The production of vinyl records worldwide is said to be under threat after a severe fire at a manufacturing plant in California.
As The Desert Sun reports, a fire broke out on Thursday (February 6) at the Apollo Masters plant in Banning, California. The plant supplies the lacquer used to make vinyl records.
Speaking of the incident on their website, Apollo Masters say: “It is with great sadness we report the Apollo Masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and suffered catastrophic damage. The best news is all of our employees are safe.
“We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time. Thank you for all of the support over the years and the notes of encouragement and support we have received from you all.”
Ben Blackwell, the founder of Nashville’s Third Man Records, told of his worry at the knock-on effect the fire will cause to Pitchfork, saying: “From my understanding, this fire will present a problem for the vinyl industry worldwide.
“There are only TWO companies that make lacquers in the world, and the other, MDC in Japan, already had trouble keeping up with demand BEFORE this development.”
He continued: “I imagine this will affect EVERYONE, not just Third Man Pressing and Third Man Mastering, but to what extent remains to be seen. I don’t want to be an alarmist. But I’m attempting to be realistic as opposed to Pollyannish.”
Toronto-based pressing plant Duplication also shared their worries after the incident, calling it a “disaster for the vinyl pressing industry,” adding that there will be an incoming “lacquer shortage” and hinted that plants may have to “close or scale back operations for a while”.
Last year, the true extent of a 2008 fire at the Universal Studios in Hollywood was revealed, with unheard tracks from Nirvana, R.E.M, Soundgarden, Beck, Janet Jackson, Eminem, Nine Inch Nails and many more wiped out in the blaze.