Key supplier in the global vinyl industry, Apollo Masters, suffered a devastating blow as their Southern California manufacturing facility burned to the ground on Thursday. A major player in the supply chain for new wax, this leaves the next year of record pressing in question. Apollo was one of two primary suppliers of this niche corner of music distribution. Some call it a forgotten art, others a quality necessity.
We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time.
So what does this mean for that new record you’ve been waiting on? With label owners already heading to the web to announce impending release delays, the fire has sent shockwaves throughout the industry.
For those asking, the lacquer mastering process is an integral part of a high fidelity record press, especially in dance. The lacquer master acts as the template used to press out the production run of records. Read more from Dark Entries boss, Josh Cheon, as he explains the importance of the process given recent tragedy.
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For those asking what a lacquer is, here’s a video of Anne-Marie Suenram testing a lock groove cut for the forthcoming @sepehr.music_ album. Our mastering engineer George Horn cuts grooves in each lacquer to create master discs, which are then sent to pressing plants where they are plated with nickel to create the stampers that press records. We are aware of DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) that skips the lacquer and cuts grooves directly into nickel but for dance records this is not an option as the low end suffers considerably.