‘Catastrophic’ blaze at California plant jeopardizes global vinyl record supply

Credit: Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Credit: Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

catastrophic fire at a southern California manufacturing facility on Thursday has imperiled the world's future vinyl record supply, threatening to stymie the music industry's unlikeliest of underdogs.

The damage caused by the three-alarm fire at Apollo Masters Corp. not only decimated the company's operations, but it could potentially remove – at least temporarily – the world's largest supplier of the lacquer used in vinyl record production, the Desert Sun reported.

Rick Hashimoto of Record Technology, a pressing plant in Camarillo, California, told the newspaper via email that Apollo Masters has supplied "at least 75 percent" of the world's master lacquer discs for the past two decades.

"This is definitely a disaster for the U.S. record industry,” Hashimoto wrote, adding, “The only other supplier is a Japanese company, MDC. They are very small but have recently increased their market share."

According to Rolling Stone, company officials said via a post on Apollo Masters' official website that they are "are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time."

The Recording Industry Association of America reported 16.7 million LPs and EPs were sold in 2018, with an estimated retail value of nearly $420 million, the Desert Sun reported.

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