Ichor – Exhumed: 1996-98

A million years ago, in the mid-1990s, an industrial rock band called Ichor (Ron Jon Hartman, Steve Ashburn and me) recorded songs for an EP to follow up our first album, Nonplus. We played those songs live on the Apparition tour in 1996 (with Faith and the Muse, Sunshine Blind and Malign) and some other shows around Los Angeles, and a few of them were released on compilations. But the EP was never released…

Over 20 years later, we have unearthed those forgotten recordings, remastered them, and released them together as intended for the first time. As a bonus, we’ve included a few unfinished works-in-progress from the same time period, never before released in any form.

This is angry, hardcore mid-90s industrial rock: bleak, sneering, brutally aggressive and occasionally danceable. Yours for only five bucks.

Cover photo by Clovis IV.

Face to Face – Ignorance is Bliss vinyl reissue

Antagonist Records has reissued the classic Face to Face album Ignorance is Bliss on vinyl (for the first time ever!) in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

Immediately controversial when it was released in 1999, Ignorance is Bliss caused a schism among Face to Face fans who were unprepared for the band’s change of direction.  Known for their snappy SoCal pop-punk sound, the band had entered the studio (with me as co-producer, engineer and mixer) intent on breaking out of that narrow niche.  We labored together at length (and at great expense to the band members themselves) to meticulously craft a bold, densely-layered, creatively produced hard rock album.  The backlash from fans was severe.

Over time, though, Ignorance is Bliss gained a devoted following as fans gradually rediscovered its artistic strengths.  To this day, a subset of Face to Face fans holds the album up as their very favorite.  Although it remains controversial, it has earned its status as a classic in their catalogue.

The vinyl reissue is available in three limited edition colorways direct from Antagonist, while stocks last.

Face to Face – Live / Trever Keith – Melancholics Anonymous vinyl reissues

Two long-anticipated vinyl reissues (of records I worked on!) are now available from Antagonist Records.

The classic Face to Face album Live, originally released in 1998, has been repressed in a deluxe 20th anniversary double-LP edition, in three colors.  Visit the Antagonist Records site for details and ordering.

The live album was the first Face to Face record I worked on (following our anomalous remix collaboration for the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation soundtrack album), beginning a series of creative adventures with the band and its individual members that continues today (see Viva Death – Illuminate).

I mixed the tracks for Live, with Trever and Scott producing, at The Complex studios in West L.A.

For its 10th anniversary, Trever Keith’s 2008 solo album Melancholics Anonymous has been pressed on vinyl for the first time ever, in a limited orange vinyl edition with redesigned artwork.  Visit the Antagonist Records site for details and ordering.

Sonically and emotionally unrestrained, Melancholics Anonymous is considered by many Face to Face fans the successor to the band’s 1999 art rock masterpiece Ignorance is Bliss.  Trever’s distinctive melodic style and voice are in top form here, wrapped in rich layers of heavily effected guitars and drums, electric piano, vintage synths and drumboxes, and copious magnetic echo machines.

Trever and I co-produced the album, I did some drum programming, recorded in various studios in and around Los Angeles, and mixed at The Eye Socket.  Listen here:

Face to Face – Big Choice reissue

My old pals face to face are celebrating 25+ years as a band with a ton of good stuff.  Their latest album Protection (released March 2016) marked their return to Fat Wreck Chords and has earned great reviews everywhere.  A new 7″ single from the album is coming out in May.  The band continues to tour all over, and in May and June of this year they will reprise their legendary 1996 “Econo Live” tour with a series of small club shows around the U.S.

The band’s classic first three albums have also received long-awaited vinyl and digital reissues through Fat Wreck, remastered by the outstanding Joe Gastwirt.  The second album Big Choice is a special case:  For the reissue, Trever and I remixed the entire album from the original multitrack master tapes.  The new mixes give the album a more honest sound, presenting the band’s performances straightforwardly and without the “studio polish” that adorned the original release.  (See below for more about this process.)

The Big Choice reissue is available on vinyl from the band’s official storeFat Wreck, Amazon, and your local record shop.  It’s also on CD and digital from iTunes, Google Play, etc.

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