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Orlake Records

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Orlake Records was a UK pressing plant established by plastics company Movilex Ltd. in 1964 and operated until 2007.

By the late 80s, Orlake had built a reputation for "pressing the records that nobody else wanted to press", according to Peter Hall who was Orlake's General Manager before he returned to EMI as General Manager - Manufacturing. These records included picture discs, shaped discs, shaped picture discs, and coloured vinyl discs. The most famous of these is perhaps the withdrawn Madonna - Erotica picture disc.

Orlake operated a state-of-the-art plant with 16 Toolex Alpha automatic and 24 Toolex Alpha semi-automatic presses, at it's peak producing one million records per month. There was no in-house disc mastering or printing facility.

In October 1980, Orlake was sold to Forward Technology Industries, Movitex Ltd having gone into receivership a month earlier.
In 1999, the plant was sold to First Sound And Vision Group (FSV) which went into administration on 6th November 2000.
In 2001, Portal Space bought the plant, renaming it Orlake Vinyl Ltd., trading as Orlake Records.
Due to a decline in demand for vinyl records, Portal Space closed the Orlake plant in summer 2007 and focused on their main plant which was renamed The Vinyl Factory.
The plant was demolished in 2009.

How to identify vinyl pressed by Orlake

From the mid 1960s to the early 1970s Orlake pressings had usually stamped runouts and no specific identifiers, just one or more ‘+’ signs (or sometimes hyphens) within the matrix string, e.g. ‘ILPS+9091+A’ (where 'A' is the side identifier), sometimes followed by cut/father number as in ‘ILPS+9114+A4’. Additional stamped letters and numbers may be found outside the matrix string.
But often runouts had nothing but the matrix and stampers identifiers from the original mastering, without any ‘+’ signs, e.g. ‘ILPS 9111 A▽2 1 4 ’.
When no ‘+’ signs are found within the matrix string, labels and pressing rings can help identify an Orlake pressing. At first glance, the label pattern is quite distinctive:
a) a rough textured label (see images);
b) a set of pressing rings usually composed (on LPs) of a smaller deep groove ring (marked by two concentric lines 28 and 32mm diameter) and a large raised ring, often marked with a thin line (92-93mm diameter) near the label’s edge (see label images). This set of rings can still be found, as well as rough labels, even after the introduction of different rings configurations, on records pressed up to the mid-1970s.

Starting with early 70s releases (probably between 1972 and 1973, according to dates found on DB), Orlake pressings are identifiable by hand-etched "Orlake", "OR" or, less frequently, "O" in the runout grooves. The + sign was also often still used as joiner within the matrix numbers.

For counterfeit releases of Orlake: Use Orlake (2)

Sublabels:Orlake Ltd.
Contact Info:

Sterling Industrial Estate
Rainham Road South
Dagenham
Essex RM10 8HP
United Kingdom

Tel 44 20 8592 0242
Fax 44 20 8595 8182

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