We’ve just returned from a wonderful vacation in Rugia: 3 weeks just me & Ayuma, the wind & the sea along with gulls, crows, cranes and cormorants. We’ve been out and about each and every day, exploring the island from north to south and getting as much fresh air as we possibly could. It was my first time at the Baltic Sea and I was really amazed by the sheer beauty of Rugia’s ravishing landscape which provided lots of inspiration for new songs.
When we returned home there was a parcel deposited for me at our local post office: it came from Russia and contained a beautiful art book as well as an impressive painting of two cranes, which was a strange coincidence as we loved watching those cranes on Rugia preparing for their migration to Spain and North Africa, and their grace and beauty left us simply gobsmacked. Those flocks of cranes with their typical crane calls became somehow very special to us, hence this beautiful painting of two cranes by A. Zhuravleva sent to me by Alexandra and Simon (2 Russian Antichrisis-fans, I guess?) got a very special place in our flat, too. Thanks a lot for that gorgeous present, guys!
So now after 3 weeks of total abstinence from the Internet, emails and telephone calls we’re back to our daily routine again — and unfortunately there’s a big construction site right in front of our house as they’re doing some serious channel digging there, which means that we have to live with a soundscape that reminds slightly of World War II at the moment: absolutely no way of mixing tracks or getting any recordings done under these circumstances. But construction works (hopefully) don’t last forever, and as soon as those guys have finished their job we will proceed with our musical activities.
From time to time we’re receiving requests by various people asking for a song that has been taken down from our website a few years ago and isn’t available for download any longer, and ever so often we’re trying to answer these requests by sending those people the desired track itself or its download link via email.
It’s a free service by Antichrisis for our fans -- and one would expect a few lines in reply like “Thank you for sending me that song” or something like that. But strangely enough this never ever happens: seems like those acts of courtesy have gone lost in the endless width of the Internet. So maybe we won’t bother with those kind of requests in the future any more -- mind you, we’re just a little bit old-fashioned when it comes to exchanging pleasantries.
But there’s also something very pleasant to report about -- and this is about those fans that have purchased our latest album “Not Fade Away” at Bandcamp: they’re sending us nice comments almost every time, and not just a few of them have actually paid much more for the album than we’ve been charging. This is really kind and generous, hence a very warm-hearted “Thank You” from Antichrisis to all those of you who bought “Not Fade Away” so far.
But while talking about albums: As already mentioned we’ve been planning to release Antichrisis’ new album “Foxfire” this year -- but due to some unexpected incidents we probably won’t be able to stick to this schedule. But no need to worry: forbearance is not acquittance. Only the vocal recording sessions have to be postponed for the time being; everything else is just fine.
So instead of having a whinge we’ve already started working on the next but one Antichrisis album which will contain the soundtrack to an imaginary film that Ayuma and me have been kibbling in the windmills of our minds, in a manner of speaking. There will be no more pop songs on that album, instead it’ll be a very dark and disturbing electronic symphony much in the vein of “Cantara Anachoreta” but by other means. The first few tracks that we’ve created do sound just gorgeous and we hope you’re going to like it even it’ll be something that Antichrisis has never done before.
But as soon as these aforementioned incidents are sorted out and we’re able to proceed with our vocal recordings, we’ll be finishing and releasing “Foxfire” as soon as possible.
Due to public demand we’ve made Antichrisis’ renowned demo “Missa Depositum Custodi” available for free in our download area. The .zip-file contains all tracks of the original demo as well as some unreleased songs of that era, but please keep in mind that all that stuff was recorded back in 1996 on an 8 track cassette deck -- hence its sound quality is what modern hipsters would call “genuine Lo-Fi”.
Upsadaisy - 2013 is almost over and looking back it was quite a strenuous year what with our enforced removal in July and all that — and it really took us some time until everything went back to normal, especially as we had to deal with a completely new recording situation in our new flat (see previous blog entry).
But now we’re back on track again, enjoying the holidays and working on new songs as we’re still planning to release a new Antichrisis album in 2014. At the moment the following tracks are in the pipeline:
1. A Swan in the Rain 2. After the War 3. Goodbye to Jane Revisited 4. Gravity on Mars 5. Is Anybody There? 6. Last Night 7. Let You Go 8. No Going Back 9. St. Materiana 10. Stay 11. Subways of Time 12. The Night’s Still Young 13. There Were Crows 14. Understanding Everything
There are also 2 other nameless tracks ready to get recorded but I haven’t finished their lyrics yet.
Switching from Logic Pro 9 to Logic Pro X turned out to be a real bliss: so many once complicated workflows became extremely simplified (especially if it comes to MIDI FX), the new drummer feature is just awesome and Flex Pitch is an absolute timesaver. Logic Pro X is an amazing DAW and those guys at Apple really seem to be focused on developing it even further as one can tell by its latest updates.
I also got myself Zebra 2 and Diva by U-He for Christmas: these are 2 remarkable softsynths and together with Camel Audio’sAlchemy and Spectrasonics’Omnisphere & Trilian they are definitely the most expandable, configurable and best sounding softsynths on the market. One really doesn’t need much more than these virtual instruments for great and versatile synth sounds.
But enough of that before I’m at risk of sounding like one of those nags from marketing department, but these chorus of praise is actually just based on my own experiences with the aforementioned products.
By the way: here’s my infamous Top Five list of 2013:
1. “If” — Glasvegas 2. “No Man’s Land” — OMD 3. “The Valley” — Christian Kjellvander 4. “Timeless” — The Airborne Toxic Event 5. “Das Schiff der grossen Illusionen” — Christian Anders (oldie but goodie)
Finally we are wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year: Take care and hope to see you again in 2014!
As we’ve got really nice neighbours in our new flat we didn’t want to annoy them with the hubbub caused by Antichrisis’ and Ayuma’s recording sessions, hence we got ourselves a pre-owned vocal booth that we had to pick up with a rental van in Hildesheim at Christoph’s place.
It was quite a trip, but it was worth it as that little vocal booth provides excellent sound insulation so that we won’t tick off our neighbours even if we’d do some vocal recordings in the middle of the night -- and even Whisky, our tomcat, seems to like that nifty little cabin.
After two really stressful weeks we’re eventually getting back to normal: our relocation went surprisingly well, and though our new home is definitely smaller than our old dwelling we’re already feeling cosy and comfortable here in Zirndorf. Even Whisky, our tomcat, seems to be satisfied with his new habitat.
Take a look at Antichrisis’ and Ayumas’ new “Home of the Hits” (and spot the cat):
So I could be just as well working on new Antichrisis tracks again -- but thanks to Apple Logic Pro X was released a few weeks ago, and as we’re finally having a proper broadband connection here again, I was able to download those 42 GB of Logic Pro X and its contents in the wink of an eye. Of course this means that I’ll have to get familiar with all the new functions and elements of Logic Pro X, but as far as I can tell Logic Pro X seems to be a very promising and significant step forward: can’t wait to put my hands on the first production with Logic Pro X, but I’ll have to learn a few new tricks first (and thanks to those magnificent Logic-tutorials by MacProVideo I should be learning these aforementioned new tricks and functions within a reasonable time).
By the way: Ayuma and me had our 5th wedding anniversary on the 1st of August -- and we’re still enjoying every single day with each other as lovers, best friends, companions and soul mates. It feels exactly like in Bruce Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind”:
“We swore we’d travel side by side We’d help each other stay in stride But each lover’s steps fall so differently But I'll wait for you And if I should fall behind Wait for me
Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true But you and I know what this world can do So let’s make our steps clear that the other may see And I'll wait for you If I should fall behind Wait for me”
Thanks to bastard landlord we’ll have to change our residence again: we’ll be moving to our new tenement by the end of July, that’s way there’s gonna be some kind of radio silence during the next weeks.
I guess it’ll take us until September before our new studio is hooked up and we’ll be connected to the Internet again -- but fortunately we’ll be having a proper broadband connection then.
We’re busy preparing our removal at the moment, so there’s no time for working on new tracks right now. But as soon as everything’s set up, organised and arranged at our new dwelling and we’ve had a bit of a breather, we’ll be back to record and produce new tracks for Antichrisis as well as Ayuma.
In the meantime German-speaking readers might enjoy a very in-depth Antichrisis-interview with brand new German Webzine Sakona.
Nevertheless Ayuma and me are wishing you all a beautiful Summer Solstice celebration -- and Merry Meet again in September!
It’s been a bit quiet lately -- but don’t worry: Ayuma and me are busily working on new tracks and you can be pretty sure that there will be quite a few surprises in the bag when we’ll have finished the recording sessions for the new Antichrisis album “Foxfire”.
Unfortunately we have to grapple with our bastard landlord at the moment: that nasty piece of work is trying to kick us out hence we had to contact the tenant association already to take legal measure. But as we’re preferring to live in peace we’ll have to spend our Saturdays with house hunting from now on.
Nonetheless our creative powers are still flowing and we’re both coming consistently up with new and exciting musical ideas, therefore “Foxfire” is taking more and more shape -- so stay tuned for more news as soon as we’ve found ourselves our new residence.
When we released “Not Fade Away” last year, quite a few of you mentioned that they would have preferred not all album’s tracks being published on Bandcamp before as it spoiled the surprise of listening to a new album. And although I think that something like keeping an album or its tracks secret in the age of the Internet, your request shall be our command, as from now on only one or two songs of an album will be published before the album itself sees its release.
To be honest I’d still prefer to release any song as soon as its ready -- but in that case the majority of votes seems to be against me.
Nevertheless we’ve been diligently working on new tracks (thanks to my new Mac Mini which is really an awesome and powerful yet underestimated little machine): we’ve been finishing “Understanding Everything” two weeks ago, and a new song called “Be Gone” is already in the works.
At the same time I’ve put the finishing touches on Ayuma’s brand new track “Wenn Ich Dich heute seh’”-- and there really are lots of other new songs in the pipeline, hence Antichrisis’ new album is developing pretty well even if you won’t be hearing any new songs until “Foxfire” (the new album’s title) is released.
It’s been a bit quiet lately, but that doesn’t mean that nothing happened: first of all, I had to get myself a new computer because my old and steady iMac had reached the point where it just wasn’t powerful enough any more to deal with all those Logic-projects for Antichrisis and Ayuma. So I switched to the new Mac Mini (the fastest Mac Mini of course, with Intel Core i7, 2,6 GHz, 16 GB RAM and 1 TB Fusion Drive - that’ll do!) and it took quite some time until everything was configured the way I needed it.
Then there was also my 50th birthday on Winter Solstice: fortunately armageddon got cancelled hence nothing could spoil my little birthday party with Ayuma, however I guess I still need some time to realise that I’m really 50 now -- but as long as the Rolling Stones still hit the stage (or in Keith’s case fall from palm trees), I guess I’m still allowed to perform and record songs, too.
And while we’re looking back: here are my favourite songs of 2012:
Neil Young & Crazy Horse: “Walk Like a Giant” Of Monsters and Men: “Your Bones” Santigold: “The Riot’s Gone” Lana Del Rey: “Born to Die” Bruce Springsteen: “We Are Alive” First Aid Kit: “Emmylou” The XX: “Angels” Exclusive: “Nachtmensch” The Dead Lovers: “The Storm” The Raveonettes: “Young and Cold”
Good news for all Antichrisis-fans in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus: renowned Russian label Irond has released a licensed version of “Not Fade Away” on CD, including a beautifully designed booklet. The collaboration with Irond was a really pleasant experience, and they did a great job -- so check it out on their website.
Doing a bit of in-depth-research on the Internet is always an interesting thing, especially when it comes to checking how your band’s doing ; even more when one receives lots of emails from fans that go like this: “It is great that there’s a new album by Antichrisis, but I don’t like downloads that much so can you please release “Not Fade Away” on CD?”
What puzzled me most is the fact that though we’ve been receiving loads of these aforementioned emails we only had almost insignificant sales figures as well on Bandcamp as on the iTunesStore -- as if nobody would be interested in our new album at all (but nevertheless a very big “Thank You” to all those fans who actually purchased “Not Fade Away” online: though you’re just a few, your support is highly appreciated and most welcome!).
Anyway, because of our really modest sales figures in comparison to the email feedback we’ve received I’ve been starting Antichrisis’ research engines and here’s what I’ve found out:
We’ve made “Not Fade Away” available for download on Bandcamp and many other popular online stores and sold less than 200 copies of the album so far (again: thanks to our honest and in some cases even generous customers!); but after an hour or serious investigation I found out that “Not Fade Away” is also available on several BitTorrents where it had been downloaded (at least as far as I could find out about corresponding download figures) over 25.000 times in only 4 months after its release.
So let’s do some arithmetics now according to the rule of three:
The answer is: obviously only 0,72% of those interested in Antichrisis (at least I presume that only those interested in our music would bother to download our album via BitTorrents) are paying for our music, hence it’s hardly surprising that Reartone Records and Tunguska Records, the last two labels that Antichrisis has been working with, had to call it a day because one simply can’t stay in business with that kind of payment behaviour — and as a result due to these facts we simply can’t afford a CD release on our own because according to these figures that would mean a foreseeable financial disaster for us.
But just for the sake of it let’s start dreaming a little bit: if only 50 % of those who downloaded the album illegally would have paid for “Not Fade Away” for example on Bandcamp (where the album is on sale for 7 Euros), we would have earned 88.522 Euros. We could have re-invested that money in better equipment for our home studio; we could have afforded to release a really extravagant collector’s edition on CD and vinyl with proper booklet, artwork and all that stuff and we could have also afforded to pay for a PA and for musicians to go on tour and play live — but that’s just daydreaming…
Fact is: the vast majority of our listeners are stealing our music — and yes, we know your line of reasoning: “It would only be stealing if the goods that have been stolen from you would no longer be in your possession which is definitely not the case with digital goods, so stop your sobbing!”. But that would mean that all kind of digital goods are left to villainy, be it literature, photography, cinematography, music or any other kind of art that can be distributed via the Internet — and that’s undeniably far beyond fairness! If you don’t want to pay for our music for whatever reasons you have, that’s absolutely o.k.; you’re welcome to listen to our music for free via streaming audio on Soundcloud or on this website -- but for fuck’s sake don’t fucking steal our music which is unquestionably our intellectual property (pardon my French, but it really makes me blow my fuse!).
Another fact is: Ayuma & me are working really hard on our music and we won’t stop making this music because music is our heartbeat and we fortunately don’t have to earn our living with the money we’re making from Antichrisis (which is approximately about zilch) but from going to work each bloody morning to make ends meet. Nevertheless we know lots of really good bands and artists who simply had to give up their musical career and their projects because they simply couldn’t afford it any longer — and it wasn’t because no one would have been interested in what they were doing but because no one wanted to pay for their work and preferred to download it illegally from the Internet instead!
But that’s enough ranting for now: most of all Ayuma and me would like to thank those loyal Antichrisis fans who purchased “Not Fade Away” so far once more; and here’s our blessing for our “illegal downloaders” (you know who you are): hopefully one day you’ll get ripped off quite neatly, too!
Dark Feather No. 21 released
German alternative online underground zine Dark Feather No. 21 just got released, including an Antichrisis interview (though in German only) and “Who You Are” from Antichrisis’ latest album “Not Fade Away”.
Download the Dark Feather magazine and the sampler for free!
Antichrisis Interview on rockradio.de (in German only)
Kurt Mitzkatis spricht mit Sid über das neueste Werk von Antichrisis “Not Fade Away” und die Bandgeschichte.
Die Band Antichrisis ist eine der am meisten unterbewertetsten Bands überhaupt. Mit großartigen Alben gelang es bisher nicht, den zustehenden Lohn einzufahren; dabei gibt es Antichrisis schon seit 1997.
Nun hat Mastermind Sid alles neu und anders gemacht. “Not Fade Away”, das am 14.04.2012 erschien, ist weit mehr als nur ein Albumtitel.
Genaueres werdet ihr im Gespräch erfahren. In der Radiozeit gibt es eine komplette Übersicht über das Werk von Antichrisis.
Diejenigen von Euch, die die Sendung nicht live hören konnten, können sich die Aufzeichnung des Interviews direkt bei German Rock e.V. anhören.
We’ve finally managed to get our new album “Not Fade Away” into the iTunes Store and to Amazon’s MP3 Store which means that from now on you can choose between 3 different download facilities:
iTunes Store (or search for “Antichrisis” and “Not Fade Away” in your county’s iTunes Store) Amazon MP3 Store (or search for “Antichrisis” and “Not Fade Away” in your county’s Amazon MP3 Store) Bandcamp (international availability but you need to have a Paypal-account)
Just use the shop that suits you best -- the main thing is that worldwide availability should no longer be a problem.
Here we go: Antichrisis’ new album “Not Fade Away” is finally available as download-only edition via Bandcamp as of now for a minimum price of €7.00 and a minimum price of €0.50 for individual songs (if you feel like paying more you’re welcome; if not enjoy the decent price tag, anyway) .
I’ve also taken the chance for overhauling Antichrisis’ website because I’ve had it up to here with black — and also because Holger Warschkow of Dark Feather suggested that it’d be time for a new Antichrisis logo. At first I hesitated because I really love the original monicker (no wonder as I’ve been doodling it by myself), but after giving it a second thought I came to the conclusion that Holger was right: Antichrisis has gone through so many changes since I’ve started the project in 1998 and the new logo somehow represents the new musical horizons that we’ve set sails to perfectly.
“Not Fade Away” seems to be just the right title for that album because many of you might have got the impression over the last years that Antichrisis may have possibly ceased to exist. But Antichrisis is still up and running though no longer as the sextet that we’ve used to be, but as a duo consisting of yours truly and Ayuma instead. And not only have Ayuma & me gotten this album together but we’re already working on a lot of new tracks; so Antichrisis definitely hasn’t faded away but is rather bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as it were.
This new album is also the first album in Antichrisis’ history that is released as a digital download only, without an external record company (Blue Yonder Records is our very own label) or an external producer: everything was done by ourselves, from cover artwork to the recording sessions in our home studio, as well as from production to mastering. Hence we may not have reached the perfection of previous releases like “A Legacy of Love Mark II” but Ayuma and me are nevertheless very satisfied and proud of what we’ve achieved with that kind of DIY-work ethic.
To Ayuma and me “Not Fade Away” feels like a Greatest Hits Album because it really is a selection of our favourite songs, and we hope you’re going to love this album as much as we do!
Last but not least we’d like to express our gratitude to Alexander “Näx” May, Tilo Rockstroh and Frank J. Hennig for their wonderful input and contribution: it’s always a pleasure and a privilege to work with these guys! And also a big “Thank You” to all our fans out there: your feedback and support means a lot to us!
The last few months have been fairly busy for Ayuma and me, as we have been working on the last tracks to complete the forthcoming Antichrisis album (which will be distributed via Bandcamp, as you might already know). The last song that we’ve been working on called “An Endless Flow” is now finished and does sound magnificent: a wonderful ballad with a slight touch of Electronica and Irish Folk!
Another song that we were working on is “Understanding Everything”, but we had to face a little drawback there equipment-wise: my stout and tenacious little iMac (Intel Core2 Duo, built 2007, with 2.40 GHz and 4 GB RAM, if that’s of interest for you MacHeads out there) simply isn’t powerful enough to handle a project that consists of almost 80 audio and MIDI tracks -- and as I didn’t want to come up with a half-baked version of that song I’ll have to wait until I’ll get myself a new iMac later that year to get “Understanding Everything” done.
But that won’t stop Ayuma and me from releasing the new Antichrisis album within the next few weeks, as we’re already having enough songs in stock. So we’ll now have to decide which of these songs will make it on the album, then getting the final mastering done, getting to the bottom of the album’s artwork -- and as soon as everything’s worked out we’ll let you know about further issues.
By the way: many thanks to all of those who’ve been flattering Antichrisis since we’ve started using Flattr - Ayuma and me are really appreciating your contributions and your support, so thanks again very much!
We're currently very busy with finishing the last few songs for the soon-to-be-released Antichrisis-album which we will be distributing by ourselves as a download only-version via Bandcamp. There is no official release date yet, but as we're getting on really well with all the stuff like mixing, mastering, cover-layout and so on, I guess everything's going to be ready by February 2012 -- but as always we'll keep you informed on this website and via Twitter about further developments (and due to some requests there will also be a solution for those of you living in areas with no proper Internet connection).
This forthcoming album is also the reason why we haven't released any new song on SoundCloud recently, as we'd like to have some exclusive tracks for those of you who are willing to spend a few bucks on the album -- but of course there will be a preview of those exclusive tracks as soon as they're finished.
So until then Ayuma and me (as well as our cats Sheela & Whisky) are wishing all of you -- with a quotation of John Lennon -- “A very happy Xmas and a happy New Year, let's hope it's a good one without any fear".
Ayuma and me are back from our holidays in Cornwall: unfortunately we had to return much earlier than planned due to the fact that yours truly had managed to get hold of an awful inflammation on his foot which made further walkings on the Coast Path definitely impossible: such calamities surely never happened to me when I was younger — bugger!
Nevertheless we would like to thank all the kind people that we’ve met on our short but nevertheless wonderful journey — especially Rob Lloyd & his wife Teresa from Boscastle as well as Mrs. Watson who runs the lovely St. Christopher’s B&B (next to the Napoleon Inn, which is a highly recommendable pub in this little village with its outstanding coastline and the amazing Museum of Witchcraft).
Nevertheless we’re using our remaining days of vacation to work sedulously on new tracks -- and so Ayuma and me managed to finish “Walking With Angels” which you’ll hopefully be enjoying: it’s another lighthearted piece of pop music by your heretofore rather sepulchral gloomsters!
As all you keen readers of Antichrisis’ blog might have already noticed, releasing a new album is a very unsteady operation these days: plans for releasing “The Legacy remains” went down the drain when Reartone Records called it a day a few years ago, and now that Tunguska Records also kicked the bucket it seems that Antichrisis’ scheduled album releases do stand just the same chance as a mayfly in a thunderstorm.
But as so many of you out there have requested an album, Ayuma and me were asking ourselves how we could accomplish an album release on sensible terms.
One good thing is that we wouldn’t need a studio as we’re able to record and produce all our songs at home -- and even if our technical standards might not come close to those of let’s say Bob Rock or Rick Rubin, we’re still achieving something that doesn’t sound too bad for an autodidactic independent production.
Now getting these self-produced tracks on CD is a different story: compact disc manufacturing and printing of booklets ain’t something that I’d call dirt cheap, but thanks to the blessings of the Internet it is nowadays within the bounds of possibility to distribute a downloadable version of an album on decent conditions.
So we decided to release a download-only version of the new Antichrisis album by the beginning of next year: you’ll get all tracks in highest possible quality (i. e. without any bit-rate reduction just as you’d expect it from any standard CD) as well as specially designed artwork (front cover and back cover) - and it goes without saying that all this will be reasonably priced.
All that’s left for you to do then is buying the album, download its tracks and artwork, burn the songs on CD (if desired), print the cover and off you go: a brand new Antichrisis album, directly acquired from the artists without being charged for any kind of intermediate trade or stock-keeping: of course we’ll keep you informed about further details concerning track list, release date, pricing and source of supply on this blog.
This also means that availability for free downloads of Antichrisis’ songs from SoundCloud will be stopped by 23 October 2011. Of course you will still be able to listen to all tracks in full length via streaming audio, but with the forthcoming release of the new album we’ll have to draw the line somewhere eventually. But enough of that for now: we’re hoping that you’ll like the idea of a self-distributed downloadable Antichrisis-album, and in the meantime Ayuma and me hope that you’re going to enjoy our new track “Creatures of a Jade Lagoon” that we’ve just uploaded to the music section of this website.
By the way: thanks to Rüdiger Abend there is now some live footage from Antichrisis’ performance at the Markthalle Hamburg in 1999. Of course not the best audio quality, but nevertheless a nice remembrance of Antichrisis’ first stage appearance ever (although with a completely different line-up than today): Watch it on the video section on this Website or on YouTube.
A few days ago we received a sad email by our label Tunguska Records: unfortunately Tunguska had to close down due to the fact that it’s almost impossible these days for a small ambitious independent record company with low budget but much better taste in music to make ends meet.
This means that there won’t be any new Antichrisis album for now, which is a shame as our collaboration with Tunguska Records was a really pleasant experience -- hence we’re wishing Julia Dobberstein all the best for her future plans!
Good news is that this drawback won’t stop Antichrisis in any way: we’re going to release all the songs that were planned for the aforementioned album on our website within the next few months and we will also carry on with continuously writing and producing new songs, because in the end Ayuma and me are in it for the music and not for business purposes.
As long as we’re still loving, dancing and dreaming, there will also be new songs!
I often receive mails asking me about the equipment I’m using for creating Antichrisis’ tracks, so I thought I’d better answer that question here and now for anyone who might need some recommendation concerning musical equipment.
Me and Ayuma are both working on iMacs, and while Ayuma’s recording her vocals in Garageband I’m completely addicted to Logic Studio as my favourite digital audio workstation instead.
When creating a track I usually start with the drums - and for me there’s no better software for creating awesome sounding drums than Toontrack’s Superior Drummer: easy to use, great sounding kits and lots of expansion packs and producer presets for all kind of purposes. If more “non-natural” sounding drum sounds are required I’m always turning to Spectrasonics’ Stylus RMX which offers an almost insane flexibility and gazillions of stirring drums and percussions.
There are two different ways for creating bass tracks for Antichrisis: Either I’m playing my good old balky Vantage Avenger 4-string bass through IK Multimedia’s Ampeg SVX amp simulation or I’m using Spectrasonics’ magnificent bass module Trilian via MIDI-keyboard instead.
When it comes to guitars, I’m usually using our Takamines for acoustic sounds and my Epiphone Tom Delonge model for that certain electric twang. Again I’m playing those guitars through another amp simulation by IK Multimedia called Amplitube 3 which I prefer over Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig 4 Pro especially when it comes to crunchy and distorted guitar sounds.
But let’s move on to the keyboards: I’m using a plain simple MIDI-keyboard by M-Audio as my master-keyboard and I’m preferring the following plug-ins for creating great and outstanding arpeggios, leads, pads and all other kinds of strange noises:
Omnisphere by Spectrasonics and Alchemy by Camel Audio are definitely my favourite workhorses as they provide lots of inspiration, clean user interfaces and mind-blowing sound quality - but M-Tron Pro and Virtual String Machine by GForce as well as Miroslav Philharmonik by IK Multimedia are also providing great additional sounds. So all that’s left is sound processing itself: For these purposes I’m always coming back to IK Multimedia’s T-Racks for engineering and mastering, and if it comes to FX I’m quite often making use of Uhbik and Toontrack’s EZmix, but Logic’s own implemented FX-section is also highly recommendable.
But always keep in mind that it’s not the equipment that counts but your own creativity and skills instead!
We’ve just finished two new Antichrisis tracks: Find them here - and while you’re listening to them don’t forget to vote for your favourite Antichrisis song in this sidebar as well as for the title of Antichrisis’ forthcoming album (just scroll down on this page to the preceeding blog entry where you’ll find the album title poll).
So the Tunisian protests did light the beacon for more Middle Eastern Nations: protests have started in Egypt and Yemen, too, and as always there are massive police forces trying to oppress those people demonstrating for freedom and democracy. Egyptian authorities even shut down internet access and mobile phone networks, curfew is also in place, but the protests continue.
Secret US embassy cables sent from Cairo in the past two years reveal that the Obama administration wanted to maintain a close political and military relationship with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, who is now facing a popular uprising.
I guess the same goes for Germany, too: satisfactory trade relations always require fraternisation with the respective rulers, hence there’s no support for the protesters neither from the US nor from German State Department, but nevertheless I do hope that their fight for social justice and Human Rights in their countries will prevail.
Seems that the Tunisians are really getting rid off Zine el Abidine ben Ali’s corrupt and brutal political regime. The Tunisian uprising is the first time in recent history in which an Arab public rather than a political rival or foreign invader has managed to oust a dictator. I just hope that what happened in Tunisia will hopefully be a domino for other countries, too. All my respect goes to the brave and dignified people of Tunisia who are standing against ben Ali’s regime and its henchmen!
A new year is lurking curiously round the corner and so I’m jumping at the opportunity to introduce a new design for Antichrisis’ website which I hope you’ll going to like. And please don’t worry: New Antichrisis songs are already on the way, too, but it’ll take some time until I get around producing and mastering them.
In the meantime -- and because now is just the right time for this -- here are my TFCOATs (Top Five Christmas Songs of all times):
“Christmas Day” - Dido “Stop The Cavalry” - Jona Lewie “Harlem Country” - Kirk Brandon “The Christmas Song” - The Raveonettes “Fairytale of New York” - The Pogues
Best Wishes and a Happy New Year to all of you - and let me know what you think of the new website design.
I sometimes receive emails asking me for an autograph -- and I have to say that I haven’t got the faintest idea why some people are so set on getting something so ordinary like my signature; in fact there’s nothing special about my signature (the only thing that distinguishes a signature from an autograph is simply the fact that a signature is written on an ordinary piece of paper whereas an autograph usually comes on a glossy photograph).
If truth be told there are myriads of people possessing a signature of me: my employer, the guy at the cashier’s desk, my health insurance company, the communist party, the credit card company -- my signature is so bloody widespread amongst all those authorities, companies and institutions that it cannot possibly be considered as something special.
But what all these aforementioned institutions and authorities assumedly don’t have is one of my songs: unlike my signature these songs are part of my personality, they contain a great deal of my spirit and soul, my creativity and my feelings. They are so much more personal than any autograph; actually they are something really special and the best thing about them is that you’re all welcome to download them for free here. As Steve Jobs would have said “Isn’t that awesome?”
Just two things to think about: in the past painters didn’t sign their artworks. Why the heck should they? A signature out of the blue would have spoiled the whole painting, and besides it was more important that the painting spoke for itself than its creatorship. Try to spot an autograph on one of Rembrandt’s portraits and you’ll see what I mean -- in fact that’s the reason why it’s sometimes so difficult for art historians to allocate certain pictures to certain artists.
And here’s another one: I once had the chance to attend one of Terry Pratchett’s excellent readings, and I’ll have to admit that even I was tempted to get a signature of my favourite author at the end of the event -- but then I saw the mind-bogglingly long queue of fans waiting for him to sign their books, and a considerable amount of them was not only handing over just one paperback to sign but their complete collection of discworld novels instead.
I really admired Terry for his braveness and friendliness, although one could easily see that he had severe pains in his right hand (mind you, the poor chap was doing lots of readings in these days). So I thought it would suit him better if he would not have to sign my book, too, and went off without an autograph -- because his spirit and his genius is in his novels, not in his signature.
What’s happening there is simply a disgrace for every democratic society: citizens are protesting peacefully against a megalomaniac and sumptuous project that’s going to destroy a beautiful part of the city, and all of sudden children, old people and harmless campaigners get beaten up and violated by teargas and water cannons. Seems that Thatcherism is raising its ugly head again -- this time in Germany’s South.
I do hope that the people of Baden-Württemberg will remember that treatment of citizen concerns at the next federal state elections!
“Adrenalin” uploaded - and some breaking removal news
Just finished mixing and mastering “Adrenalin” which can be downloaded for free here. It’s the very last song that I’ve produced in our old tenancy in Zirndorf, because we’ll be moving to Renzenhof next week. This means also that I don’t know yet when we’re going to be connected to the internet again (dealing with german Telekom in such cases is never exactly what one would call a pleasant user experience), so there possibly won’t be any news from Antichrisis for quite some time. But as soon as we’ve sorted everything out we’ll be working on new tracks again.
In the meantime we hope you’re going to enjoy “Adrenalin” as much as we did when we were working on that song - and we also hope to be back on the track real soon!
A few months ago Holger Warschkow of Dark Feather asked me for a contribution to his zine’s 10th anniversary edition, and I was more than glad to agree to provide a remix of “Crossing The Line” that I was working on at that time.
Maybe a lot of you might think something like “Duh - does the world really need another dispensable remix? Aren’t remixes just a bad case of flogging a dead horse with making some extra money from an already released song?” - and of course I can’t completely deny that attitude.
But there’s something else about remixes: In the older days (yes, I was born in the sixties, so I should know all about those good ol’ times!) a band recorded a song on tape and once it had been mixed and produced that song could not been altered any more - it was on tape, it was done, and the only thing you could do was a bit of remastering when you felt the need for it.
But these days are gone: Nowadays with all those hard disc recording-prospects there is no such thing like a “finished” track any more. Thanks to your software sequencer’s total recall-capabilities one can work on a project, finish it - and re-open it again 12 months later with all the proper settings just for adding an idea for a new guitar line. And me, I surely love that kind operation method.
Besides, since I’ve released the first version of “Crossing The Line” I couldn’t help but notice that this track needed a more powerful Techno beat to make it work - maybe there are some things that you’ll only find out after having “lived” with a song for a couple of weeks.
Anyway, that’s the reason why I picked up “Crossing The Line” again and revised it for Dark Feather No. 10 (by the way: you can still get the entire double-album here): the groove’s emphasis is now focused completely on danceability and there’s also a more aggressive midsection as well as additional vocals by Ayuma. You may download or listen to “Crossing The Line (Dark Feather Remix)” here. Enjoy!
Just uploaded a new song called “No Going Back”: Some of you may remember this track because its demo version appeared on this website long time ago. “No Going Back” was written during the time I wrote lots of other stuff for “The Legacy Remains” (i. e. the album that never was), but I wasn’t really satisfied with the original version.
But when Ayuma started singing that song I instantly knew that we were working on the real thing. I also noticed that my primal scintillation of recording “No Going Back” as a plain vanilla ballad without any drums and bass was a flop, as the song seemed to lack the sparkling brilliance that is now added by the rhythm section (thanks to Toontrack’sSuperior Drummer and Spectrasonic’sTrilian).
I’m really proud of this version because Ayuma’s vocals bear that special kind of melancholy airiness that emphasizes the overall feeling of that song: the battle is over and you have lost - and there’s absolutely no way of ever going back. But at the same time this means that there’s no more burden on your shoulder: though you’ve been bereaved of something that once was so precious to you, you are now free from a situation that was only causing pain in the end. Let your tears flow for the past, but the future’s promise lies already ahead and it’s sounding like a sparkling waterfall from afar.
Maybe this is one of Antichrisis’ most catchy tracks so far - but don’t get fooled by the song’s overall easiness: still a deep sense of valediction is lurking under its surface.
Although I’m pretty occupied with watching the Football World Cup in South Africa these days, I’ve anyway found the time to upload a new Antichrisis track called “The Point of No Return” (click here to listen or download).
This song has seen quite a few transformations since I’ve written it sometime in 2002; at first it was called “The Way”, but I could never get my head around finishing it - until I played the demo version of that song to Ayuma last January: As soon as she heard the track she was instantly hooked to it - and after rehearsing a couple of times she came up with those great vocal lines you’re now hearing on that recording. Besides, “The Point Of No Return” contains also great performances by Frank J. Hennig and Näx, so thanks a lot for your contribution, guys!
But after I had finished mixing the 78 tracks that “The Point of No Return” consists of I swore to myself that I would never be recording as many tracks for just one song again - possibly!
Holger Warschkow has just released the jubilee edition of Dark Feather No. 10, including a previously unreleased version of “Crossing The Line”, specially remixed for this anniversary edition.
Dark Feather No. 10 comes as double CD and contains besides Antichrisis’ “Crossing The Line (Dark Feather Remix)” also tracks by 7 Seals, A.Stray, Alexa, Alter Vocalis Ego, Apo Velation, At Daggers Drawn, Avatar, Avataria, Black Chameleon, Die Votion, Embercrow, End Of The Road, Ferment, Frozen Memory, Mirrored In Secrecy, My Lucina, Nion, Osiris T., Plastic Autumn, Shade Of Shambles, Stealing The Bride, Stormgarde, Summer’s End, Tharsys, The Exploding Boy, Via Obscura, Wort-Ton and Your Favourite Nightmare.
As this double CD is sold for 6,50 in Germany and 8,50 € within Europe (including postage and packing), it’s definitely a bargain - so don’t hesitate to contact Holger at Dark Feather to get hold of your copy of this really awesome sampler.
Find also Holger’s short interview with Antichrisis (in German only) here: This time not only Sid is answering Holger’s questions, but also Antichrisis’ female vocalist Ayuma.
Tunguska Records has re-released the eagerly sought-after debut feature "Cantara Anachoreta" including special bonus track "Beautiful Wolves" that didn't make it on the original release on account of playing time limitations back then.
So Tunguska Records proudly presents "Cantara Anachoreta" by Antichrisis not only as a double album (Yes, "Beautiful Wolves" is really that long!), but also remastered by legendary engineer and producer Harris Johns (Kreator, Voivod, Sodom, Einstuerzende Neubauten), glamourizing the album with delightful depth and tremendous warmth.
In addition to that the album's artwork got revised from scratch and now contains superb and exquisite illustrations by one of Germany's most talented and groundbreaking cover artists, making this new edition also interesting for those who already own the original release of 1997.
As this album is distributed by Twilight, international availability should be no problem. For further information see Tunguska’s website.
American journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson once wrote: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side” and he was probably right: so many people involved in the music biz are just in it for the wrong reasons, be it money, megalomania, fame, egomania or just because they simply don’t know how to cope with an ordinary life.
But sometimes one runs into people who are in it for exactly the right reasons: because they love music, because they get really excited when listening to a great new track by a completely unknown artist, because they don’t care at all about the charts but are more likely to search the unchartered depths of the world wide web instead for something new that nobody else might have heard of, and they love to share their findings with the world because they are absolutely convinced that the rest of mankind should listen to good music instead of all that piddling Top Ten drivel.
Such a guy is Holger Warschkow of Dark Feather: he puts so much effort and lifeblood into his Underground-Zine just because he believes in what he is doing and the bands he is supporting. And although Dark Feather’s subject is Gothic and Metal, Holger’s own musical taste goes far beyond these brands — and I’m sure that Hunter S. Thompson would have found much nicer words to characterise the music business if more people like Holger were involved. Because of all that I decided to submit a previously unreleased Antichrisis song to Holger’s newest edition of his zine/sampler Dark Feather No. 9 called “The Point Of No Return”, featuring Ayuma on vocals as well as guest appearances by Frank Hennig and Näx. “The Point Of No Return” is Antichrisis’ latest track with a playing time of more than 9 minutes — and what else is there to say about that song as well as Antichrisis’ future plans can be read in the corresponding interview (which is in German only).
If you should be interested in purchasing that terribly recommendable sampler (containing 12 more remarkable bands apart from Antichrisis) just follow the instructions on http://www.darkfeather.net if you’re from Germany or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re from anywhere else in the world, because the CD-sampler itself is only 1,95 € (that’s definitely a bargain if I ever saw one!), but postage and packing may vary depending on what part of the world the CD has to be sent to.
And more good news are on the way — just wait until the 14th of May!