The Black Unity Trio’s avant-garde jazz album, Al-Fatihah, can be described as a maverick, not a misfit, when it was originally released back in 1969 in predominantly industrial Cleveland.
Cut to today, and the legendary Ohio-born-and-bred group lives up to its musical uniqueness and rhythmic proficiency thanks to Gotta Groove Records’ (GGR) Vince Slusarz.
Vince, the owner of GGR, breathed new life into the group’s seminal work by unearthing their notable record, acquiring their original tapes, and - with careful diligence - had the tapes remastered. He then went ahead and pressed an additional 3,000 copies of the hard-to-find record (a mere 500 copies of it were originally pressed during its initial release). The result: the album sold out immediately to collectors around the world.
The effort not only allowed Vince to make a piece of Cleveland Music history live beyond its time, he is also bringing high-skill manufacturing jobs in the area by capitalizing on the potential growth of the vinyl record industry.
Since Gotta Groove Records began in the spring of 2009, it remains as busy as ever as it produces an array of albums every year. With concert venues closed, consumers are supporting their favorite musical artists by buying their records to enjoy at home.
Its continued success, even amidst a global pandemic, solidifies Vince’s belief that manufacturing has always been an important part of our country and region. He has definitely come along way since the time he was selling records out of his college dorm room.
“The region is only as strong as its core, and Cleveland is at its core.”
- Vince Slusarz, Owner Gotta Groove Records
In the simplest terms, a record pressing machine is like a giant waffle iron. The stampers have a negative or mirror image of the record and both the A and B sides are pressed simultaneously, just like waffle batter.
Producing a record is a complicated process that involves highly skilled technicians. GGR uses several record presses that were made over 60 years ago. Since the industry has grown over the past decade, Vince makes sure he keeps up with the modern process while still adhering to same the basic principles.
One thing that sets this shop apart is its commitment to quality control. Records are listened to right off the press to ensure the highest quality possible is achieved. Adjustments can then be made right on the spot. It helps that most employees are musicians themselves.
Gotta Groove is truly a one-stop operation offering lacquers, plating, pressing, label/sleeve/jacket printing, download hosting, pre-order fulfillment shipping, venue shipping, and distribution consultancy.
For more information about Gotta Groove Records, visit www.gottagrooverecords.com