East London roots
As with many small businesses, the studio had humble beginnings – namely in the living room of a Hackney Wick warehouse, when Frank Merritt (mastering engineer and owner of The Carvery Studio) and friend George Thompson (producer Black Merlin), saw the need to cut dubplates for friends, competitive scratch DJs and their own DJ nights in East London.
After years of building up clientele and savings, Frank branched out on his own to buy an industry standard vinyl lathe – the Neumann VMS 70. It originally came from the US, where it had begun life in Nashville cutting many of the famous Motown records of the early 70s, before being used by Sony in the 80s, and finally ending up in EMI’s Townhouse Studio in Shepherd’s Bush. Following the catalogue of these labels over those decades, one can only speculate at the sheer number of records (hits or otherwise) that this Neumann lathe has cut.
Since then, The Carvery Studio has grown with and helped nurture a plethora of influential independent labels in the fertile creative grounds of London and the UK, including Rhythm Section, BBE, Soundway, Strut, On The Corner, Glitterbox, High Focus and Gilles Peterson’s Arc imprint. Not to mention being sought out by similarly respected European, African and American labels.