Yesterday (February 6), there was a fire at the Apollo Masters manufacturing plant—a plant that supplies the lacquer used for making master discs, which are essential in making vinyl records. While thankfully no employees were injured, the entire facility was decimated.
In a statement on their website, the company wrote: “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, co-founder of Third Man Records, told Pitchfork of his concerns: “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.”
Apollo was apparently the primary supplier of the styli used in the vinyl pressing process. Now there is a lacquer shortage. It’s not looking good for the vinyl industry, or for music lovers looking to purchase more tunes on disc.