Chicago to produce new vinyl for the first time in 20 years

Chicago to produce new vinyl for the first time in 20 years

Good news for house fans – a new vinyl pressing plant has opened in Chicago, over 20 years since its former plant ceased to operate.

The new plant, called Smashed Plastic, is scheduled to open in October. With a focus on small labels and local artists, it hopes to make it easier and more efficient for artists in Chicago to get their records pressed.

Investor John Lombardo, a CHIRP DJ who also runs his own label, spoke to the Chicago Reader about the new plant and the pressures of modern day pressing services: "It became so impersonal, and didn't even feel like you were working with somebody”. “We're gonna try to do the opposite, where you get to know the people [...] It'll be really direct, inviting people into our space”.

The plant currently operates one Viryl Technologies’ WarmTone press, which was shipped over from one of only two companies in the world that manufacture new vinyl presses.

Chicago has long been considered the home of house music. The term house music is even said to have originated in Chicago in a club called The Warehouse, where DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan cut their teeth.

Other notable artists to come out of the city include Jesse Saunders, who released “On & On” in 1984, and Jamie Principle, who went on to release “Your Love” in collaboration with Frankie Knuckles in 1986.

Today you can expect to hear the likes of Derrick Carter, Felix Da Housecat, DJ Sneak and Robert Owens.

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