Always progressive Third Man Records is not only bringing life to Detroit’s Cass Corridor, they are also bringing jobs with the opening of their new vinyl pressing plant. They purchased eight presses from German startup Newbilt and should have it operational in mid-2016.
“While the pressing plant won’t be operational when Third Man opens on Black Friday, they eventually plan to house at least eight working presses. A window in the shop will let customers see the manufacturing floor as part of Third Man’s ongoing initiative to educate the public about vinyl culture and show that, as Blackwell puts it, ‘all this stuff is alive and well.’
While the manufacturing arm definitely means that Third Man will have quick access to pressings of their own output, Blackwell says the decision to open the plant is a selfless act. He argues that more overall record-pressing capacity eases the pressure on plants like United Record Pressing in Nashville, which continues to press Third Man releases, and Archer—both of which are backed up and reportedly turning away customers. Also, while no plans are currently in place, Third Man hope to press more than just their own records on-site. Potentially, the plant could offer a new option for young artists and DIY labels. ‘Part of the concern in this world is that vinyl can very easily turn into an exclusionary thing,’ Blackwell says. ‘But this is going to make it easier for a little punk band to make 300 copies of a 7-inch’.”