FER003: Viva Death – Curse the Darkness

Viva Death - Curse the Darkness
Curse the Darkness

The third Viva Death album, Curse the Darkness, is now available worldwide on Functional Equivalent Recordings. Listen below.

Our recommended download provider is bandcamp which offers digital files in your choice of high resolution formats, and includes the digital booklet with artwork and lyrics when you purchase the full album.

Digital downloads are also available from:
iTunes (digital booklet also included with album)

A compact disc version is also available from Amazon.

Viva Death also has a completely revamped website, with streaming audio from all three albums (including unreleased tracks from the first two) and an official Facebook page.

Recording notes: I co-produced (along with Scott), recorded and mixed, serving my usual Viva Death role of noises and effects. This album deviates from Viva Death precedent in two important ways. First, we set aside the “baritone guitars only” rule of the first two albums. Bass and standard guitars feature prominently (along with some baritones). Second, Scott (Shiflett) played everything — the usual Viva Death lineup was unavailable, so apart a few special guest appearances, all the drums, bass, guitars and vocals were rendered by Scott. Despite these significant differences, the sound is unmistakably Viva Death: dark, strange, angular, sometimes ferociously aggressive, sometimes spacey and psychedelic.

We tracked drums to tape (analog 24 track, 15 ips, no noise reduction) in Studio A at Kingsize Soundlabs. We moved to Studio B to overdub bass and guitars, with the invaluable aid of Trever Keith in providing gear and setting up guitar sounds (see pics on the photos page). From there, the project went to The Eye Socket where we recorded vocals, more guitars, the occasional keyboard, samples and other weirdness with copious amounts of tape echo. Satnam Singh Ramgotra lent his formidable tabla skills to one track (Love Lust Trust), and our dear friend Monica Richards (of Faith and the Muse) added backing vocals to another (Talking Backwards). We mixed the tracks at The Eye Socket, recording the masters to 1/2″ analog (an Ampex ATR-102 machine) at 15 ips. Joe Gastwirt mastered the album at his studio.

The Deep Eynde – Spell*Bound

The Deep Eynde - Spellbound

My friends The Deep Eynde have just released their new album Spell*Bound on Fiendforce Records in Germany. In the label’s words, “The legendary Hollywood Death-rockers are back with their darkest album to date. Punk meets Goth and becomes a masterpiece!” I would say this record is rather less “punk” than their previous two, and in some ways a return to the dark romantic sound of their earlier work — but with a warmer, wider sound, driven by live rock energy.

I produced, recorded, and mixed the record, and played keyboards on several tracks. Singer/lyricist Fate Fatal is at the top of his game, the band is excellent, and guest appearances by Gitane Demone add another dimension toward the end of the album. I’m very proud of this one.

The Deep Eynde – The Stranger Among Us

Recording notes: We tracked drums, bass, and the first guitar part all together, in two days at Westbeach Recorders in Hollywood (see the photos page). We returned there for another two days of electric and acoustic guitar overdubs, then moved to The Eye Socket (in Venice) for vocals, keyboards, sound effects and mixing. Production was interrupted when I had to pack everything up and move to Boston at the end of last year (see this post). After rebuilding my studio in Boston, I completed the mixing and mastering at The Eye Socket mk V.

Spell*Bound is available from Interpunk and Amazon and should be available from digital stores soon. Find more info on the band’s facebook and myspace pages.

New Album: The Legion of Doom vs Triune

The Legion of Doom vs Triune

The long-awaited album The Legion of Doom vs Triune has been released! The story behind this album’s release is a long one…suffice it to say that after sitting on it for way too long, our esteemed distributor has finally (and unceremoniously) unleashed it on the world. They were supposed to release CDs, but they didn’t. (Digital downloads only.) They were supposed to do some promotion, but they didn’t. (Not a peep, even on their website.) Thanks, guys — great work!

The story behind the album itself is a better one: Trever Keith and I (aka the Legion of Doom) made a record with Triune — prolific rap battle veteran, member of Footsoldiers, and one of the premier emcees of the Los Angeles underground. Triune brought his rhymes and one-of-a-kind delivery, and some friends (Raphi, Motoe Blizzid, HS Couture, Xhale and Addicus Brown). We brought loads of samples from old public domain film soundtracks, original instrumentation and our signature Legion beats and production. This collision of talent and styles yielded a record that is part hip-hop, part trip-hop, part indie rap, part indie rock. This is not a typical hip-hop record.

The Legion of Doom vs Triune is available now from Amazon, iTunes, and most other major download providers.

I have moved!

my new home.

After 40 years in Southern California, I have left sunny Los Angeles and made a new home in Boston. In addition to installing The Eye Socket in its fifth (!) location, I am now a part time faculty member at the Berklee College of Music (my official title: Assistant Professor) in the Music Production and Engineering department. (My faculty bio page is here.) My classes this spring semester are on the subjects of multitrack recording, mixing, and MIDI systems.

I will of course continue my usual production and engineering work alongside teaching, even carrying on with my collaborative endeavors (like The Legion of Doom and Real Space Noise) transcontinentally. Watch this space for announcements of upcoming projects.

Faith and the Muse – :ankoku butoh:

: ankoku butoh :

The new Faith and the Muse album :ankoku butoh: is available now, and comes in an extraordinary two-disc package.

Disc one is the CD album, their first studio recording in six years (and very possibly their best work), which I mixed at The Eye Socket. Disc two contains a live concert film (which I also mixed), videos, and extras. The package also includes a thirty-page book with lyrics, photos, original artwork and text, which is truly stunning.

Get it at The Mercyground.

Faith and the Muse – When We Go Dark