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What is so wonderful about a lathe cut is that you are no longer beholden to the whims of the major labels and Record Store Day, it's unfortunate that it takes an independent label or band 10-12 months to press vinyl. Not only are you spending thousands of dollars, but then you get poor customer service, a shortage of progress updates, and there's a large possibility that your project won't be ready on time. How is a DIY band or independent label supposed to plan around a record they may not get when they're supposed to?

While short run lathe cuts are not an exact substitute, they sure are a great insurance policy. Not only are they a really nice limited release for your fans, but they can also function as a way to drum up attention for your upcoming release. Bands can take charge of their music and their releases with a lathe cut. Do you want to have fifty 7 inch square records for your upcoming single so you have new music to sell on tour? Want twenty five 8 inch records so you can custom screen print on cardboard jackets for a web store exclusive? Want two hundred 4 inches just for fun with a lock groove of one riff repeated forever? You have that option and more, and you'll get your records in a timely fashion.

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Zack Hansen

Precarian Cuts is run by Zack Hansen, former employee and lathe cutter at He enjoys reading, watching pirated television, composing music, and playing drums.