The historic appeal of vinyl takes new meaning with the official opening this week of SunPress Vinyl in Miami. The plant, which had a soft launch last month, is housed in the former Final Vinyl factory, founded in the 1970s by reggae pioneer Joe Gibbs and located in Miami’s Opa-Locka neighborhood.
That SunPress set up shop in Miami was accidental. The pressing plant was supposed to open in Brooklyn, but when the company’s principals went to Miami to purchase pressing equipment at the old Final Vinyl, they found an unexpected piece of history.
“What we found were machines that delivered the immortal sounds of Bob Marley, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, and Toots and the Maytals,” said Dan Yashiv, SunPress’ principal, in a press release. “And they were housed in the legendary facility that produced records for the world renowned reggae label Studio One. We knew this is where we wanted to begin our operations.”
Yashiv, a recording engineer who’s worked acts like Pet Shop Boys and Britney Spears, founded SunPress Vinyl with film producer Stephen Hays. They've also partnered with Dan Pelson, former EVP of Sony Music. Benji Rogers of direct-to-fan music platform PledgeMusic is on board as an advisor.
The now fully-remodeled and fully-operational Miami plant has six pressing machines --five fully automatic and one semi automatic—which can press multi-colored and picture discs. The current turnaround time for orders is six weeks and the plant is working with major and indie labels and artists.
In an added nod to its historic roots, SunPress entered into a partnership with Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong International, which will press its own catalog and third party releases at SunPress.
In addition, Headley Haslam, who pressed most of the records during the plant’s Studio One days, has returned to the post he had in the 1970s.