A group of friends in Denmark are opening a new sustainable record pressing plant after noticing a couple of problems with getting records made in their home country.
The first is a common one: it takes ages. RPM Records reckon it takes bands between 3-6 months to get their music pressed, with smaller artists even being turned away due to demand. The second, maybe less often considered, is the environmental issue. Pressing plants take a huge amount of electricity to run, and there’s inevitably a good deal of waste.
Gudmundur, Oscar and Mathias of RPM Records (formerly known as Vinyltryk) are on a mission to change that. They’re opening the first fully automatic record pressing plant in Denmark in 60 years. Their sustainable record pressing plant uses the most efficient and eco-friendly presses currently available, using a closed loop water cooling system to maximise water sustainability. As well as offering a green means to pressing records, RPM Records vows to keep production time to a minimum to get more records in the hands of music fans in their local Copenhagen and abroad.
RPM Records aims to open its doors and presses in October after six months of planning, financing and building. Before they get stuck into some heavy wax production, we sought them out for a little more insight into what an eco-friendly vinyl pressing plant actually is, the road to opening its doors, and what to expect from their plant.
Gudmundur of RPM Records tells us more about the Copenhagen’s new sustainable record pressing plant:
The RPM Records’s IndieGoGo campaign mentions that your vinyl pressing operation will be eco-friendly – what does that mean and how does it work?
The machines that we are buying use far less electricity than all of the older machines that are out there on the market. It also uses a “closed-loop water cooling system”, meaning that they recycle the the water for cooling it down.
Were there any significant challenges or barriers to getting started?
There were not really any challenges getting started, no. People really want to make records and we were ready to supply them with some vinyl!
Our only real challenge has been getting the press financed. Not because it’s that hard getting people on board, because people have actually been really excited to be a part of what we do. It is just challenging because financing something this grand takes a lot of paperwork and we also want to find the right people to invest in us. We actually just found two perfect candidates to join our team and invest in us, they seem like a perfect addition to our group and we are very excited to team up and expand our company with them.
What’s been the most interesting learning experience for you so far?
Finding out there are so many vinyl lovers out there and how big the demand is. I mean, I knew that the market was exploding and the demand was crazy, but being so involved in the vinyl world makes me see that it is EVEN bigger than I thought! …And the numbers are just growing!
Wait times for getting vinyl pressed can be up to 6 months in Europe, which is one of the reasons you saw a need for a new plant. How are you keeping production/wait times down to the 1 month?
Right after high quality standards, the production waiting time is going to be our main focus. We have found places that make stampers and covers in record time. Also, we have already made every prediction and calculation with our plans for 24 hour production. We are going to need an insane amount of orders not to keep up with our 1 month plan. We have done all the pre-planning and have already set up the possibilities for adding more presses and staff in order to keep our standards for a short waiting time if/when the orders reach full capacity.
What were you doing before deciding to start a sustainable record pressing plant?
I was studying multimedia design, which has come in handy more than a hundred times at the company, Oscar was and still is a tour manager here in Denmark. That connection to the music business and knowing the business has been very useful for us. Mathias was working at a daycare, that background has not come in handy… yet hehe.
Will the pressing plant focus on any particular type of releases?
No, we are going for releasing everything. However, of course we do have some concepts in mind, such as direct on vinyl, live sessions, limited editions, special releases, etc.
What is the current music scene like in Copenhagen? What’s popular?
It really is a little bit of everything, like in most other big cities. You can always find the scene you want. Hip-Hop, Garage Rock, Metal, Synth-Pop, Alt-Rock, etc.