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Man's Ruin Records
Man's Ruin
Record label information
Founded 1994
Distributors RED Distribution
Genre(s) Desert Rock, Stoner Rock, Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Psychedelic Rock
Country of Origin United States
Based in San Fransisco, California
Website [1]

Man's Ruin Records was a record label run in the Bay Area of California by artist & graphic designer Frank Kozik, active from 1994 - 2001. It is heralded as an important label in the uprising of stoner rock and doom metal with countless bands tied to the scene having an association to the label.

The label's slogan was Empty Pleasures and Desperate Measures since 1994.

BackgroundEdit

FormationEdit

Frank Kozik formed the Man's Ruin label in 1994, with Experimental Audio Research (EAR): Delta 6 being the first release on the label coming out in 1995. Soon the label would grow to involve a multitude of bands, feature multiple label showcases and even grow to a point of releasing multiple albums or 10" releases every month.

Decline and FallEdit

The label became defunct after a series of distribution changes and problems, the label having outgrown its original distributor. Another factor was small debts being owed to multiple bands. Man's Ruin also lost its lease at the height of the Bay Area Dot-Com boom and was shut down for a period of several months while attempting to relocate its offices. This combination led to its demise at the end of 2001. The label's website was shut down a few months following its demise. Internet users who wished to view the Man's Ruin website were simply greeted with the following message:

"sorry mansruin never paid their bill and their site is no longer here. They also did not pay their poster-printing crew for all of their overtime work as well."

The self-titled debut by doom metal band Begotten ended up being the last ever release on the label. Vinyl editions of Melvins' Electroretard, The Glasspack's American Exhaust and at least one album by Boris were intended to be released on the label among other releases that never happened due to the label's implosion.

All operations of the label completely ceased in 2002. All licenses were returned to the various copyright holders at that time. Kozik has since stopped working in the music scene and went on to enter the field of designing Urban Vinyl.

Several bands (such as Fu Manchu, Turbonegro, Acid King and The Hellacopters) who have gained popularity after their work with Man's Ruin have re-released the albums they recorded there, independently or with other record labels. Many albums and releases have been since reissued from the label though some Man's Ruin releases still maintain value on the secondary market.

In an archived label showcase via Stonerrock.com, David Elizondo of Arclight Records attributed the following opinion in a specific section related to Man's Ruin:

“Be careful who you deal with…especially distributors. Try not to put out to many releases, especially if they are sub-par.”
 
— David Elizondo, Stonerrock.com [1]

Operations / DistributionEdit

Man's Ruin did not make signed contracts with the artists that they released, their operation was instead very open. Recordings were licensed for a time period of 2–5 years and all copyrights and publishing liberties were retained by the bands. Profits on releases were split 50-50 between band and label. The posters and album art from the Man's Ruin era are still very coveted and the limited print vinyl are constantly rising in their value due to two factors: the majority of covers were screen-printed and numbered by Kozik himself, and all records were released in editions of 5000 copies or less. The most sought-after records from the Man's Ruin catalog have consistently been The Desert Sessions records, which were released in highly limited editions on clear and colored vinyl. The CD versions of the first six volumes, as well as the rest of the entire Man's Ruin catalog have gone out of print with the demise of the label. Subsequent volumes of The Desert Sessions were released on Josh Homme's Rekords Rekords label.

Man's Ruin specialized in producing and releasing limited edition 10" EP records. Often an album would be released in several different sets, such as the first release from Queens of the Stone Age in 1998, which was released on Man's Ruin in three editions: 2500 black, 300 green, 200 orange/yellow (a subsequent pressing of 198 copies on blue vinyl was made independently by the band as a "tour edition"). The vast majority of records released on the label were colored.

The label was distributed in the US and UK by Mordam Records initially, and then a brief and unsuccessful switch was made to RED Distribution, which resulted in the demise of the label after a series of problems, and internationally by Swedish distributor and record label House of Kicks. Unlike most releases in music today, the international releases from Man's Ruin did not differ from the domestic American releases. However, it was not uncommon for the cover of a vinyl release to differ from that of the CD edition of the release.

Selected Past RosterEdit

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Stonerrock.com Record Label Feature, accessed 14th May 2016
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