U.K. Indie Cooking Vinyl Grows U.S. Operations

Cooking Vinyl, the London-based indie which counts The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson and Billy Bragg among its varied roster, is expanding its U.S. operations with the opening of a full service label division.

Based in New York City, Cooking Vinyl America will be overseen by newly appointed president Howie Gabriel, who joins the company from Warner Bros. Records where he held the position of executive vice president of marketing. Prior to joining Warner, Gabriel spent two decades with RED, Sony Music’s independent distribution and marketing arm, rising to the post of svp label management. 

Effective immediately, Gabriel will report to Cooking Vinyl Group founder and CEO Martin Goldschmidt, who established the company in 1986 alongside business partner Pete Lawrence. Gabriel’s remit includes signing and developing U.S. domestic and international artists, as well as releasing artists from Cooking Vinyl’s existing U.K. roster.                                                 

Upcoming releases include Little Windows, a duets album by Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones (Apr. 1) and the debut album from alt. rock act D.A.R.K., featuring Cranberries vocalist Delores O’Riordan and former Smiths bassist Andy Rouke (May 27). Other artists signed to the label include Madness, James, Frank Black, Gary Numan, Amanda Palmer, Suzanne Vega, Alison Moyet and The Cult.

The launch of Cooking Vinyl America, which has partnered with RED for domestic sales and distribution, is not the company’s first excursion into the U.S. In 2012, it launched CV America, also based in New York. That operation was headed by Erik Gilbert until January this year and offered global marketing and distribution services to North American labels in addition to a standalone publishing division. Billboard understands that Cooking Vinyl America effectively replaces that business and marks the first time that the indie has run its own dedicated U.S. label.

“I have known Martin for many years both personally and professionally and have always admired the way he has developed Cooking Vinyl from humble beginnings into a hugely successful company,” said Gabriel in a statement announcing the label launch.  

“With a strong international infrastructure already in place, the time is right to build on that success by having a permanent base and a full service label operation in the US that can act as a home for the company’s existing artists, while working with the best American talent,” he went on to say.  

 “The key challenge whenever our company expands into new territories, particularly a territory as important as the US, is finding the right person to oversee things,” said Martin Goldschmidt, praising Gabriel as “someone who has tremendous energy aligned with a proven track record of success in marketing and distribution." 

Earlier this month, Cooking Vinyl Group -- which in addition to its offices in London and now New York, has departments in Paris, Berlin and Melbourne -- sold its London-based independent sales and distribution company Essential Music and Marketing to the U.K. arm of Sony’s RED division. As part of the acquisition, a new U.K. focused company called Red Essential, based at Cooking Vinyl’s West London’s offices, was formed, headed by Ian Dutt and Mike Chadwick.