More Cutting Room Heroes – Ron Murphy Of National Sound Corporation…

June 17, 2009

So I ordered a load records (and a T-shirt) from Submerge recently and the package arrived today. In with the vinyl (still shrinkwrapped) was a free CD (Nocturbulous Behavior – very good) and various bits of 313 ephemera; in particular this notice about last year’s Ron Murphy memorial. We thought it might be interesting to some of the heads. Cutting room engineers can make or break a record so always good to find out more about these mysterious figures. Look out for more on this topic in the near future, but for now, here is a lil’ more on Ron…

Ronald Murphy, UR hero

Ron Murphy set up National Sound Corporation (the ‘NSC’ etched into all your better records) with Steve Martel in 1989. Shortly afterward, Juan Atkins and Derrick May discovered his service and started pressing records with him, on a cutting lathe from the ’30s. Ron encouraged them, and others, to personalise their records with etchings and also pioneered lock-grooves and outward play (which really confused me the first time I encountered it).

Ron’s connection to the music of Detroit far pre-dates Techno however, he cut his first record at some point in 1966, and was cutting, engineering and producing throughout the Motown decades. Sadly, he died of a heart attack in January last year. Not only had music lost wonderful and warm talent, but also a wealth of memories and what I’m sure would have been a fascinating autobiography…



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