What a difference a few years makes.
Back in 2013/14, we talked about the slow demise of vinyl records as both a DJ and listener medium. For a long time, vinyl records took a slow and painful shuffle into charity shops and lofts as it became a more irrelevant means to hear music. There was always going to be the steadfast niche fans (and they were niche), but the data was there: it was the beginning of the end. It got to the point where there were just a handful of factories around the world able to create the stampers needs to press the records.
But something happened…
We started loving vinyl again. Be it the ritual of choosing and playing music from a hefty physical medium, or the fact vinyl records demand some care with regards to audio quality and dynamic range (though this is disputed), or even the love of large, colourful artwork, people started buying and talking about it again.
Now, four years on, we’re at a point where opening a pressing plant is a viable business opportunity again. And the Dutch are doing it in style: Deepgrooves is opening the factory in an old World War II prison. Located in Blokhuispoort, Leeuwarden, the plant will have two presses, with the business marketed at small, independent labels, and will have a viewing area so people can watch the pressing process.
Mixmag’s Facebook headline for this story is “From war to wax”, which I think is appropriate. Repurposing a prison from a dark time in history, to help create something as beautiful and amazing as music seems poetic. The fact that it’s for vinyl just sweetens the deal.
The choice to add a viewing area so people can watch the process is also a nice one, and reminds me of some micro-breweries that show off their brewing towers. Specifically, the Magic Rock Tap in Huddersfield came to mind. It kind of shows they care about the process enough to want to get others excited about it.
How do you feel about this news? Did you manage to pick up anything spicy at Record Store Day?
The new Deepgrooves vinyl pressing plant is expected to open in August.