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Out of the dark ashes of Applewax comes a glorious collection of songs and sounds. Mellotron, synths & 12-string guitars!
Out of the dark ashes of Applewax comes a glorious collection of songs and sounds. Mellotron, synths & 12-string guitars!
82 backers pledged $4,236 to help bring this project to life.

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Natural Causes - Anton Barbeau's new album comes alive! project video thumbnail
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I'm nothing if not prolific! I've finished up a new album called Natural Causes. It's quite a shimmery thing, with 12-string guitars, Mellotrons and analog synths on every track. It was important to me to make as lovely a sound as I could across a whole album. I've said before that my previous record, Magic Act, could have been my first album or my last, but seeing as how we're all still here and I've not stopped making music, I've come up with something that feels like a worthy next record, part 2 in what's apparently going to be a trilogy. As with Magic Act, Natural Causes mixes up pop songs with weirdo material. There are a few choice remakes of older Ant songs, like Magazine Street, finally as jangly as it was always meant to be. Creepy Tray, on the other hand, sheds its previous bubblegum skin and presents itself as a mournful, aching ballad. Most of the songs on the album are new - Disambiguation was written to be recorded at Abbey Road (!), but when that didn't happen, Urbano and Robbie McIntosh stepped in to bring it up to worldly spec. I wrote Summer of Gold for Allyson Seconds to sing, but my version is lifted high by Nick and Ade from the Bevis Frond (Urbano on drums again!). Neck Pillow, a sadder song than the title suggests, was me in Spain wishing I'd written Behind Blue Eyes. Another song from Spain is Secretion of the Wafer, which is, dare I say, even partly inspired by the glories of crowd funding. A different recording of the song was released by the Fruits de Mer label, but the Natural Causes track is the original version. I won't give a play by play for every song, but I can say that the new songs and the remakes fit together like snakes in a warm cave. This album came together quite quickly, but only after I'd abandoned a whole other album called Applewax. Some songs from that weird mess ended up on NC, so it's not like my musical world is a series of pizzas one then the next - sometimes the kitchen is cranking out slow soup, funeral cookies and quick biscuits all at once.

Risks and challenges

This is my 6th crowd funding campaign. Yow. While I can't help admit there's always a level of anxiety and anguish involved (nothing like crowd funding to bring out the best of self-doubt!), it feels fairly safe to say I've settled into a mode of working that, well, seems to work. My costs are pretty consistent - I'm asking for money to produce 1000 CDs, plus postage, publicity and musician/video fees. I want my fans, friends and family to know about Natural Causes, but I also want to give the record a chance to reach people who don't know my music yet. I'm asking to cover approximately the same costs as I have in my previous (dare I say successful) campaigns.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Natural Causes download (320kbps)

    The album itself made up of invisible digital bits and sent via wires in the air and everywhere!

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    Natural Causes CD

    The album on CD in sexy digifile packaging.

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    Signed Natural Causes CD

    Exactly as stated! (Oh, signed by ME, I should add...)

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Natural Causes and Antronica 2 - CD

    Un-signed (but you know, bring 'em to a gig and let the Sharpie do the talking, eh wot?) copies of the latest double-dose of Ant. Natural Causes, naturally, and Antronica 2. That's 31 tracks for $30 - magic!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    "Heaven" FdM EP + NC

    This is the "Heaven is in Your Mind" vinyl EP released this year on Fruits de Mer. I cover Bowie, Big Star and Traffic, plus there's a special version of Secretion of the Wafer. Plus NC on CD, of course! Yellow or blue vinyl - depends where I'm sending from!! (Shipping included)

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Village outtakes (CD-R + NC CD)

    A nice mess of remixes and messy dubs from the Village of the Apple Sun album. I found a small stack of CD-Rs from back in the day and am offering them up here.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Applewax outtakes (CD-R + NC CD)

    Before there was Natural Causes, there was Applewax. If NC feels focused and fits itself, I'd say Apple Wax was a confused batch of eggs and chickens. Still, lots of good material, a full album's worth. Maybe Applewax will see a new shape someday, but for now, for you, it's a bonus mess on CD-R.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    The "White EP" (FdM) + NC

    I found a box in the cellar of these very collectible EPs. The White EP spreads 8 songs across two 7" disks, white vinyl. Oh, and those songs are covers from the Beatles' White Album, naturally. TMT does Cry Baby Cry, the Pretty Things do Helter Skelter... the Bevis Frond are on, Luck of Eden Hall - all sorts of fab freaks! Plus NC, naturally... (Shipping included)

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    No More Love Guitars - tape (+ NC CD)

    A rarity indeed! 1990, I think. Sealed cassette. John Botch (of Tape Op mag fame) told me if I put a band together, he'd stick me in the studio. With Urbano on drums, Erik Kleven on bass and Don Hawkins on gtr, we knocked out an album in a day (give or take a few weeks of overdubs.) A few gems, like the title track, Marshmallow Man and the original Magazine Street, alongside a few un-gems!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Gentle - Cassette (+ Nat Causes CD)

    Another sealed cassette tape found in my dad's basement. Material from this tape and from No More Love Guitars turned into the JoyBoy's first CD, Horse's Tongue. I always thought Gentle was quite solid in its own right, and I'm amused to have found a sealed copy of the little creep!

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    Ant Vintage press kit (+ NC CD)

    An odd one, but this is an early-90s press kit from the Kinko's days. Multicolored sheets, all sorts of amusing reviews, plus a "classic" Ant promo shot.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Back To Balmain (tape) + NC CD

    I thought these were all gone, but I've been scouring my dad's house for items and found a sealed copy of what I always felt was my best cassette. The songs are pretty solid (Er, aside from Peggy Jo Rap) and I was not too bad at cranking a solid sound out of my little 4-track machine. Now, a couple of songs from this tape are coming out on the Antronica 2 CD, but here's your chance to get the original beast of burden. Includes lyric sheet even - I'd almost forgot!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Magic Act on LP + NC on CD

    My last album, Magic Act, on sexy Spanish vinyl. The song High Noon features a different rhythm track from Colin Moulding and Michael Urbano than the CD version. Plus NC on CD, of course. (Shipping included)

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Tote bag (+ NC CD)

    Choose from one of three Ant designs, and get the Natural Causes CD included in yr bag! (The bags will be perfect for you to carry NC around when it comes out next year on LP, innit!)

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    Other Ant CD, signed, plus signed NC.

    Pick out any available Ant CD and I'll sign it and send it along with a signed Natural Causes.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Natural Causes/Magic Act - signed

    Natural Causes is part 2 in a trilogy, I'm told, with Magic Act being part 1. I'm excited to have these two albums together in the same world. I'll sign them for you to prove it!

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    Signed NC and signed Antronica 2 - CD

    Get all the latest Ant at once! The jangling choirs of Natural Causes and the dusty new synth sounds of Antronica 2! Signed by Himself!

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    Signed photo print (includes CD)

    Select one of Ant's photos, have him sign it and even send it!

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    Original artwork (+ NC CD)

    An Ant drawing or collage or who knows what. It'll be worth millions some day, or not!

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    NC + Antronica 2 + Village outtakes

    Three CDs for the price of 3!! Two fresh off the press and one dusty collection of never-old ancient rokka!

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    NC + Antronica 2 + Applewax outtakes

    Three CDs for the price of 3!! Two fresh off the press and one murky couldabeen!

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    The "White EP" + Applewax + NC

    Yep - two slices of white vinyl, one "real" CD-R and an actual REPLICATED thing. Together in a single envelope just for you!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Ant "critiques" your song (+NC CD)

    If you have a song of your own that you'd like me to take a listen to, I'm happy to offer up what I hope will be helpful suggestions.

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    Skype mini-concert (+NC CD)

    Ant performs 4 songs of your choosing (well...) and you get a CD of the Natural Causes album as well.

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    Ant overdub on yr track (+NC CD)

    You've got a song that needs an Ant track? I'll play synth or guitar or sing or add bass etc. Depending on where I'm at, I have access to various other instruments. Real Mellotron? Drums? I'm happy to take guidance on a track, or to do me own thing, man. I always like playing on people's records, so this is a fun one for me.

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    Short-form video!

    We'll make you a minute-long film based on footage you send. Want us to make your cat a star? Want us to add family members to a holiday that never happened? We've got green screen skills and the will to make weird things happen.

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    Ant re-records an Ant song

    You pick the Ant song, I'll give it a fresh treatment. Much fun!

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    House concert (+ NC CD)

    Ant brings you the glory of a 45-minute set into the living room or venue of your choice.You'll need to cover transportation (and possibly accommodation) costs, but you knew that.

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    Ant writes a song for you (+NC CD)

    Another "always fun one," I'll indeed conjure up a song for you. I can't guarantee I'll give you the Carly Simon treatment, but I'm willing to personalize the song (within reason) to suit your wishes. Want a song for someone's birthday or bath time? Songs make weird gifts!

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    3-minute* pop video!

    If you've got a song and you or your song want a video, we'll conjure something hot. Within two hours of Sacramento, we can come to you for a quick shoot. Elsewhere in the world? Write for options and we'll figure something out.

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Funding period

- (30 days)