This is What IGOR "Stitching" Looks Like

We inadvertently identified Memphis Record Pressing as being responsible for pressing Tyler, the Creator's IGOR. Obviously some buyers got copies like mine seen in this picture showing a horrendous case of audible "stitching". MRP received some not pleasant emails from readers. These should be directed to United Record Pressing, which actually pressed this terrible looking record. Apologies to MRP and we vow greater diligence going forward.

Thi pressing defect was originally identified as "non-fill" but it is not. It is "stitching". When you are at a "Making Vinyl" event with three of the world's greatest authorities on lacquer electroplating and also many of the world's best pressing plant owners, trust me, you get your mistakes corrected! I thought "stitching" and "non-fill" were synonymous but they are not. There's always room for learning.

"Stitching occurs when the separation of pressed vinyl from stamper is faulty or when the stamper is improperly pulled from the mother in which case every record pressed from that stamper will look like this and there's no excuse for it not being caught and corrected. The defect runs around the groove circumference. "Non-fill" is when a patch of vinyl separates from the pressed record and usually looks like a white spot...

eugeneharrington's picture

Sadly 'Non Fill' as it is called is all too common nowadays, even with the more reliable pressing facilities, at times. MPO here in Europe was, at one time, one of the top pressing plants in the world and pressed many fine records. In the past number of years, quality control has really slipped at the French plant to the extent that it has joined the likes of Rainbo, URP and GZ Vinyl on my 'avoid list'. I think 'Non Fill' is perhaps the most egregious pressing fault? It always existed obviously, but was rare in the original vinyl era. Nowadays it is quite common.
I was speaking with a vinyl collector just this past weekend who mentioned a particular series of vinyl releases which has horrendous surface noise. He had to return 4 titles in the series due to 'Non Fill'. We ascertained that they had been pressed by MPO. The matrix information was on Discogs but, unlike me, he wasn't au fait with how to identify pressing plants using the matrix details. Yeah, 'Non Fill' would kill even the most fervent enthusiast's interest in modern vinyl.
Nobody ever seems to mention GOTTA GROOVE RECORDS in Cleveland, OH? GG now presses some of the quietest U.S. vinyl I have heard and I have never had a record from them that had 'Non Fill', even going back to 2008! How about a visit to GG, Michael? Matt Earley seems like a genuinely good guy when I have contacted him. I wish more labels in the United States would use GG.

sennj's picture

I've also found that MPO has had way too many issues with stitching/non-fill/whatever the last few years. I used to think MPO produced a better product than the turds that Rainblow, United, and GZ regularly push out, but I've had horrible luck with them recently. Increasingly poor QC (no plant is immune, sadly) is making my vinyl listening way less fun than it used to be. (Of course there are those that claim vinyl quality is better than ever, so maybe I'm just really unlucky.)

BillK's picture

I'm not sure who they use, though I know a lot of Capitol product has come from URP, but MoFi and a lot of audiophile vinyl over the past two years has been very noisy. MoFi releases seem notable here because they have way too much lead-in and inter-track noise.

On the other hand, many of the quietest pressings I have are UMe rereleases.

I can't explain this unless it's just normal variability.

J. Carter's picture

Mofi are pressed at RTI. Although I have had some issues with Mofi pressings none of them have been as bad as almost anything I get from URP. All of my issues with them have been relatively minor.

davip's picture

Too many errors for 'Editorial', if not unsurprising given the source...

Glotz's picture

All of the vinyl manufacturers have had these issues in the past... His error is less egregious than assumed.

He also corrected the error.

All manufacturers need to slow their production schedules down and increase their QC, even if they miss their deadlines and screws the time to market.

MalachiLui's picture

in fact, I THINK the "IGOR" black vinyl got delayed by a week (from 9/27 to 10/4) during the preorder period yet the black vinyl still sucks.

and I got my limited edition mint vinyl yesterday from Golf Wang and of course they fucked up my order. sent in a terrible Uline mailer, resulting in a severely warped record (for a ONE TIME ONLY LIMITED EDITION no less), a giant seam split on the jacket, and a crushed jacket corner. I waited 5 months and a day for this $30 record only to get a defective product. worse, Golf Wang never responds to emails (in fact, they don't always ship people's orders) so I'm gonna try contacting the bank to get my money back (though I'd want a mint condition mint colored "IGOR" vinyl more than a refund, but the former is unlikely(.

Glotz's picture

I know the feeling well, my man. OK NOT OK Computer edition of the implied was utter warped on multiple copies from XL, and it was heartbreaking. I can think of many more LP releases that would benefit from another 3 months of lead time.

I think the record mfgs need more push back with their artists on lead times and less pushback with consumers on their complaints.

MalachiLui's picture

I got my 3LP super deluxe box perfectly fine, and Optimal pressed them so it's decent. sorry to hear you had pressing issues on yours tho. at least it came with a 96/24 download...

btw, the original UK "Ok Computer" (and the 2008 UK reissue I have using the same metal parts) beats the reissue by far.

Glotz's picture

Thankfully I preserved the Parlophone 2006 release well. It does sound completely awesome.

The OKNOTOK has a different mix, that while I don't hate it, certainly isn't the original process.

But yeah... something (and I have no idea what) needs to be done to allow these companies the requisite time to get these pressings done properly, as ruining a production run does nothing good for the buying public or the analog recordings themselves.

I'm not even sure if industry knowledge of where the problems lie would ever even endeavor to fix the these types of problems. I really doubt it... which sucks.

MalachiLui's picture

OKNOTOK is the same mix as the original OK Computer but in the original's mastering, they applied certain EQ moves to give it a certain vibe, while OKNOTOK was done to sound like what's on the tape.

Tom L's picture

what these companies need is QUALITY CONTROL!
It seems to be simple common sense to have a trained person LOOK at the discs before packaging and shipping them. How hard is this? Not hard. How expensive? Less expensive than ruining your reputation by shipping defective products, right?

J. Carter's picture

Most pressing plants do have quality control. I can't speak for URP but I would be surprised if they do. My guess is this keeps their costs down and allows them to underbid most other pressing plants. As far as ruining their reputation most record buyers are unaware of who presses their records and also aren't bothered by the pressing defects like you and I are. It isn't like you have a way of knowing where every record is pressed before you buy it especially if it isn't on Discogs yet.

warpig's picture

I was one of the individuals who wrote Memphis Record Pressing. I would like to apologize to them here. Sorry for the email and am happy that this was corrected.

I hope that United Record Pressing will see this photo. I will not be writing them though. This dog is not sleeping peacefully.

Aussie0zborn's picture

Michael, "non-fill" is as the two words suggest - it is not "a patch of vinyl that separates from the pressed record" - it is a groove wall that never had vinyl moulded into it in the first place as in that part of the groove was not filled with vinyl (hence "non-fill").No vinyl falls out of the disc after it has been moulded.

Non-fill and stitching is often interchangeable as you thought. What you have in this photo is "release damage" and should have been caught at the manual inspection and sleeving stage.

It's shame you mis-identified the plant.