training at the same time, and now uses to convert digital playlists to vinyl.
The process, he explains, is quite popular in Europe and the US, but remains relatively unknown here, with only one other provider offering similar services in Melbourne.
Music has also always been an important part of Dan’s life also, having followed in his sister’s footsteps and became a DJ at 18 years old. These days, he continues to make music, cut records, and also dabbles in audio engineering and programming.
The pair are passionate about the old-school processes they employ to bring their customers personalised products, and to capture timeless moments forever.
“We’ve updated the technology we use to this newer, digital system, but it’s still analog products that we’re producing ... it’s a cool idea to gift someone music that reminds you of them, and to do that now with vinyl is awesome!” says Dan.