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Bonus Bits & Blunders

The Ant Band – Bonus Bits & Blunders

Only five months after the release of their successful debut album A Light on the Hill, the German musicians' collective is following up with the release of Bonus Bits & Blunders, another CD album with a playing time of just under 40 minutes. The title is of course reminiscent of Anthony Phillips' legendary Private Parts & Pieces series and also provides a hint at the content: similar to Phillips' compilation albums with outtakes and sketches (from which a large part of the Ant Band repertoire was fed), this is also a collection of guide tracks and abandoned ideas from A Light on the Hill plus three rare live recordings. Fittingly, the final artwork draft for A Light on the Hill served as the basis for the front cover.

The album will be available exclusively via Bandcamp, both individually and as a bundle with A Light on the Hill at a special discounted price. Those who have already purchased the debut album on Bandcamp will of course be sent a code for corresponding discount. The edition is strictly limited to 200 (numbered) copies.

As with A Light on the Hill, the proceeds will again be donated to #Coronakuenstlerhilfe. This is particularly important at the moment because "the Ukraine war has noticeably reduced the willingness to donate, but unfortunately the problems in the art and culture sector are still rather worsening, even if the easing of the restrictions conveys a different image," says the initiator Timm Markgraf.

About the content - five of the nine pieces are alternative mixes from the sessions for A Light on the Hill, which are clearly different from the album versions.

After Stranger in the live version from the Anthony Phillips event of the fan club in Welkers 2014 was already to be heard on the issue CD of the German "Empire" magazine (No. 144), here are three further live recordings of this performance, including Slow Dance (excerpt from Part 1) in the quartet arrangement for synthesizers, real guitars and flutes.

Track by Track

1. Moon's Lament for the Sun (guitar mix) 3:48

Performed by Nina Morgenstern (vocals), Sascha Krieger (acoustic guitar), Bert Wenndorff (Taurus bass)

A mostly acoustic version, which was considered when Sascha submitted his fine acoustic guitar. 

2. Stranger (Rock mix) 4:18

Performed by Robin Morgenstern (vocals), Damian Krebs (drums), Martin Brilla, Thomas Lehr, Bert Wenndorff (keyboards), Andreas Lauer (accordion), Tom Morgenstern (12-string guitar, bass), Nina Morgenstern (backing vocals)

The original idea to turn the song into a midtempo rocker was discarded late on, when it became obvious that it didn’t fit well with the melancholy lyrics. In the process, many good takes fell by the wayside, for example Damian’s drums and Martin’s cello.

The Ant Band - Sascha Krieger3. Collections/Sleepfall... (live) 3:36

Performed by Sascha Krieger (vocals, acoustic guitar)

Sascha’s performance is perhaps the best example of the wonderful and whimsical atmosphere of the Ant Event weekend that started it all.

4. God if I Saw Her Now (Reggae mix) 3:33

Performed by Nina Morgenstern, Robin Morgenstern (vocals), Tom Morgenstern (guitars, bass, Mellotron flute, backing vocals), Bert Wenndorff (keyboards, backing vocals, percussion)

This recording was started back in 2012, and has gone through many different arrangements over time. The weirdest one was a kind of reggae version, which of course was at odds with the sorrowful lyrics. Bert’s percussions were also rather too upbeat for the final version.

5. Field of Eternity (new recording) 5:05

Performed by Gereon Schoplick (classical guitar)

Gereon had already performed this masterpiece in Welkers 2014, but the live recording was unusable. Fortunately he was able to reproduce his performance in the studio.

6. Unheard Cry (unused guide version) 4:04

Performed by Nina Morgenstern (vocals), Peter Musto (all instruments)

Peter’s guide version had a special quality all of its own, but we couldn’t use it at the time. Mainly because the pre-recorded 12-string guitar parts could not be adapted to his constant tempo. Instead, his keyboards were integrated into the released version.

7. Silver Song (live) 3:37

Performed by Nina Morgenstern (vocals), Robin Morgenstern (acoustic guitar, vocals), Tom Morgenstern (12-string guitar, vocals)

This song did not fit into the concept of our album, because the original is almost perfectly arranged and recorded. Besides, we didn’t want to overlap with other tribute albums ...

8. She'll be Waiting (guide mix) 4:08

Performed by Tom Morgenstern (vocals, all instruments)

Normally, the guide tracks were not elaborated to this extent. But here the strange open-tuning chords often lacked root notes, so it seemed necessary to play the bass notes as well. Robin was unfortunately not available for the vocals here.

9. Slow Dance (excerpt from pt. 1) (live) 6:22

Performed by Martin Brilla (synthesizer), Sascha Krieger (classical guitar, synthesizer), Tom Morgenstern (classical guitar, synthesizer), Thomas Waltner (synthesizer, flute, recorder)

Finally, the live version of ‘Slow Dance’ in the quartet arrangement for synthesizers, real guitars and flutes. It will always be associated with our “musical director” Thomas Waltner, who sadly died far too early in January 2017.

Photo: Anneke Brüning


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