When you think of production of any sort you immediately think big warehouses on the periphery of big cities, but that’s not the case when it comes to vinyl. As it turns out, a city in the Czech Republic, with a population of just 1,800, presses more vinyl than any other town in the world.
Lodenice, located South-West of Prague, presses about 14 million vinyl records a year. Five million of the nine million records purchased in the US last year were manufactured at the Czech plant called GZ Media (As AFP points out).
Jana Brezinova, a spokesperson for GZ Media told AFP, “Every Friday, a plane takes off for California, carrying eight to 10 tons of records.”
First starting to press vinyl in 1951, GZ Media were one of the few vinyl manufacturers who decided to store its vinyl presses instead of sell them when they became basically irrelevant in the early ’90s. As it turns out it was a genius move as vinyl is undergoing a boom in popularity of late.
Just in Australia, vinyl sales grew by 101.78 percent last year to $6.4 million.
“Someone with foresight decided to save the old vinyl record presses and store them in a warehouse. A good decision,” GZ Media sales and marketing director, Michal Nemec.
A good decision, indeed. The plant’s production has risen between 25 to 30 percent every year and by the looks of it it’s not going to halt anytime soon.
In their time, GZ Media has pressed Michael Jackson, U2 and Queen records. Nemec said the company’s largest contract to date has been a deluxe collection of reissues of about 30 Rolling Stones albums.
GZ Media have even been asked to incorporate the ashes of a dead guitar player in a record by an American rock group according to Nemec.
Meanwhile, somewhere cassettes are just waiting patiently for their time to shine once again.
Listen: The Tweeds – I Need That Record