The Vinyl Alliance releases a forward-thinking statement on the Apollo Masters Fire.
The Vinyl Alliance, a vinyl records advocacy group comprised of several industry organizations, has released an official statement regarding the fire that recently destroyed Apollo Masters’ Banning, California, production facility. The Alliance held its inaugural meeting earlier this month, as first reported by Digital Music News.
Unlike most of the comments made by predictably concerned members of the media, Vinyl Alliance’s statement struck an optimistic tone. While acknowledging the depth of the Apollo Masters tragedy, President Guenter Loibl indicated that vinyl’s future looks bright—but manufacturers must embrace the numerous possibilities offered by cutting-edge technology.
Apollo Masters was one of only two companies in the world (the other being Japan’s MDC) known to produce lacquer discs, from which vinyl masters are typically pressed.
However, the Vinyl Alliance mentioned that its members had been in touch with MDC, and that the Japanese company intends to ramp up production and ration its lacquer so as to minimize the impact on manufacturers.
Additionally, the statement noted that direct-to-metal-mastering (DMM) does not require any lacquer whatsoever and can be used to create vinyl records presently. Plus, multiple lacquer-manufacturing startups “are expected to enter the market in the coming months,” and HD vinyl, “a modern way to produce stampers without lacquers,” is being developed. Updates on the latter are anticipated to arrive sometime in 2020.
The statement closed with a collection of quotes from vinyl experts, all of whom said, in essence, that the aforementioned innovations, in coordination with commonsense manufacturing precautions, should be more than enough to prevent a widespread shortage.
Authorities have declared the Apollo Masters’ building to be a complete loss. And in a testament to the amount of destruction that the fire brought about, adjacent roads are expected to remain closed for about two more weeks, to prevent passersby from being injured by debris.
The tragic fire’s cause hasn’t yet been determined, and Apollo Masters’ future is uncertain. But with so many passionate fans (as well as committed advocate organizations like the Vinyl Alliance) providing support, it can be stated with confidence that the commercially popular vinyl medium will remain prominent for many years to come.