Pressing records/getting records pressed:
(I'll try to not stray too far off course with this.)
The last "independently" pressed PUTS release was 'TGOS, Step 1' if I'm not mistaken. (Feel free to correct me, if I'm wrong.)
This was shortly before Thes linked up with Redefinition Records and introduced to/subsequently started using Redef's network.
I believe Thes was using a small, local pressing plant up until then, was heavily involved and further educating/familiarizing himself with the (hands on) process of pressing vinyl. I vividly recall him streaming footage from said plant on IG at the time, feeding us details on having picked out unique color combinations of raw PVC pellets to create custom colored vinyl. I wanna say this applied to everything from 'Highlighter' through the dual '12SP' colors and the (quadruple) rainbow of marbled ThanksGiveback LPs for the LA + SF shows...
Everything since the battleship grey TGOS#1 vinyl has been going through Redef's affiliates, the broker service Pirates Press (who act as intermediaries between artists/labels and actual pressing plants) and - you guessed it - GZ Vinyl in the Czech Republic. (The current reissue/VMP pressing didn't go through Pirates Press, but instead through AtoZMusic; essentially the same kind of broker service. I gleaned this information from the test pressings that were recently sold. From the photos - I didn't purchase an actual TP myself. )
So why use GZ? The short answer is probably because they're one of - if not THE - largest pressing plant remaining in operation worldwide (and one of the first/only ones to invest heavily in new vinyl presses). I'd assume this is reflected in their availability, overall efficiency and pricing. They definitely offer a lot of the fancier (labor/cost intensive) specialty pressings and colors most smaller plants don't/cant provide.
What's interesting is that GZ owns + operates a subsidiary pressing plant/company, Precision Record Pressing in Canada, which might have enabled them to press the OST reissue in North America. However PRP had a major fire some time earlier this year, so might not have been in operation at the time.
I fully agree with YoYoPo that pressing records in Europe, shipping them halfway around the planet to the US, only to have them reimported through "exclusive" stateside retailers is madness - mega inefficient, needlessly expensive + environmentally irresponsible at the very least! The mind boggles.
There may already be efforts underway by European retailers/distributors (possibly Fat Beats as well) to address this problem and get newly minted records delivered straight into their hands from European pressing plants rather than shipping them around the world first, but the widespread business trend of (and customer's insatiable demand for) mega exlusive/"limited" releases certainly isn't helping with this!
Hence my suggestion the other day to let retailers and distributors do their job and buy/order (the OST reissue) locally, cutting out unnecessary efforts + expenses for everyone as well as potentially freeing up funds that might be donated straight to the P instead.