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Location DB > Greece > Attica > Athens > Recording Studio & Vinyl Record Pressing Factory
Recording Studio & Vinyl Record Pressing Factory
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 Database Info
created by SoupMeister on 6/9/2005 9:21 PM
last modified by SoupMeister on 2/26/2007 9:13 AM
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This is a massive compound of two ochre-coloured long, industrial buildings dating from at least the 1920s. Around them are tool sheds, little storage buildings, a large, multi-level office building, another smaller office/studio building, and at least one newer building along the west side of the plot. These last buildings are still active and in constant use -- exercise care. There is a wide avenue running between the two factory buildings, while water pipes (probably carrying water for the sprinkler systems) fly overhead and around all buildings.

Like many other similar sites, this place looks like a weird mixture of building styles and contains a wide range of tools from early 20th Century to today.

The place is in various states of disuse and disarray. Some buildings are still used as storage by the recording label (which still exists, and has presumably moved to a better facility). Some equipment has been scavenged, other remains in the building.

Some parts are still under power. Listen for the distinctive hum of high-power transformers and stay clear. Generally speaking, this is not a site for the timid or squeamish. However, there's a wide range of things to see and do in the various buildings -- admittedly, I didn't have enough time to visit the entire site at my normal (meticulous) pace, so this description is inevitably a little vague. Expect updates as soon as I manage to sneak in again.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Being Demolished
Accessibility: Moderate
Recommendation: drop everything - must see
 Physical Information
Leoforos Ionias
Athens, Attica
Owner: Dracos/Minos Recording Label
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • asbestos
  • rust
  •  Interesting Features
    A near-intact vinyl pressing factory floor, mother/stamper storage facilities, more CD inlays and jewel cases than is good for your sanity, fantastically deteriorating buildings, 1920s industrial equipment back-to-back with gear from the 1990s, various obsolete or obscure analogue and digital audio media, vinyl record labels strewn about the place. An audiophile's paradise!
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • barbed wire
  • part-time guard
  • locked gates
  • wooden boarding
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 0
    Closed: 0
     Required Equipment
  • gloves
  •  Recommended Equipment

    This is probably one of the first recording studios and pressing factories in Greece. It's linked to Columbia (who invented the 33 RPM vinyl LP in 1948 -- prior to that, records were 78 RPM and made of much more brittle materials), and indeed the sign on the front door indicates that. It also seems to have housed local label Minos (that later became part of EMI), responsible for numerous Greek folk/pop idols up to the Seventies and Eighties.

    The studios are said to have hosted some great artists of the 1920s, too, including most of the 'Rebetika' figureheads -- sometimes called the Blues of Greece, and all about drugs, women, booze, drugs, gang violence and drugs.

    Given the sheer importance and longevity of this complex, you'd be excused for thinking there'd be at least ONE historical reference to it somewhere on the web. And you'd be shocked to find there's none. Like many historical industrial buildings in Athens, it'll be gone one day and no-one will know what it was.

    There's a bus stop right outside the front gate, possibly a remnant of the days when workers would use the bus to work, as there's no other reason for a bus stop in the vicinity. The stop is still called 'Columbia', and will continue to be called that even after the whole complex is gone. Some things remain, thankfully.
     Media Coverage
    This is a historical complex: many of the local classics, golden oldies, and the inevitable assorted crap occasionally called 'songs' were recorded and pressed here. Given its historical importance, the site has received very little attention from the press, or at least I couldn't find anything online except vague mentions in artists' biographies.
     Future Plans
    I believe part of the site is for sale, although who is to buy it and what is to become of it is another story altogether.

    Update on 2005-09-10: the complex is now being (at least partially) demolished. I only noticed the quake-damaged, asbestos-infested shell of a building being torn down, but I'll pay a visit soon and find out. I hate this!

    Update on 2006-07-22: full demolition has started. Building A has been reduced to rubble. I'll attempt a visit tomorrow morning, trying to catch the last photos of building B, and perhaps get to other buildings if I can. I'm not very optimistic. These operations are very quick.

    Update on 2007-02-26: access is now more difficult than before, but the unthinkable has happened! Demolition has stopped just short of destroying the best building, the mastering floor. Incredibly, it was the local residents who insisted, campaigned, lobbied and almost revolted to keep this up. You'd think they'd be glad to see it go, replaced by something nice looking. And the local residents' plans for this? In recognition of the importance of the site, they want it converted to a museum! Occasionally, very occasionally, I'm surprised by people.

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     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    First Visit, Building A
    Sun, May 29th, 2005
    posted by SoupMeister
    35 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    First Visit, Building B
    Sun, May 29th, 2005
    posted by SoupMeister
    79 pictures

    Add your own photos

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     Web Links
    Information on Vinyl mastering/pressing:
    Minos/EMI homepage (Coming Real Soon Now, Honest): (in Greek, but so devoid of content that it doesn't matter)

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

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    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 8/20/2007 8:10 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Aug 20 07 at 20:10, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Feb 26 07 at 9:13, SoupMeister changed the following: Status, Future Plans
  • on Sep 1 06 at 23:11, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Aug 5 06 at 10:19, SoupMeister changed the following: Latitude, Longitude, Status
  • on Jul 22 06 at 0:56, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Jul 22 06 at 0:08, SoupMeister changed the following: Future Plans
  • on Sep 10 05 at 7:17, SoupMeister changed the following: Status, Future Plans
  • on Jun 20 05 at 12:34, SoupMeister updated a gallery picture
  • on Jun 15 05 at 17:42, SoupMeister updated a gallery picture
  • on Jun 10 05 at 1:38, SoupMeister updated basic gallery info
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