Second Line Vinyl is looking to bring a record pressing plant to West Oakland by early next year. As KQED reports, this would be the first plant producing vinyl records in the city since the Victor Records Plant called it quits in 1935.
The plant, which Second Line is called Bump Town Records, will boast six presses total by the end of next year, the first of which is scheduled to arrive by early 2018. If opening a record pressing plant in 2018 seems like a tough deal to you, you're not alone, as Second Line's CEO, Zane Howard, told KQED, "If you Google ‘end of vinyl boom,’ you’ll see that an article with that exact sentence has been published every year for the past five years." He continued, "When I saw that vinyl manufacturing was coming back, and did some research, I found out there was really no modern manufacturer of vinyl records. I thought there was a big opportunity there."
The idea with Second Line is that it would not only press records, but it would also serve as a multi-purpose facility where artists can record, mix, master, and even perform their albums, says the East Bay Express. It would be geared towards independent labels and the indie artists they represent.
Bump Town seems reminiscent of Jack White's Third Man Vinyl Pressing Plant which opened in Detroit in February. Just like Third Man, Second Line and Bump Town are hoping to find more environmentally-friendly ways of pressing vinyl records. KQED writes that Second Line has already developed a cost-effective way of creating vinyl picture discs, which have been a staple of record pressing for quite some time. Second Line's website says, "They’re pressed using a completely new method that allows us to create unlimited design variants and keep prices competitive."
The difference, though, is that Bump Town seems to be opting for automated vinyl presses, whereas Rolling Stone reports that Third Man's eight presses are all manually operated, which opened up many job opportunities in Detroit, something to the tune of 50 new hires. The East Bay Express says that Bump Town's presses, designed by record press installer and engineer Donny Eastland, do eliminate some of the labor, but Howard still expects to bring in 30 new full-time jobs to West Oakland with the new plant.