Christian Morgenstern Live @ Ostermarsch – 15 04 2001
Götz-Christian Morgenstern was born on the 10th of November 1975 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Being interested in technical issues since he was a child, he bought his first Commodore Amiga when he was 15 and started interesting in graphics. Together with a classmate he founded a graphic-duo and pixelled the artwork for early computer-animated movies.
Morgenstern’s music inspired a young generation of musicians who have grown up to become pioneers of contemporary techno and other forms of electronic music.
It’s not easy to describe his style, as it shifted (sometimes drastically) from album to album – ranging from ghostly, ethereal, rhythmless electronica to hard-hitting techno that defines the 90’s techno scene in Germany.
Despite his flexible use of genre though, it is clear that as time passed he gathered experience and inspiration through his releases and relentless experimentation.
By 1994 Christian also started making music with the Amiga and produced Synthie-Pop and C-64 like tunes, only using Amiga internal samples and music capabilities.
Three tracks from that period can be heard on “Night Of The Living Deaf”, “Sexy World 1-4” and “Hawaii Blue” (“X-Mas In Freiburg”).
In 1995 he had his first contact with synthesizers, when Elef Tsiroudis (now owner of Shokoy Records) called him and told him about a Yamaha SY85 he bought and about his plans to produce electronic music.
So Christian also bought some equipment (after he worked at the local steel-melting factory) and travalled to Stuttgart. About six months later they released their first (and last) single on their own label “? Records” as Human Target.
1996 the team split, Christian bought a sample and started producing on his own. He released his first single on Important Extracts entitled “… Minus 38 And Counting…”, met Heiko Laux and gave him a demo tape containing the tracks of the “Miscellaneous EP”, that was released a month later on Kanzleramt Records.
In October 96 Christian started working at a computer-animation studio for several months, and created two experimental music clips for his tracks. 1997 he moves to Cologne and starts studying at the Academy of Media Arts. Further releases on Kanzleramt.
Besides producing records for labels like Kurbel, Konsquent and Creation Rebel, Christian gave birth to his own outlet Forte Records in 1999.
While he is known for his influence in underground and experimental music, part of what makes Morgenstern’s work so important is its acceptance and even incorporation of pop music as well.
Beginning with the hard 90’s Techno of his early Konsequent releases to the dark, moody techno of Miscellaneous (Kanzleramt, 1997) to the visionary Tech-House of Lydia (Forte, 2000) to the smooth Electro-Pop of Hawaii Blue (Forte, 2001) his albums continuously displayed an uncanny dedication to exploration.
Where as Christian used to produce his first releases only using an Amiga, a sampler, a mixing desk and an effects unit, he turned into a true gearhead, mainly using vintage equipment and tube amplifiers from the 70’s and early 80’s.
He developed his own, unique style and with the release of “Death Before Disko” in 1999, he proved once againt, that he was one of the most versatile Techno musicians. Along with “Death Before Disko” Christian produced his first experimental short movie entitled “M.I.L.K.” as part of his pre-exams.
Followed by this is the super-moody album “The Lydia EP”, released end of 1999, which is played by Djs throughout the world. After a little production break, Christian released his highly acclaimed Electro-Pop album “Hawaii Blue” in early 2001. This production is highly influenced by his undeniable affection for 80’s Pop and Rock music and can be seen as a further step in his development from a Techno artist to a musician.
As already suggested in previous works, with “Hawaii Blue”, he nearly totally refused to accept the club-compatibility dogma, and mixes Pop tunes with listening tracks and retro-ballads.
End of 2001 Christian cancels his studies to concentrate on Forte Records and making music.
Christian Morgenstern died on June 19th 2003 in his apartment in Cologne at the age of just 27. After skating with friends he went home because he felt pain in his chest. No one could reach him for a few days and finally a friend found him dead in his apartment. Christian was working night and day on his new album at the time.
Also evident in his music, Christian was a person who felt the world very deeply and often struggled with how to cope with this keen understanding. On June 17th, 2003 he decided to take his own life.
There have been many speculations and rumours about his death ranging from a skateboarding accident to a heart condition, but after time revealed details surrounding the incident it became increasingly evident that it was a decision that Christian himself made.
Pioneering producerJuan Atkins cites Toffler’s phrase “techno rebels” as inspiring him to use the word techno to describe the musical style he helped to create. This unique blend of influences aligns techno with the aesthetic referred to as afrofuturism. To producers such as Derrick May, the transference of spirit from the body to the machine is often a central preoccupation; essentially an expression of technological spirituality. In this manner: “techno dance music defeats what Adorno saw as the alienating effect of mechanisation on the modern consciousness”.