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 streaming services will be removed This means two things for third-party apps that push notifications will no longer arrive and that their timelines won’t refresh automatically. For anyone using third-party apps like Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, or Twitterrific, there is no way for its developer to fix these issues. (see here for more information).
I’m definitely not a freeloader, hence I would gladly pay for Twitter if they’d enable third-party app-usage and make it ad-free for paying customers — but as Twitter doesn’t offer any payment model like this, it seems that I have to say "Sayonara“ to Twitter, too; at least from June 19th on.
So goodbye to Twitter and Facebook: it was fun while it lasted (although Facebook was in fact more misery than fun ton me), but as you won’t let me pay for proper services, I’ll have to say "Tempting, but no thanks“.
But what about the music I have been listening to in 2017? To be honest, I’m that much occupied with creating and producing my own stuff that I don’t spend that much time on listening to music of other artists. It’s a shame, I know — but there’s only a limited amount of listening time left between working in a full-time job and running Antichrisis in your spare time. Anyway, there have been 5 albums in 2017 that caught my attention:
• „Every Valley“ by Public Service Broadcasting: this is an album of such emotional intensity that it really made me cry. When following the story of this concept album that depicts the history of the mining industry in Wales while focusing on the rise and decline of the country's coal industry, one has to have a heart of stone if not being close to tears when listening to the album’s last track „Take Me Home“. An absolutely fantastic and inspiring album.
• „Selections from 50 Song Memoir“ by The Magnetic Fields: It's as simple as that — Stephin Merritt never ever failed me (you hear that, Morrissey?)! Each and every album of his band The Magnetic Fields contains pearls and jewels in form of wonderful, out of the ordinary and enchanting Pop songs. To me, he's one of the finest, wittiest and most astute songwriters in contemporary Pop Music. "Selections from 50 Song Memoir" is nothing more than an adorable, stirring but also deeply entertaining album. One can't do much better — but I guess Stephin Merritt will.
• Almost the same goes for „Goths“ by The Mountain Goats: A band being bold enough to call one of their songs "Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds" is just my cup of tea, especially when that song is performed with the disarming charm of singer John Darnielle. The Mountain Goats started as some kind of LoFi-Folk-project but developed swiftly in broader musical directions. On "Goths" they sound like an anti-gloomy version of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — or like Paul Simon's Californian kinfolk.
• Although I'm not a fan of digital distortion, I have to admit that I was deeply impressed by "The Underside of Power" by Algiers: they're raw energy and fury reminds me of the early recordings by the Bad Brains — only that Algiers are not rooted in Hardcore or Reggae. Instead they deliver a hot boiling mixture of Gospel, Soul, Industrial, Metal and HipHop, and that Franklin James Fisher is a really fantastic and powerful singer! The only fly in the ointment is the production of "The Underside of Power": less distortion and compression would have done a much better job in my opinion.
• „Is This The Life We Really Want?“ by Roger Waters: agreed that Roger Waters’ voice has lost much of its tonal capabilities in recent years, but nevertheless this album radiates so much anger and rage that it left a real impact on me. But please, Mr. Waters: get off of that annoying BDS-involvement of yours: of course one can quite justifiably criticise Israel’s home policy (and I would opt for a two-state solution, too!), but according to that scale you would have to stand up against China, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia or the USA just as well! When I last looked, Israel was still a functioning democracy — something that is hard to find in the Middle East. To me that BDS-movement is just another disguise for yer plain old and nasty antisemitism!
So all that’s left for Ayuma and me to do is to wish you all the best for 2018 — and don't forget: many people await New Year’s Day just to make a new start to their old habits. We wish you otherwise.
Happy New Year and see you again in 2018!
Terry Pratchett (28.04.1948 - 12.03.2015)
“There’s a light that never goes out” — The Smiths
“There isn’t a way things should be. There’s just what happens, and what we do-“ — Terry Pratchett, “A Hat full of Sky”
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
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 Alchemy 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)
“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”
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.
So let’s do some arithmetics now according to the rule of three:
25.293 illegally downloaded copies = 100%
182 legally purchased copies = ?%
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!
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.
“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.
Being a musician myself, I'm torn between the two sides: on the one hand the internet and its possibilities of sharing and distributing music (but if we want to call a spade a spade we should include a term like "illegal downloading", too!) has turned out to be nothing less than a big "Up Yours!" towards the record companies' pricing policy, but on the other hand it has also caused a lot of severe problems for the kind of really devoted musicians and labels trying to make a living from what they're doing.
Experts affirm that today there's only 1 % of legal purchasing of songs and albums, which means that there is only 1 in a 100 songs that the artist or his record company actually gets paid for - and you can't run a business on that terms. That's why our label Reartone Records simply can't afford to release the long awaited Antichrisis album "The Legacy Remains": there's absolutely no chance of breaking even with new independent releases of that kind, hence I totally agree and understand Reartone's decision although I certainly regret that "The Legacy Remains" will now become some kind of "lost album", and that all the work we've put into its production so far was in vain.
Reartone cannot release any new albums as long as the aforementioned situation stays like this - and that doesn't affect Reartone Records only: Even a successful independent company like Chicago's Touch & Go Records with bands like TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Coco Rosie has to reduce its output because they just can't cover the costs any longer. Mac McCaughan of Merge Records commented this with the words: "If a company that did everything the right way can't survive in this environment ... then who can?"
But what does all that mean for Antichrisis? Well, there won't be any CD or album releases in the near future at all (unless another label would be interested in signing Antichrisis). As aforesaid, I can understand Reartone's decision and I totally agree with them, hence there's no bad blood between Reartone and Antichrisis. If the economical situation should change, there's no obstacle for resuming our collaboration.
In the meantime (or for the future - who knows) , Antichrisis will be stripped down to being a 1-man-project again like it used to be in the early days of "Cantara Anachoreta". I'll be doing everything on my own again including mixing and production, and as soon as new songs are finished I'll make them available on this website via streaming audio. I don't have any idea at the moment if there'll be a way making these new tracks available for purchase, because I don't like any of the current online distribution possibilities for independent artists: there are too many different internet platforms with too many different terms and conditions, which makes it difficult to work time- and cost-saving. But as soon as there's a proper solution on the horizon, I'll be trying to provide a good and easy way for acquiring Antichrisis' songs by purchase.
Anyway, I doubt that there will ever be an album by Antichrisis again, as I really don't believe in albums any more: they are a thing of the past, and the future's definitley in releasing separate songs as soon as they are ready and leave it to the customer which individual song he or she wants to have - it should be up to them if they want to burn it on CD or not. Online distribution is the future of any multimedia content, whether we like it or not - but it's all still in its infancy!
So "The Legacy Remains" will possibly never be released and Antichrisis will be reduced to being a 1-man-project again. I definitely won't stop making music, because it's simply such a vital and important part of my life. Of course I could now finish the songs of "The Legacy Remains" on my own, but to tell you the truth it just wouldn't feel right, because these songs were the collective achievement of a band that unfortunately doesn't exist any longer, and it would be quite unfair towards my former band members if I'd release those songs single-handedly now.
The reason that the band has now ceased to exist is due to the fact that we've never been a live group but a studio band. And as all band members are living far away from each other in different parts of Germany, the only occasion we got together was when we met in Reartone's Bluehouse studio for rehearsing and recording. So the end of the collaboration with Reartone Records implies the end of the studio band Antichrisis, too. But I'm glad that both Näx (uilleann pipes) and Frank (vocals) have assured that they would love to contribute their input to Antichrisis in the future, too, so there'll be still some guest musicians around!
Nevertheless my deepest gratitude goes to Jens Bachmann (former guitarist and producer), Tilo Rockstroh (former keyboarder and sound engineer) and Jens-Nils Kuge (former Drummer): these guys did such a great job for Antichrisis on "Perfume" and "A Legacy of Love Mark II", and I'm sure that "The Legacy Remains" would have confirmed what outstanding and unique musicians they are. It was an honour and great pleasure to work with them, and I sincerely appreciate the time we've been recording together.
A new chapter of Antichrisis is aborning - back to the basics, in a manner of speaking, and these basics will sound a lot like "Ocean's Too Wide" or "Crossing The Line" (already available on this website's Music section). And as I don't have to focus on album productions and studio sessions any more, there'll probably be some new tracks here quite soon... so stay tuned!
Soko - I’ll Kill Her
The Killers - When You Were Young
Royksopp: What Else Is there?
Silver Jews: Suffering Jukebox
Flooging Molly - Punch Drunk Grinning Soul
Attila the Stockbroker - And I Wont’ Run Away
The Raveonettes: The Christmas Song
Franz Ferdinand - Walk Away
Jens Lekman - Black Cab
Santogold: Say Aha
Midnight Choir - The Train
Bruce Springsteen - Long Walk Home
The Pack: King Of Kings
The Monks: He Went Down To The Sea
The Thermals: An Ear For Baby
The Mountain Goats: Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod
4th July 2006, Irish Castle, Nuremberg
16th December 2006, Pegnitzbühne e. V., Nuremberg
Keep in mind that the aforementioned gigs are Folkstone Gang- and not Antichrisis-gigs, which means that only a few Antichrisis songs will be performed. Nevertheless I'm sure you'll enjoy a very special evening with good songs and a very "folky" atmosphere!
Those of you just interested in Antichrisis will have the chance to see Antichrisis Unplugged (i. e. Katja and Sid only) live on stage at the Balladentag on 24th September 2006 at the Kofferfabrik Fuerth. This event is organised by Florian Baessler, a highly appreciated singer/guitarist, and it'll give you an overview of the singer/songwrighter-scene of my home area. As it is some kind of festival, the playing time of each artist/band is restricted to 15 minutes, notwithstanding Katja and me will play a fine selection of old and new Antichrisis-material (By the way: Blindflug Unplugged will also appear on stage). Please note that Antichrisis Unplugged will already start at 3:20 pm; admission is free!
I guess that's all for today: A very merry Beltane to all of you and many thanks for your loyal support! And maybe I'll be seeing you at some of the aforementioned gigs.
"Teignmouth" - Patrick Wolf
"I'm waking up to us" - Belle & Sebastian
"Turning of the Tide" - Midnight Choir
"Love hurts" - Emmylou Harris & Gram Parsons
"We oh we" - The Hidden Cameras
"Smile at Everyone" - Minor Majority
"Understanding Jane" - Icicle Works
"Balkon gegenüber" - Kettcar
"I lost it" - Lucinda Williams
"One thing" - Runrig
"So called Friend" - Texas
"When you were my Baby" - The Magnetic Fields
"Head on" - Pixies
"Uncertain Times" - The Raveonettes
"Serenade" - Dover
"Goodbye Horses" - Q Lazzarus
"If I told you you were beautiful" - Minor Majority
"I will not forget you" - Sarah McLachlan
"To win just once" - Saw Doctors
"The last Beat of my Heart" - Siouxsie & The Banshees
"Live before you die" - Social Distortion
"Reconsider me" - Moneybrother
"Buried Bones" - Tindersticks
"Neon Moon" - Midnight Choir
"Common People" - William Shatner
"Please don't leave" - The Ramones
"Like a Cannibal" - Mila Mar
"Ode to L.A." - The Raveonettes
"Landungsbrücken raus" - Kettcar
"Come back from San Francisco" - The Magnetic Fields
And don't forget: The limited digipack edition of "A Legacy of Love Mark II" is still available at Playbaker at a bargain price!
In the end there's a quotation of victorian poet Alfred Lord Tennyson that crossed my mind while I was going through recent occurrences:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892)
"In Memoriam" (1850)
Life fades away - Roy Orbison
Don’t play that Song (You lied) - Ben E. King
Levi Stubb’s Tears - Billy Bragg
Warning Sign - Coldplay
Brand New Start - Paul Weller
Love is Only a Feeling - The Darkness
Mary’s in India - Dido
With Whom to dance - The Divine Comedy
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
Boys of Melody - The Hidden Cameras
Sleep Well Tonight - Inspiral Carpets
Ascension - Kirlian Camera
Du sälde vära hjärtan - Lisa Ekdahl
Pillar of Davidson - Live
The Gift - Midge Ure
Dark Island - Mike Oldfield
Whale - Rescue Mission
Hear My Song - Vernon Midgely
Ring on the Sill - Cowboy Junkies
Until the Morning Comes - Tindersticks
Ciega Sordomuda - Shakira
All My Little Words - The Magnetic Fields
These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding
Shakin’ all over - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Say Hello Wave Goodbye - David Gray
That’s all for today — we’ll keep you informed about further developments!