Death Waltz Recording Company
Founded by Record Store Day UK coordinator and music industry veteran Spencer Hickman in 2011, Death Waltz Recording Company is a soundtrack label releasing vinyl, CD & digital.
|Mondo Music Group
|Death Waltz Originals
- Vor 3 Monaten bearbeitetECO vinyl - the concept & its consequences:
Howdy folks and likeminded record lovers,
Not too long ago I read a new term on a website, from which I regularily buy records, and that term was "ECO vinyl". Curious as I am I searched for information in the www and it wasn´t that tough to realize what it means:
ECO vinly is the abbreviation for ECOlogical vinyl, also referred to as "green vinyl".
Now I am certainly not opposed to the idea of protecting the environment (although I do not believe in man-made climate change and the religion behind "preventing that"), but I have become suspicious when it comes to people telling me about the redeeming consequences of green ideas, because most of the green ideas I have come accross meant simply "less" of something. And I don´t really believe in the idea of "less", unLESS it refers to workload (haha).
So I digged for information, which follows a little bit below. Before I get into that, let me write a few words about records:
What are records and what is the idea behind it? Well, that is easy to answer: records are physical music, music one can touch. As opposed to digital music, which you can not touch, a record is a product, which one can touch and which contains music. Being a manufactured product, the music in the grooves depends on the quality of the source material: the vinyl. Of course every music lover will agree, that the MAIN GOAL in manufacturing records is to have a product, which allows to reproduce the music IN THE BEST WAY possible, in other words: IN THE HIGHEST QUALITY possible: the music shall sound as good as possible.
That´s not rocket-science at all.
Would you buy a record, which you know sounds not as good as possible?
In addition to the goal of giving the listener the best possible listening experience achieveable, the concept behind a record is the goal to make it as long-lasting as possible. A record stored in the best way possible, clean & upright, not squeezed, not exposed to high temperatures and handled & played with care will be an item, which actually can exist forever and it can exist forever in the same perfect quality it was pressed, because even repated playing will not deteriorate its quality, if the needle is not damaged and the record played with not too much needle weight (say 2,5 - 3,0 gram). The paper of the cover can age, but vinyl does NOT age, it can exist forever, literally!
So when a music lover buys a record, will he actually think about it being melted down and re-used again, like some recycleable product of everyday use?
I guess not. Emoji
The record-lover will buy a record in the hope of being able to enjoy it his whole remaining life and when losing interst in it, then he will consider re-selling it to some other like-minded soul to a) get his investment back and b) have someone else take care of it any enjoy it. There is the saying that "one does not own a record, one does only care for it for some time" (until the record moves along to somebody else). The idea of a record is not to throw it away and have it melted down to re-use the vinyl.
Like the idea of a painting is to exist forever to show future generations what the artist saw & thought and like the idea of a book is not to be burned to give a little bit of heat, but to be read and re-read multiple times by different people.
That is what "art" is all about: to exists as long as possble!
So, when the music-lover buys a arecord, he buys it with a totally different mind-set than it being destroyed after some time of use. That (= its ecological recycling) is the LAST and LEAST thought anyone buying a record will ever have!
Now let us dig into the topic, what ECO vinyl is - here we go:
"Some artists releasing new music have begun to have their music pressed on ‘eco vinyl’ or ‘eco-wax’. This typically means using the leftover PVC pellets from other pressings, which results in murky multi - coloured discs."
So "eco vinyl" is already used vinyl, be it leftovers, be it unsold records, be it used & discharged records, which are melted down and then other records are pressed from that.
Anyone out there still remembering the term "virgin vinyl"?
"This is the term used for vinyl products that do not contain recycled products. Recycled products that may be imported into an extrusion plant may contain impurities or lower grade vinyl which can seriously affect the finished product's resilience, impact resistance and UV inhibition. Velocity uses only PVC/Vinyl products extrude with virgin ingredients."
Obviously "eco vinyl" is NOT "virgin vinyl" ... I still remember the time, when - especially Japanese - pressing plants proudly told labels, that they press their records on the BEST and therefore BEST-SOUNDING VIRGIN VINYL available! And Japanese pressings are still amongst the best in the world! I gladly pay a higher price to get the best sounding pressing out there, if I do have the choice amongst different pressings. I MIGHT nevertheless ALSO buy a lesser sounding pressing due to other reasons like superior or at least different cover-artwork, but getting the best sound-quality in the best possible condition is still - and will forever be - my main goal.
So, would I buy a lesser sounding pressing, knowing it is a lesser sounding pressing ...?
And just by the way, have you ever thought about what happens to the labels in the process of recycling? And the dirt on and in the grooves of already used records? Think about that for a second ... Sure, used records MIGHT be cleaned before melting them, but then again, they might not .... they might not, because every additional step in the recycling process does of course ... cost ... money! And have you ever tried to remove a label? I guess not .... you won´t be surprised that it is near-impossible to remove a label from a record. It´s just too tightly affixed to it! It simply can not be done properly.
So ... the vinyl is gonna be melted with at least some dirt on it and at least parts of the label - if not the whole one - on it!
And if the melt-down process is not 100% successful - and what is 100% successful in our world? ... nothing ! - then there DEFINITLY will be small crumbs of hardened vinyl from the previous pressing in the "eco vinyl pressing", which small crumbs will - inevitably - cause accoutic problems, like ticks and pops, if not even a skip once in a while ...
Searching the www I did find sentences like this one:
"Surface Noise: Some eco vinyl records may exhibit slightly more surface noise compared to records made with virgin vinyl. The introduction of recycled materials or alternative compounds can result in minute imperfections that may manifest as additional surface noise, albeit typically within acceptable levels." -https://allforturntables.com/2023/07/14/eco-vinyl-records-sound-quality/?utm_content=cmp-true
How does "https://allforturntables.com/2023/07/14/eco-vinyl-records-sound-quality/?utm_content=cmp-true" know what kind of "additional surface noise" I consider to be "typically (!) within acceptable levels"?? Frankly, for me - typically - NO "additional" surface noise is "acceptable". I want the absolute minimum of surface noise - actually none at all! - when I buy a (new) record! Surface noise is "typically" the exact OPPOSITE of what I expect from a new record! It is UNacceptable. Plian simply. Actually reviews of records - at least good reviews - would definitly mention any surface noise or pressing flaws typically associated with a certain pressing and buyers would "typically" avoid buying this pressing with surface noise, IF there is another pressing available.
That said I guess you already know what I recommend: DO NOT BUY ECO VINYLl!! Because if you do, then you will support a development that will ultimately make any audiphile listening experience a thing of the past, a long gone memory of better times hidden in the shadows of the past ... when you spend money you "vote" for a product! When you spend money on eco vinyl, you vote for eco vinyl. When you do NOT buy eco vinyl, your spending money for virgin vinyl will also be a VOTE AGAINST ECO VINYL. That´s the good think about free markets: you can - still - decide what you buy! If you don´t buy eco vinyl and don´t support the idea of lesser quality vinyl, then it will disappear. It simply won´t get made, because no pressing plant will offer and no label will use poor quality vinyl - and that is what eco vinyl is all about -, if nobody buys it. It will vanish again like a bad dream.
And we still do have that choice!
DEATH WALTZ is one of the few labels, who has started offering records on eco vinyl. But not only, just also on eco vinyl. They still press - hopefully bigger quantities - on high quality (presumably virgin) vinyl AND they press the same music on eco vinyl for those, who consider surface noise (and pops, clicks, ticks, whatever) "acceptable". So you gotta take care and give buying a record from this (and other) label(s) a bit more attention than you normally might, because YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE that you do not buy the eco crab by accident, by just not either knwoing what this is or not reading carefully enough the small print in the product information.
Because if you buy the inferior pressing, you will end up with a poorly sounding - in comparison to the high(er) quality pressing - pressing, which in addition to inferior sound also looks ugly and does - in the case of DEATH WALTZ pressings - not have the additional artwork on a blank 4th side (a few 2 LP-pressings have a blank D-side, which contains some artwrk, but not on the eco vinyl version). And of course an eco pressing will be hard to re-sell to other music lovers ... in other words: an eco pressing is a POOR investment! Emoji
For those, who buy from hhv.de in Germany, be WARNED: they don´t even offer the better pressings anymore, they only have Death Waltz low quality eco LPs for sale without mentioning that on every release (on some yes, but not on all, rea the small print on every DW record there) ... prices are nevertheless ranging from nearly 50 to 70,-- € per LP or LP-set ... which angers me so much that I don´t have proper words for ... EmojiEmojiEmoji
So to sum up: for all of you, who consider NO SURCACE NOISE AT ALL the only acceptable condition .... don´t buy eco vinyl crab! I definitly won´t!
And don´t be fooled by terms solely coined to mislead you. If they´d frankly say in everyday language everybody understands:
"People, you gotta get accustomed to lower quality sound, because - ya know - that helps the environment. We good guys from Death Waltz and other labels will of course go on charging anywhere from 35 (!) to 45 (!!) and even more bucks for lower quality sound, but you please shut up, buy and accept that audiophile sound is a listening experience from the past, but then again: sleep well, because - you know - it helps ´the environment´ - oh, and well, us too, because it lowers our costs, LOL".
then everybody would understand immdiately, what this is all about, but ECO vinyl is a cooler sounding expression for "crab", which they hope will work in luring buyers to buy inferior pressings.
It won´t work, if people know what it is.
And THAT is why I wrote this lengthy article and hope it will be widely spread and read by many music-lovers. You can copy and paste it on other sites to get it as widely spread as possible.
Thanx for reading!
Wolfgang Jahn aka wmjahn
- Death Waltz sells overhyped cover art packing low quality product. I stay away from their junk.
- It started going wrong when they released The Fog and used that cross eyed Chewbacca on the front cover. They followed it up nicely with the dynamics crushing, hyper noise reduced (think sterile) digital transfer of Halloween III. They topped off that particular release by forgetting to include one of the best tracks on the score - even though its listed on the back cover.
- Anyone else been noticing the absolute crushing devaluation of DW records in the after market? I'm not a flipper - I love film scores, especially horror scores...and the way that DW used to market everything (along with OWS, Mondo, etc) - it was buy it as fast as you possibly can before it sells out, then see if you actually like it. I fell victim to this marketing, and now looking back at my bulky score collection have thought about thinning some of it out and sticking with just the scores I truly love. I'm going to lose so much money trying to sell these off. What happened here? How did DW go from selling us really expensive film scores to us having a collection of worthless records?
- Crappy label, low quality vinyl pressings mostly digital sourced. Avoid avoid avoid
- i really like the artwork but its not worth to pay the overprice . specialy when you compare these mondo/death waltz pressings with the original pressings you will notice that the mondo deathwaltz sounds soo much worse compared to older used and dusty records .. if you are in for the sound of the record you should stay away from this ....
- Vor 6 Jahren bearbeitetVery disappointed with the quality of the pressings lately.
I've bought a copy of the Beyond soundtrack, it had clicks and pops galore and was littered with hairline scratches (i've never seen such a beat up "mint" record before). I returned it and purchased it from another seller, only to receive a record that looked exactly the same (guess the whole batch must look like that), but there were much less clicks and pops, so i kept it.
Then i've bought the Lost Empire soundtrack, unfortunately there was a deep scratch on one side. Requested a refund.
Currently i'm at my third attempt to find a decent copy of the Maniac soundtrack. The first two had clicks/pops and were very noisy, one of them was warped so bad that Side A didn't even touch the platter (blue vinyl).
Just finished skipping through the third copy (red vinyl), which had me moaning like Frank Zito in the intro, because it wasn't any better than the previous two, and on top of that also had a humming sound in the background, that lasted for the entire length of the record. Fantastic.*
I'm aware that Death Waltz isn't fully to blame here, they don't press the records themselves. The aforementioned records were all pressed by GZ Media, but there are problems with other pressing plants too (i.e. Rainbo Records, see reviews of the Twin Peaks reissue).
At the end of the day, a record label is only as good as the pressing plant that presses their records.
Great remasterings/artwork/colored vinyl etc. is like putting lipstick on a pig, when the pressing job is botched by hacks.
*Edit: 4th copy, still no luck, occasional clicks/pops and surface noise, buzzing sound in the right channel (i'm starting to think that this is present on all copies, and i just didn't notice it while skipping through the first two without headphones, i also heard that buzzing in soundclips online). With that said, i'm thinking about keeping this copy, because it's the first one without loud pops that occur with every rotation. I guess that's as good as GZ Media gets at pressing records these days. It's a shame that this wasn't manufactured by a better pressing plant, aside from clicks/pops/noise/buzzing it doesn't sound bad.
- Huge fan of Deathwaltz and have been buying their releases for a couple of years now. My bank balance is not such a fan, but I'm sure it'll get over it! :) Keep up the good work!
- Sadly Death Waltz has gone down the pan as I expected after the Mondo merger, but it seems if you complain about their release policies and having to pay £50+ for something you want on eBay they just give you shit. Still, they have enough people interested now not to care about those people who supported them on the way up. Cheers for nothing DW.
- albeit a bit late to the party, i just got my first DW, RSDDW009. great music, great quality pressing, but no artist or title on the spine? instead, the cat# and OMG -the label's www address! this is aesthetics? Dis is getting pathetic.
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