Meet Melbourne’s Program Records, Australia’s first new vinyl pressing plant in 30 years

The plant is set to double as a live music venue too.

A new vinyl pressing plant has arrived in Melbourne – Australia’s first of its kind in 30 years. Program Records is the brainchild of locals Steve Lynch and Dave Roper, and according to The Age, has come about after the duo addressed a common quandary.

Epiphanies often bring rise to new business ventures, but Lynch and Roper have legitimate cause for this adventure – local acts don’t get their records quick enough, and are often forced to look overseas to source vinyl.

What you need to know

  • Program Records is Australia’s first new vinyl pressing plant in 30 years
  • The plant is located in Thornbury
  • The idea for Program came about after two mates discovered a gap in the vinyl pressing market

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Apparently, The Avalanches hit up a plant in the Czech Republic for pressings of last year’s record, We Will Always Love You, and waited seven months for their LPs to arrive. While much of that could be put down to disruptions caused by COVID-19, that’s still a decent hold-up.

After doing some of our own research to further justify Lynch and Roper’s endeavours – asking anonymous musos and indie labelheads around the traps – there’s also the common understanding that good quality pressings are hard to come by.

And as we know when it comes to a new LP, there’s nothing more quintessential to said listening experience than orderly wax that doesn’t bear any kinks or bumps.

Not only serving the important purpose of pressing records in an increasingly vinyl-hungry city, Program Records also looks to extend their capabilities to cater for live music.

“[Our architect] helped us allow for a community space where bands can be playing their album live to a crowd during a pressing party,” Lynch told The Age. “They’ll be playing while their records are literally coming hot off the press,” Roper added.

With Brunswick East’s Zenith Records the only other local pressing option, and with the demand for vinyl a constant these days, sounds like Program has arrived at just the right time.