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A new vinyl pressing plant, Objects Manufacturing, has opened today in Berlin.
Located in a former cable works factory, it is set above the River Spree in the Treptow-Köpenick area and includes its own in-house stamping and electroforming.
It comes in the face of struggles in the vinyl manufacturing industry over the past few years, where a resurgence in the physical format’s popularity – particularly from major artists and labels – has seen demand far outstrip supply.
Reported delays have ranged from 20 weeks to even a full year at certain points, with smaller, independent labels facing the longest waits. The plant aims to help relieve some of this pressure, with a planned production turnaround of eight to 10 weeks.
Objects was founded by Daniel Plasch and Jeremy Guillot, two long-time players in Berlin’s nightlife industry.
Plasch manages nightclub RSO Berlin, as well as formerly running now-defunct venue STATTBAD Wedding, as well as being an extended board member of the Berlin Club Commission.
Guillot on the other hand was a former resident DJ at STATTBAD and runs techno and experimental record label Bright Sounds.
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The duo first had the idea to begin a vinyl pressing plant in the city in 2015, according to Plasch. He told Mixmag: “We [thought]: ‘Maybe it’s time to open a record pressing plant because back then it started to look like the vinyl industry is doing better, getting back on its feet and getting the love that it deserves.”
But the pair kicked their ideas into action during the pandemic’s height, when shortages were exacerbated by a lack of staff and supply chain issues. As vinyl sales continue to increase year-on-year, they believe that it will be unlikely to slow down at any point in the near future.
“We don’t really believe it’s a trend,” Plasch said. “We think it was more an overcompensation when MP3 came about, and everybody was hyped about new technology and everyone redirected their focus not to be the last ones to jump a sinking ship.
“It was the independent and small labels keeping it alive,” he continued. “And it was the music lovers who do know that it is different if you actually have something in your hand.”
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In creating their concept for their new pressing plant, the duo have placed a strong focus on sustainability, with all records produced being 100% recyclable, as well as attempting to follow the concepts of a circular economy structure. “It was important to us to target and build everything with a green approach,” said Plasch. “Everything that is left over from [the production of] the record is being trimmed off and grinded right away, which can re-used for new records. We also work with green energy, there are no heavy metals in this compound [we use] and has no quality disadvantages.”
Objects will also place a focus on producing records from less-established artists and labels. “We are certainly open for everybody,” said Plasch. “But we do want to focus on smaller and independent labels because those are the ones that have been suffering through the time when record pressing wasn’t as fashionable, and they kept the industry alive and are now suffering again.
“We want to find a decent balance between working with bigger organisations but never to the disadvantage of independent and small labels,” he added.
For more information on Objects Manufacturing, visit its official website.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins