(an Op-Ed from Moniqe D)
Outsourcing your goods to another country is not the best practice. Products going overseas are out of a company’s control in so many ways. Turn-time issues, safety of workers, additional resources used to ship items back, and most importantly American jobs taken away from American workers. These are just a few of the reasons Record Pressing is keeping it local. All of our vinyl manufacturing is done here in California where we can keep a close eye on it and make sure we are not hiking up prices on an unnecessary journey overseas. One main reason we do this is our concern of safety practices of vinyl facilities in other countries. Laws in other countries are not always up to par with the U.S’s strong EPA regulations when it comes to producing vinyl records. Another major factor is, child labor laws. The US is very strict about the age of persons working in a factory environment where other countries may not be. Additionally there are major environmental concerns in working with non-US based factories that any thoughtful, responsible person/ company simply cannot support. A prime example of this concern are chemicals used in the process to make vinyl records. These can be transported with or without knowledge and into your home, because the product has not passed the vigorous safety baseline requirements that the US upholds on its own manufacturing companies.
If all this was not enough to convince you to shop local, the carbon footprint to ship a heavy product is much higher due to the additional transportation it will require. Of course on this journey the product will also potentially pickup export taxes and shipping costs, taking more money out of the hands of Americans.
So, why does it matter to shop local? We are still in a down economy when we need to support American companies. It supports our own music industry, keeps food on the table in America, keeps inflation lower, and our products safer. Though you may normally not think about this when pressing a record. This thought process should be a part of your day to day living, even when deciding where to press a record.
Our thoughts go out to the family of a visionary that changed our worlds. We will miss you Steve-
by Mack Jackson
1. Light In The Attic: A young but fierce reissue label. Founded in 1990, this label has been extremely active and ingenious in their selection of their catalog. LITA’s standards are high and it shows in the details of their product. They also act as a distribution company for other common minded labels, banning together to insure success.
2. 4 Men with Beards: What makes this label one of the best in the business is their ability to offer so many different genres, but they all seem to have some sort of cross section, releasing titles from artists like Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, Stiff Little Fingers, Funkadelic, and De La Soul. Who are these men with beards? That I cannot say, but they do good work.
3. Sundazed: Founded by Bob Irwin and his wife Mary 1989. Bob became well known for his ability to restore the recordings from vinyl records for the CD format. This grabbed the attention of major labels, and allowed them to reissue their back catalogs on the (at the time) new format. Since then Sundazed has been successfully releasing records from the 1950s to 1970s.
4. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs: Audiophile would be the best way to describe MFSL. All masters are created from a combination of first generation tape and a proprietary restoration system to improve sound quality. Most of their catalog from before 1980 was pressed at the JVC plant in Japan using their top secret compound called “Supervinyl”. The plant closed in the early 80s and the recipe for compound still remains a mystery.
5. Rhino: Probably the most well known reissue label. Releasing classic American rock albums from the likes of The Ramones, Chicago, and Led Zeppelin, their catalog is just massive. Not only are they keeping these titles in print, but they offer custom packaging and box sets, that will make any collector go crazy.
6. Speakers Corner Records: Dedicated to keeping the MPS records catalog in print. MPS records catalog dates from 1920 the early 1980s, with genres ranging from all forms of jazz to afro beat.
7. Music Matters: Blue Note and Impulse reissue label. Consistent in their ways, all records are pressed on 180g, cut at 45rpm, and are contained in jackets designed to perfection, creating a product any picky collector would be pleased with.
8. Plain Recordings: Awesome rock reissue label from the Bay Area. With releases from artists like Mr. Bungle, The Breeders, and The Lemonheads, their records are by no means lost or hard to find, they just belong on vinyl.
9. Numero Group: With over 60 titles to date. This label cares to be known for their attention to details, often times including more than just a high quality 180g LP in their packaging – it’s not uncommon to see a full product including 45s, DVDs, and cassettes.
10. Smithsonian Folkways: Originally founded by Moses Asch in 1948. The label was donated to the Smithsonian in 1987, under the agreement that none of the 2,000+ titles would ever go out of print. The label specializes in world, jazz, folk, and blues.