Just after 8 am on Thursday, February 6th, clouds of black smoke erupted from a warehouse in Banning California. That smoke signaled the start of one of the most tragic events imaginable for vinyl lovers and prompted the following message on the website of Appolo Masters:
“To all our wonderful customers. 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.”
David Read, a vinyl production and sales coordinator at Duplication, said that the fire “will directly affect all vinyl plants, bands/labels, mastering engineers, plating facilities etc., anyone who used lacquers as part of their vinyl production.” Read added optimistically, “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.”
We’re saddened by this loss. It’ll definitely put a kink in vinyl record production for some time to come.