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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kids, try this at home: The Balkans pirate their own records

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Atlanta’s the Balkans are raising the bar on DIY cred. They make their own records — practically from scratch.

Balkans bassist/guitarist Woody Shortridge makes the mold by pouring liquid silicone over a record placed at the bottom of the box. Then, the record is made by pouring a liquid resin into the mold. The kind he uses dries in 15 minutes. He adds urethane dyes to create colorful swirling patterns. The whole process takes less than an hour to complete.

Balkans bassist/guitarist Woody Shortridge learned about copying records this way from Adam Bruneau who originally posted about it on his blog. Together they perfected their technique and Cave Paint Records was born.

“I liked the idea of getting records out fast,” Shortridge says. It also gives the Balkans freedom to make only as many records as they need for a cost of about $2.50 each. So far, Shortridge has made about 60. He started selling them March 10 when the band opened for King Khan and the Shrines. Copies are available at Criminal Records, Wax N’ Facts, and Vacation Gallery and Boutique.

The method only allows them to imprint on one side. They use one side of a split seven-inch they were on as “the master.” But the fidelity is pretty good, give or take a little crackle. They stress that the product is heat resistant, durable and won’t damage a record player needle.

“It’s ideal for punk records,” Bruneau says.

Shortridge is working on a homemade record cutter as well. Since he also records on 8-track for the Balkans, rigging up a cutter would allow Cave Paint Records to do everything in house.

"That's the dream," Bruneau says.

For more information, check Cave Paint's MySpace page.

(Photo courtesy the Balkans)

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