record scratch

Worldwide Vinyl-Record Supply May Be in Danger After ‘Catastrophic’ Fire

Photo: Martin Divisek/Bloomberg via Getty Images

At the same time as Zoë Kravitz’s High Fidelity remake has us comparing and contrasting record players, a fire has threatened vinyl-record production across the globe, Pitchfork reports. California’s Apollo Masters, one of the only manufacturing plants in the world that produces the lacquer used for the master disks necessary to press vinyl records, has suffered “catastrophic damage” after a three-alarm fire Thursday night. “It is with great sadness we report the Apollo Masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and suffered catastrophic damage,” a note on the Apollo Masters website reads. “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.” Prominent figures in the industry are already expressing concerns about the shortage of lacquer, including Ben Blackwell, co-founder of Third Man Records. “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 wrote to Pitchfork (the emphasis is Blackwell’s). But David Read, a vinyl-production and sales coordinator at Duplication, a vinyl, CD, and DVD duplication, pressing, and printing company, offered some optimism: “In my almost 40 years’ experience, the vinyl industry as a whole is incredibly resilient and filled with talented professionals who will, and already are, teaming together to find a way out of this current problem.”

In the meantime, Hulu’s new High Fidelity is happy to boost the vinyl industry. To celebrate the launch of the show, Hulu is taking over seven record stores across the United States for three days, starting on February 13. Half of all gross sales during this three-day period will be donated to Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit that “transforms lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools,” per a press release. “For me, music has always been more than a hobby, but a necessary part of my life,” Kravitz, who stars in and executive-produces High Fidelity, said in a statement. “I was lucky enough to have grown up with the privilege of having access to instruments, music teachers, and great records, but I know for many that is not the case. I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to Little Kids Rock’s commitment in empowering future generations of music lovers and makers.”

Worldwide Vinyl-Record Supply Endangered After Plant Fire