Darrel Sheinman

Darrel Sheinman

Darrel Sheinman is the founder and head producer at Gearbox Records, a vinyl-led label combined with in-house mastering and cutting studio based in King’s Cross, London.

A drummer from the age of 13, Darrel played in various punk bands before moving to jazz, groove, and funk. Whilst pursuing successful careers as a commodities trader and maritime security professional, Darrel continued to nurture his passion for music via his habitual crate-digging for rare, original Blue Note pressings and a strong addiction to high fidelity audio. In 2009, this led to a change in career path and the beginnings of Gearbox Records.

Initial Gearbox output stemmed from Darrel’s explorations of the British Library archives, which led to a slew of first-time commercial releases from cult British jazz icons that included saxophonist legend Tubby Hayes and pianist Michael Garrick. Under the mentorship of famed engineers Sean Davies, Darrel was inspired to build an all-analogue cutting and mastering studio based around vintage vacuum tube tape machines and a 1967 Haeco Scully lathe, to which one can attribute the signature “Gearbox sound.” More recently and under Darrel’s A&R leadership, Gearbox has been at the forefront of the UK contemporary jazz revival, having released music with acts such as Binker & Moses, Theon Cross, and Sarathy Korwar. As well as jazz, Gearbox has evolved organically into other genres and styles of music, from Brazilian no wave to ambient electronic to lo-fi soul, with a focus on quality being the deciding factor. 

A frequent visitor to Japan, Darrel holds a black belt in kobudo martial art practices, something that he shares with legendary pianist and Gearbox signing Abdullah Ibrahim. His admiration and appreciation of Japanese culture led him to introduce monthly “kissaten”-styled listening sessions to the Gearbox studio, open to the public, which proved popular and have resulted in a monthly residency on London’s Soho Radio show. 

Ever the entrepreneur, Darrel opened a Gearbox Japan office in Spring 2020, making Gearbox one of the first ever independent labels to do so.