Bleach

12" (marbled white) / test pressing / Tupelo Recording Co. / TUPLP 6 / made in UK (Orlake) / 1989

White label test pressing on white vinyl, with varying marbled effects. All six known copies came from a pressing plant employee who, it seems, rescued them from being recycled or trashed. All the records are in poor condition. Some tracks jump all the way because of large dents, some play with a fair bit of crackles, pops, and clicks. One of the copies also had its side B label damaged by the heat from the press. In addition, a seventh badly damaged record came from the same pressing plant employee, this however had proper retail labels. [1]

The lacquers were cut by Noel Summerville at Utopia [2]. Father and mother plates were processed by MPO in France. The matrix codes were written onto the lacquers by MPO before plating [2]. MPO also pressed the black records on subcontract from Mayking Records, but the white and olive green records were pressed by Orlake in UK, as MPO only pressed black vinyl. [3]

The olive green records have "MPO" in the matrix code still intact, while the white pressing, including this test pressing, has that part scratched over. The way "MPO" is scrathced over could only have been done to positive metal plates, the mother plates. At least one set of mothers was sent to Orlake, who processed their own stampers. They must have forgotten to etch over "MPO" when they processed the first set(s) of stampers, which ended up being used to press the green records. Before processing the final set of stampers which ended up pressing the white records, they etched over that part on the mothers.

The varying marbled effect is a result of colored vinyl residue left in the hopper and extruder where the vinylite pellets were melted and formed into biscuits. Each record has a little less color than the previous, indicating that the equipment cleaned itself during the process. Copy 1 shown below contains the most color residue, copy two has some spots here and there, while copy 3 appears to be the purest of the white label pressings. The record with the retail labels, which was the last of these seven records to be pressed, seems to be of similar color quality as the retail pressing.

As MPO had already made approved test pressings from this cut, it should not have been necessary to make new test pressings in the UK. These seven records were probably the first copies out of the press when manufacturing the retail copies. This is supported by the presence of retail labels on the last discarded copy, and that they were discarded in itself. The reasons for discarding them could be that they waited for the extruder to produce clean white biscuits, to get rid of test pressing noise due to noise artefacts on new stampers, to adjust cycle time while warming up the press, or a combination of any of these reasons.

Tracklist

Side A
  • Blew - 
  • Floyd The Barber - 
  • About A Girl - 
  • School - 
  • Big Cheese - 
  • Paper Cuts
Side B
  • Negative Creep - 
  • Scoff - 
  • Swap Meet - 
  • Mr. Moustache - 
  • Sifting

Matrix

Side A
MPO   TUPLP 6 A¹
Side B
MPO   TUPLP 6 B¹

Copy 1, side A
1. Copy 1, side A

Copy 1, side B
2. Copy 1, side B

Copy 1, matrix detail
3. Copy 1, matrix detail

Copy 2, side B
4. Copy 2, side B

Copy 3, side A
5. Copy 3, side A

Copy with retail labels
6. Copy with retail labels

References