Head over to the Chicago Reader site where Leor Galil has written this week’s cover story: a profile of the four investors behind Smashed Plastic, the company with the fly as fuck logo and more importantly Chicago’s first vinyl record press in more than 20 years.

The team – Andy Weber, John Lombardo, Steve Polutnik and Matt Bradford – are following in the footsteps of Chicago’s last vinyl pressing plant which was “allegedly shut down by the FBI in the 90s for making bootleg 78 RPM records to sell in India”:

Andy Weber, a longtime CHIRP DJ; John Lombardo, another CHIRP DJ and founder of indie label Stationary Heart; Steve Polutnik, who’s worked in banking; and silent partner Matt Bradford have just opened the vinyl pressing plant Smashed Plastic on the north side, hoping to shorten those waiting times for small bands and labels.


Smashed Plastic is working with a new WarmTone press after considering old ones (see our piece with record cutter record cutter Todd Mariana on the challenges and joys of exploring decades-old industrial technology) and say they want to “fine-tune” their processes before they expand. “We aren’t as concerned with profits at the beginning as we are with getting things right,” Weber told Galil. “We’re gonna know how to operate that machine up and down, left and right.”

Based in a former Hammond organ factory in Belmont Gardens, Smashed Plastic “soft launched” last week and is taking inquiries on their website. Their first order is a 12″ release coming in January from our friend Tim Zawada and his Star Creature Universal Vibrations label.

Photo: @smashedplastic/instagram


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