Favourite Albums of 2016

It's almost the end of the year (and believe me: 2016 was a real bastard what with taking David Bowie and Leonard Cohen from us and leaving us with The Donald instead) and so it's time to come up with my favourite albums of 2016. Here we go:

David Bowie: Blackstar
Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker
Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos
Isolation Berlin: Und aus den Wolken tropft die Zeit
Wire: Nocturnal Koreans
The Hidden Cameras: Home On Native Land
Swans: The Glowing Man
PJ Harvey: The Hope Six Demolition Project
The Divine Comedy: Foreverland
The Thermals: We Disappear

Merry Yuletide and a very Happy New Year to all of you out there!

So Long, Field Commander Cohen

Found some really sad news after I woke up this morning: "It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away. We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries."

Leonard Cohen was one of my very first musical heroes: he was the one to introduce me to the beauty of melancholy, and he was also the one that I habitually came back to whenever life put on his boots and did some serious ass-kicking on me.

Whenever I think of Leonard Cohen I think of a real gentleman with an amazing warm and solacing voice and a wonderful sense of humour.

To be reminiscent of the great poet and songwriter that he was, here are my favourite songs by Leonard Cohen:

Closing Time
Diamonds In The Mine
Did I Ever Love You?
Everybody Knows
First We Take Manhattan
The Faith
The Future
Going Home
Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
If It Be Your Will
Lady Midnight
Lover Lover Lover
Master Song
The Partisan
Seems So Long Ago, Nancy
Sisters of Mercy
So Long, Marianne
Stranger Song
Take This Longing
Tonight Will Be Fine
Tower of Song
The Traitor
The Window
You Got Me Singing
You Want It Darker

Remembering Alan Vega

Alan Vega died in his sleep on July 16, 2016 at the age of 78. He wasn’t exactly a great singer — but he was always cool as fuck and simply didn’t give a damn what anybody else was thinking of him.

When Punk and New Wave jumped into the spotlight in 1976, almost everybody was fiddling around with power chords on E-guitars — but he and Martin Rev came up with some keyboard sounds and rhythms that were so far ahead of their time that 40 years later they still sound modern or at least up-to-date.

Martiv Rev took care that all hell broke lose when he switched on his keyboard & rhythm box, and Alan Vega turned into the scary revelator of some of the most frightening American nightmares I ever heard. He groaned, moaned and screamed through these songs — but always with style and attitude.

Being pretty wet behind our ears, me and my brave young Punk comrades were trying hard to enter the dark streets at that time, whereas Alan Vega had actually seen these dark streets that we were dreaming of; and these dark streets weren’t moody and romantic as we saplings though; instead they were bloody cold, wet und violent. Alan Vega knew this — and that’s why he sounded like he did.

These are my all time favourites from this great artist:

Suicide: Ghost Rider
Suicide: Dream Baby Dream
Suicide: Rocket USA
Suicide: Frankie Teardrop
Alan Vega: Jukebox Baby
Alan Vega: Rebel Rocker
Alan Vega: Je t’adore
Alan Vega & Pan Sonic: American Dreamer

By the way: you should also listen to the brilliant cover version of "Ghost Rider" by The Sods from their awesome 1979 debut album “Minutes to go”

An Interim Report on Foxfire

It’s been a long time since the last blog entry — but don’t worry: there’s still a lot going on under Antichrisis’ hood. We’re still working on our upcoming album “Foxfire”, and I’m really excited about those new tracks that we’ve recorded so far. In order to give you an idea what “Foxfire” will be all about, here’s a few production notes on some of the songs that’ll appear on the album:

After the War: A rousing dystopian Electronica track, much in the vein of old classics like “Crossing the Line” or “The Point of No Return”. It deals with the subject of what will become of mankind if we stick with warfare, pollution and nationalism.

Close-Hauled: Melancholic Folk Rock inspired by North Cornwall’s rugged coastline. The story of a ghostly crew coming back for the soul of a lighthouse keeper whose delinquency lead to their death one stormy night.

Goodbye to Jane: One of Ayuma’s all-time favourites: she always wanted to do her own version of that song and so we re-arranged and re-recorded it in a way that sounds a bit like Nine Inch Nails would encounter The Jesus & Mary Chain.

Gravity on Mars: What happens if promises and hearts are broken and love fails? This gloomy acoustic guitar ballad will tell you. Sad & sweet but also with the silver lining of hope at the end that has become some kind of trademark for Antichrisis.

Is Anybody There?: As you might already know, I’m a sucker for those 80’s Synth Pop-acts like Soft Cell, Yazoo, or OMD. And as I’m also a big fan of Stuart A. Staples and Stephin Merritt, I thought it could be a great idea to merge these two preferences and create a catchy Synth Pop-ballad dealing with a guy who walks the streets alone at night.

Last Night: I’ve grown up with the first wave of British Punk — and the older I get, the more I’m fond of these musical roots. And though I do love to fiddle around with keyboards and synthesizers, it still feels great to plug in the electric guitar, turn up the volume and bang around on high speed — not the hardcore, but the melodic way. “Last Night” is all about the anger and the desperation - and its music sounds exactly like it.

Lost & Found: From Punk Rock to orchestral music: A love song written for my wonderful wife Ayuma; done in a rather unorthodox way just with harp, English horn and clarinet. No drums and guitars to be found here.

Loving You So Long: Oh, I just love guitar-driven disco songs: Blondie, Gang of Four, New Order, Gossip — they’ve all done really great stuff when it comes to that kind of music. Hence I came up with this “Four to the Floor”-track that also provides a very snappy bass line.

Like a Snow Walk: Not really sure it that’s going to be the definite title of that song as we’re still working on the lyrics momentarily, but it’s nevertheless a great track with tribal drumming, uplifting keyboards and a hymnal piano line, which could be because of some indeterminate Ultavox-Midge Ure-inflluences.

The Night’s Still Young: Getting back to these old punk roots: a song about what it felt like when we were young, it was Saturday night and there was something in the air that promised adventures and brill fantastic incidents. The night was ours, and it usually kicked off Friday evening and finished in the early hours of Monday morning.

She Lay Waiting: This is exactly what you’ll get when you put Pink Floyd, Anathema, Lee Hazlewood and Oasis in the blender and operate the damn thing on full speed: walls of guitars crushing down in that song that came to me during our journey to the Baltic Sea two years ago.

St. Materiana: Yet another song inspired by and about the sea. This time it takes place in Tintagel, Cornwall, and it deals with the subject of star-crossed lovers. If that topic was good enough for William Shakespeare, it’s definitely still good enough for Antichrisis. Except for the fact what Mr. Shakespeare didn’t use Metal-drenched Punk Rock for background music.

Subways of Time: Things get a bit unusual here: A country waltz played by piano and strings? But don’t worry: It just works! A sparse but doleful ballad about the passing of time and remembering the ones we once shared parts of our lives with.

You Could Not Follow Me: Now comes the marching band. Honestly… Like young Leonard Cohen would have a little get-together with Procol Harum at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Rather odd but catchy!

These are just some of the tracks of our preselection for “Foxfire”: Could be that there will be some additional tracks, too; but it could also be that one or two of the aforementioned songs will be discarded in favour of some other tracks — let’s just wait and see. We haven’t set a release date for “Foxfire” yet as some of its songs are still in the making, but as soon as we’re reaching the mastering stage we’ll let you know.

Time Takes a Cigarette...

...with Facebook and Twitter!

First of all, I’ve never been much of a fan of Facebook: confusing settings, ugly interface, dodgy terms of conditions etc. That’s why I never used Facebook regularly except for a few postings when a new Antichrisis-album got released.

But now with Facebook’s most recent enmeshment with Cambridge Analytica, I think it’s finally time to leave — and for that reason I have deleted Antichrisis’ Facebook-page, as I don’t want to participate in such devious games (see for example this article for more information).

And then there’s also Twitter, a social media platform that I quite like and which I’m using on a daily basis - but not through their website or Twitter’s official ugly-as-hell-client, but with third-party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific, as they are much clearer and more comfortable to use providing well-arranged and accurate timelines as well as offering very pleasant user interfaces. To cut a long story short: Twitter without third-party clients simply is unusable to me.

Lately Twitter announced that after June 19th, 2018, Twitter’s David Bowie's music guided me through so many years of my life — his work was the inspiration for all I ever wanted to achieve as a musician and songwriter: He opened doors that would have blocked my way. But now the Starman returned to the sky , and these are his songs I will never forget:

Five Years
Ziggy Stardust
Rock 'n' Roll Suicide
Space Oddity
Cygnet Committee
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud
The Bewlay Brothers
The Man Who Sold the World
Station to Station
Fantastic Voyage
Wild is the Wind
Sound and Vision
Sons of the Silent Age
Ashes to Ashes
China Girl
Thursday's Child
Absolute Beginners
Where Are We Now?
Baal's Hymn
Port of Amsterdam
The Loneliest Guy
Life on Mars
Look Back in Anger
Speed of Life

David Bowie (08.01.1947 - 10.01.2016)

"And the mountain moved its eyes to the world of realize
Where the snow had saved a place for the Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud"