The Deficit Myth…

Elf Number One and the Keyboard

Once upon a time there was a very happy land ruled by a great and loving King. In this happy land, everyone had a nice home to live in and plenty of healthy food to eat. All the children could go to school and college to learn, and there was a publicly-funded health service for everyone to use. The health service would look after them when they were hurt, sick, or feeling down.

In the middle of this happy land was a very special building called The Big Bank. Inside The Big Bank was a very special computer with a very special Keyboard. The special Keyboard was used to type numbers that created all the money in the land. The Keyboard was manned by the King’s wisest and most trusted advisor, Elf Number One.

Every day, Elf Number One sat down at his special Keyboard and typed just enough numbers to make sure that everyone had the money they needed to buy and sell things. No one was poor, no one was hungry, and no one was homeless.

It was a happy time.

Then one day, right around 1983, a bad fairy named Bad Fairy Thatcher arrived from a faraway land called NeoliberVille. Bad Fairy Thatcher cast a spell on the land which made the good and loving King fall into a deep, deep sleep. Bad Fairy Thatcher made herself Queen and told all the people that unless Elf Number One stopped using his special Keyboard right away, The Big Bank would run out of money! She said if The Big Bank ran out of money, it would cause terrible suffering for everyone – even the children that had not yet been born!

The next morning, Bad Fairy Thatcher banished Elf Number One from the land. She told the people that in order to prevent terrible suffering, the special Keyboard would have to be hidden away forever. She said form now on, if the people wanted houses, roads, schools, and hospitals, then the people would have to pay for it themselves.

At first the people didn’t understand. They knew about the special Keyboard. They knew how before Bad Fairy Thatcher came along that no one was poor, homeless, or hungry. But the spell Bad Fairy Thatcher cast was a powerful one, and gradually, everyone forgot how good it used to be.

Worst of all, when the people went to sleep each night, Bad Fairy Thatcher held a secret party at The Big Bank. She invited all her evil minion friends from the top-end of town and let them use the very special Keyboard to type as many numbers as they wanted. They kept all the money to themselves and got richer and richer while everyone else got poorer and poorer.

Then one fateful day, Bad Fairy Thatcher told everyone that there was no money left at all in The Big Bank!! She said that in order to make The Big Bank some money, she would have to sell all the nice things the people had needed. She sold the schools, the railways, she sold the houses, the gas and electricity. She even sold some hospitals and other pieces from the public health system. Bad Fairy Thatcher said this made her very upset but what could she do? “There is no alternative!”, she said. That very night, however, in her secret party at The Big Bank, Bad Fairy Thatcher and her evil minions laughed and laughed while typing themselves up some more numbers and more money.

Soon the people forgot all about Elf Number One and his special Keyboard. They forgot all about their good and loving King, and that they ever lived in a country where they didn’t have to pay for schools and hospitals. They forgot that people didn’t have to be poor and they even started getting used to the beggars on the street.

They were very, very sad. What had gone wrong? All the nice things they were once provided, they now had to pay for out of their own pockets. And when they ran out, they had to borrow some from the evil minions on the top end of town.

Then one day, many years later, a little girl named Stephanie was walking to school. She noticed that there were many homeless people, but also many empty houses. She saw that many were hungry, but there was plenty of food in the shops. She saw there were holes in the road, but plenty of stone and tools, and people who knew how to use the tools and also needed a job.

When she arrived at school she asked her teacher about this. Her teacher replied: “There’s not enough money to pay for it.”

“But,” Stephanie said, “that can’t be right. We don’t build houses with money. We don’t fill holes with money. We don’t eat money.”

Her teacher said, “But we have to find the money to pay for these things. There’s only so much to go around! If people are poor, I guess it’s because they don’t work hard enough.”

Stephanie thought about this. She knew plenty of people who worked very hard, but they didn’t have as much money as Bad Fairy Thatcher and her evil minion friends on the top end of town. Stephanie knew something was very wrong but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

“Can’t we just make more money?,” she asked. “Where does it come from?”

“I don’t remember,” said her teacher.

Stephanie decided to find out. Word spread across the land about Stephanie, and soon she received a mysterious message. It told her of a faraway place called The Post of Keynes. The Post of Keynes had many wise people, and it was said they knew the answers that Stephanie was seeking. She traveled there to talk to them.

The wise people from The Post of Keynes told Stephanie all about the great and loving King. They told her all about The Big Bank and its special computer and special Keyboard. And they told her about the King‘s wisest and most trusted advisor, Elf Number One. Then they told her about the terrible spell Bad Fairy Thatcher cast across the land and how it made the people forget how good it could be. Finally, they told Stephanie about how Bad Fairy Thatcher secretly used the Keyboard every night with her evil minions but every morning told the people how the Keyboard was hidden away forever.

Stephanie got very, very angry. She decided to learn everything she could, and write it all down in a book. She called the book The Deficit Myth and she made sure to write it in a way that everyone could understand what she learned from the wise people at The Post of Keynes.

Some claimed the book to be magic. But it was not. It was special though, because as soon as someone read final page, they suddenly remembered how it used to be. When they closed the book, Bad Fairy Thatcher’s spell was broken. It no longer worked!

The people now remembered, and they went to wake the King. They gave him a copy of Stephanie‘s book, and told him to read it right away. As soon as he finished the last page, he sent his royal guards to banish Bad Fairy Thatcher and her evil minions forever. The guards then searched for Elf Number One and returned him home, back to his special Keyboard at the special computer at The Big Bank.

Although it took some time, day after day, Elf Number One typed in all the numbers necessary to fix the terrible problems caused by Bad Fairy Thatcher. The King and all his people used the new money to hire lots more carpenters, builders, and others, to mend the roads and repair the roofs of the schools and hospitals. The beggars even began to disappear, because they were given homes to live in.

Things soon returned the way they were. The good and loving King once again ruled over the land. Everyone had a nice home to live in and healthy food to eat. All the children could go to school and college to learn, and there was a publicly-funded health service for everyone to use whenever they needed it.

…and they all lived happily ever after.

The end. 💖

Or is it?

One day a little while after Bad Fairy Thatcher and her evil minions were banished from the land, The King visited The Big Bank to see Elf Number One.

Elf Number One was very happy to see the King, and the King was very pleased to see Elf Number One. The King congratulated him on the good work he had done.

“Thank you sire”, said Elf Number One, “Now I would like you to meet Elf Number Two”.

Elf Number Two very shyly stepped forward and curtsied. The King greeted her most warmly and with a big smile of surprise asked: “And what is it you do in The Big Bank, Elf Number Two?”

“I work with Elf Number One, sire, but I have a different job altogether,” Elf Number Two said. “Elf Number One works on the money creating computer, sire, and I work on the money destroying computer”.

The King looked perplexed.

“We have a computer that destroys money?” he gasped, his eyes wide with disbelief.

“Yes, sire,” said Elf Number Two, “and I think we may have a problem…”

To be continued… 💖

MixTape #5 is SUPER-COOL…!

MixTape #5 is SUPER-COOL!I’ve managed to get one of my suppliers to do me an unbelievable deal on some printed CD wallets. So therefore I am now doing the MixTape series in a much more pro-looking way. Still only £5 and signed, what a bargain.

The MixTape series I’ve invented is a great way for me to work and produce music and a great way for you to help me carry on producing great music.

I’ve broken my old rule of not using computers. I am using the Universal Audio plug-ins to make the music sound polished and produced. I’m enjoying it as I’m using the computer with the same discipline I would use a tape recorder ie. no chopping up and quantizing, just playing live. 

I don’t really know what an album is anymore and Bandcamp is the perfect platform for releasing music in groups of songs and batches any which way you please.

With this MixTape release, I have captured a very raw and open sound. I wanted to get a Can type Inner Space (the name of their studio) sound. Can always recorded live and unrehearsed and on to 2 track (not multi-track) because for them it was about capturing the moment. They then edited and chopped about with the 2 track Stereo masters to edit song structures together and eliminate any out of time bits. 

I’ve done a similar thing with this MixTape CD and I started each song by simply playing a bassline live and then adding a baritone guitar and lead guitar, drums and vocal to it. In some cases I added a Fender Rhodes piano and Hammond Organ and on one song has a tiny bit of Moog Synth.

Everything is quite freeform and not thought about for too long, it’s only really thought about in the moment of playing. 

I think it sounds great, really raw and live and spontaneous, and at 35 minutes long with 7 tracks, it’s practically a full album. It would be for Can in 1974.

Give it a listen! 

Dream On 11 – Thanks…

Thanks to everyone who keeps supporting me by downloading or buying the Dream On albums. Dream On 11 was another cool release, this time a double CD, selling just under 50 copies in a couple of hours. Everybody should have received their CD’s by today (unless you are abroad).

I’m beginning to think most people see Bandcamp Friday as only selling the albums for that Friday because the drop off is so sudden on the following day. It’s best to buy them on the Friday as it means I don’t have to pay the bandcamp commision but I do still carry on selling what is left after that!

So….there are currently 4 CD’s of Dream On 11 in the shop which have been sitting there since Saturday!

Thanks again everyone. Wear a mask and protect others.

Limited Edition Tin & CD on Sale now £10

six by seven System One is out now. 

Today is Bandcamp Friday. The download to this album is only £1 but please give more if you can. 

If you bought a physical Mixtape series CD, you will have received a discount code in your email in box by now. Please check your spam and contact me if you can’t find the code.

1. When You Decide 02:56
2. I Forgot Who I Am 03:34
3. Vitriol 03:36
4. Dangerous World 04:00
5. Pure 60 04:14
6. What You Waiting For 05:26
7. There’s A Devil In Need 04:50
8. System One 03:52
9. Your Disguise Has Worn Thin 03:58
10. I Feel It 05:40
11. Conceal My Enemy 03:56
12. Perfection 04:08
13. Ghost Songs 04:46
14. Doing What Is Right 03:48
15. Rival 10:37

I hope you enjoy this album of ‘Anti-Songs’. No computer was used in the recording process and everything was played live without edits or fixing bits. The ‘mistakes’, the bits where you go out of time or play a slightly wonky note, they are the bits which make the music magical and unique. If you put 5 people in a room together to play, they will never play the same thing twice, it is impossible. So, therefore, all the songs that you love, which are recorded onto tape or whatever, and released as a vinyl album or cd or download are unique examples of just one interaction between the musicians.

…except, mostly, these days, they are not…

Since the computer came along, 99% of the music you hear is not a product of musicians playing together, it is the product of a concept of what people think something should sound like. If there was a live performance (which there rarely is) it is then ‘corrected’ ‘fixed’ ‘edited’ and ‘tuned’ later with a computer. This is the new ‘normal’.

I put all those words into inverted commas because they are highly subjective.

Who says it’s better if a drum hit is moved or a vocal is tuned? On what basis? Somebody has to make that decision, but ultimatly, who makes and why? The band? The label? The producer? And what do they base that decision making on? What are the criteria for perfect songs? The Beatles, The Stones? Ever wondered why the drums fade in and out at the end of Strawberry Fields?

Don’t forget, music was never supposed to be recorded, just played. You record it to sell it, which is a whole different thing. But these days, you don’t so much record it to sell it, you quite literally manufacture it to sell it. It is presented as an ideal, a kind of fake news, based upon decisions that have less to do with music and more to do with perfection. It’s like the model on the front of a woman’s magazine (same goes for a Mens Magazine), she doesn’t exist, all blemishes and imperfections are removed. 

I don’t want to live in an airbrushed world. Not really.

This album is covered in moles and blemishes, you just have to live with them, but the thing is, you won’t even notice them, and that is how it should be. Why should you care? 

Peace And Love and don’t believe anything. CHRIS 😉

Click HERE to buy The System One Tin for only £10.00
PS. I’m making 70 available this time instead of 50 and the last ‘Dream On’ tin, which sold out, is also now available again. You can find both tins on the merch page (along with the double CD Tin of Dream On 2 which is also for sale again)

System One & Yellow Vinyl Being Posted Next Week

six by seven – System One

On Friday I shall be releasing a new album in a tin.

For any of you who like the mixtape series, this will be an album’s worth of that type of sounding material. There will be tracks from the mixtape releases on this album but there are also many new songs.

Anyone who has bought the mixtape series physical releases will receive a discount code making this release cheaper. Apart from that, the 14 tracks on this record will be £1 to download rather than the usual £7, with the ability to donate more. Just give me £1 or what you think it is worth to you.

This is a great sounding album, please buy it if you can and help me out. Things have got tough again since everyone really helped out last March / April time. The album sounds like a great rock album.

The music for this album was made in a very specific way with specific instruments and sounds. Because of the methodology and the instrumentation it has ended up sounding like early Cure, Psychedelic Furs, and a bit of PIL.

There will be 50 tins in the first initial run and, as promised, I am also making more tins available from the previous Dream On releases which sold out. These will be available from Friday onwards and the new System One album Tin and download will be released on Friday at 12 PM as this is another Bandcamp no fees day.

Good News…

Today I received an email telling me the yellow vinyl Dream On albums have been shipped to Cargo and will be sent here shortly so I should be sending everyones vinyl out at the very beginning of next week.

Peace And Love Chris.

Have a listen to some of the tracks off the System One album below…

Dream On Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl On Sale this Friday

Bandcamp Vinyl 12" TemplateThis is a heads-up to let everyone know I will be pre-selling 50 vinyl signed and numbered copies of the Dream On Compilation album.

The limited-edition yellow vinyl records will go on sale at exactly 12 noon GMT on Friday 7th August.

This Friday is one of the Bandcamp non-fee paying days.

This album will be available in the shops but not until November and then only on Black Vinyl. There will also be more coloured vinyl available in the Cargo Shop around October but none of it will be signed or numbered.

No copies will be held back and exactly 50 will be sold in chronological order. Number #1 goes to the first buyer, natch!

Albums Go On Sale: 12 noon GMT on Friday 7th August.

Thanks. CHRIS