Third Man Records is proud to announce the official opening of its state-of-the-art vinyl production facility in the heart of Detroit’s historic Cass Corridor neighborhood on February 25th. The past year has been spent investing creative energy and passion into crafting a meticulously designed boutique vinyl record production facility with a unique customer experience, providing visual evidence to visitors of vinyl’s beauty and importance. Third Man Pressing is an investment in Third Man Records’ hometown, a neighborhood within a city both rich with musical history, creating a space that is as inspiring as it is prolific.
As the first label to operate a fleet of brand new, environmentally efficient pressing machinery within a purpose-built manufacturing infrastructure, Third Man Pressing minimizes water waste by using recycled water from the record curing process in the air conditioning system, thus creating the only fully climate-controlled pressing plant work environment in the world. Each pressing station is outfitted with a digital touch screen control for temperature, hydraulic compression, and extruder speed, equaling increased control for the highly trained staff as well as a superior product. The plant was engineered to not only be environmentally sustainable, but also community sensitive with its innovative noise reduction construction techniques.
Third Man Pressing Features:
Operating eight of the first newly built presses built in 35 years, plus four extruders, and four hydraulic generators — all brand new
Presses can accommodate 12” LP’s or 7” singles according to demand
Only fully climate-controlled pressing plant work environment in the world
All new, state-of-the-art pressing machinery and purpose-built manufacturing infrastructure
Closed-loop, chilled-water system that maximizes water sustainability
Environment design that inspires passion in record making, resulting in superior products
Four high-efficiency hydraulic systems isolated in a dedicated, contained room
Digital touch screen controls for temperature, hydraulic compression, and extrusion speed
Engineered sound containment for minimal external noise pollution
Built by audio and studio fabrication experts responsible for some of the most-lauded recording studios in the world
Capacity estimated at 5000 records per 8 hour shift, with a current cycle time of approximately 45 seconds per record
Competitive turnaround times
Mural by Cass Corridor artist Robert Sestok*
Third Man Pressing invites the public to join in the opening day festivities on February 25th. The Third Man Records Cass Corridor storefront will be buzzing with live music, new and exclusive merchandise (including a celebratory poster by Rob Jones), and, of course, the first commercially available records to be pressed in the plant. The limited edition releases available on opening day (in Detroit only) are as follows:
The White Stripes — The White Stripes
The Detroit duo’s first release (originally recorded in the Cass Corridor), pressed on red vinyl with on-site screen printed jackets
The White Stripes — De Stijl
The second album from The White Stripes, pressed on red vinyl with on-site screen printed jackets
The Black Hole LP
Destroy All Monsters / Xanadu split 12” on black vinyl. Both records were originally released in limited numbers on Black Hole Records in 1979, and this is the first reissue for any of the material from either band.
Detroit Gospel Reissue Project
Our first third-party pressing and the first of a seven-record series featuring incredibly vital and largely forgotten music from dozens of Detroit artists, reissued proudly by noted archivist Mike McGonigal. A subscriber version (with handmade silkscreened jackets) and regular version of JOHNSON FAMILY SINGERS Don't Let the Devil Ride
Perhaps a few additional surprises…
Third Man Pressing brings upwards of 50 new living wage jobs with benefits into Detroit (on top of the 20 jobs already created by the Willy’s building Third Man Records location at large), and, in complement with Shinola’s recent start of production of high-end turntables, marks the triumphant return of the once-thought-lost record industry to one of the country’s great industrial AND musical cities.
The manufacturing facility will not only press vinyl records for Third Man Records’ label releases (which will also continue to be produced at Nashville’s United Record Pressing), but will also fulfill orders from outside labels. The resurgence in popularity of vinyl records has left many small imprints, “bedroom” labels, and independent artists without the ability to press small runs of records in reasonable amounts of time. Third Man Pressing aims to dedicate a percentage of its capacity each month to pressing records for clients of this ilk, alleviating the bottlenecking of the production caused by major label orders, and bringing more niche, regionally-interesting pressings from inspired individuals onto record shelves worldwide.
The inner workings of Third Man Pressing will be on display during Third Man Records Cass Corridor business hours from the storefront’s open-to-the-public viewing platform 7 days a week, with employees always happy to answer questions about the process, and more in-depth tours available in the coming months for those interested. Third Man Records’ mission has always centered around bringing the tangible, the unexpected, and the beautiful back into the business, and the team is beyond thrilled to share the facility, its exceptional product, and its significance with the city it calls home.
*About Robert Sestok, b 1946
Robert Sestok is a Detroit artist who studied at the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts from 1960-1965, known now as the College for Creative Studies. He now lives and works in Detroit's Cass Corridor and is strongly identified with the group of artists who made the neighborhood renowned and widely recognized as a result of the Kick Out the Jams: Detroit’s Cass Corridor 1963 - 1977, exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1980.
One of Sestok’s first solo exhibits was held at the storied Willis Gallery (which he co-founded), only one block behind the current location of Third Man Records and Third Man Pressing. In 1972, Sestok was commissioned by Detroit manufacturer James F. Duffy Jr. to create a work of art to adorn a wall of his pipe fitting warehouse. That well-known mural (One by Two) inspired Third Man Records to commission the new 88’ x 14’ masterpiece as a backdrop for the Third Man Pressing facility.