As Billboard and some other music and industry-related publications reported, a devastating fire burned down the manufacturing and storage facility “for Apollo Masters Corp. — a Banning, Calif.-based manufacturing plant that supplies the lacquer used for making master discs.”
Master discs are used to create vinyl records that end up with listeners. It is projected that shutting down the Apollo plant can significantly slow down the production of vinyl records, as it is one of only two such plants in the world that manufacturers master disc lacquers.
Apollo Masters Corp. issued a statement in which it said that its “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.”
Billboard notes that “the loss of the plant — which, along with MDC in Japan, is one of only two worldwide that produces the lacquers needed to create vinyl records — comes as a difficult blow to the booming vinyl record industry. Billboard reported just last month that 26% of all physical albums sold in the U.S. in 2019 were vinyl.”
Gil Tamazyan — founder and president of the California-based vinyl pressing plant Capsule Labs sent an email to Billboard in which he said that the incident “will cause a hindrance in some major way” before a solution can be found. “Unless something happens really quickly, there will soon be Vinylgeddon.” His estimate is that the Apollo plant supplies 80% of blank lacquer master discs globally.