Sometime in the 90’s Christian Hornbostel was leading a very stressful life, playing at a club twice weekly on the weekend, working daily at a national radio station, whilst also producing in the evening’s together with Mr. Marvin, under the monikers of ‘Virtualmismo’, ‘VFR’ and ‘Tales of Underground’…
He recalls “It was not possible to get a few days breather from the backbreaking pace… we felt exhausted and began to feel less capable at work. Mr. Marvin was the first to understand that we needed to slam on the brakes and decided to quit drastically, leaving the music industry.”
After having lived over 25 years in Italy, Hornbostel felt he needed to change his pace of life, so decided to leave Italy for good and move north beyond the Alps.
After almost living 20 years in a small town in Upper Bavaria, closer to nature and better infrastructure, his dream for a more peaceful life finally came true. We caught up with him to get his views on the modern techno scene and find out what he’s been up to.
Hey Christian, we hear you found your dream place to live. Do you get to play locally?
At the moment I play twice a month at the club, nationally and internationally. In addition to this I have a quarterly residency at Climax Institutes in Stuttgart, that is for sure one of the most important clubs in Germany, concerning techno and tech house music.
Which artists inspire the music you’re making right now or have been a real influence in your career?
This may sound crazy but I’ve always been influenced rather by rock, jazz, classical and pop music than by straight dance music. Among the most influential artists I have found inspiring are Pink Floyd, Brand-X, Santana, Miles Davis, Genesis, Kraftwerk, bands and artists that are really different from each other but maybe this is the key to the creative process.
I fully agree with Charles Darwin who said “I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them.” I love elaborate studio effects, such as backwards tapes, phasing, long delay loops, and extreme reverb, but I also love elaborate song structures and extended instrumental segments.
Unfortunately according to today’s techno music industry, that in my opinion appears to be on the decline, avant-garde and experimental music may be interpreted as something below standard.
Only a few labels have still the courage to dare and to take risks. But the current general sound is too standardised, too uniform and similar. You have feeling like there is a competition between labels, who will be someone’s copy and that is actually so sad and without creativity.
What do you stand for as an artist and do you feel the scene is a lot more fake now?
I am a musician. I studied classical music in college and later, as a working musician, I have played many live gigs with bands before starting my DJ career. A musician knows well how music influences positive emotion, engagement, relationships. These days are a lot of fake deejays, fake influencers, fake models, with fake cookies and fake social-media accounts. I don’t hate them but I just can’t understand them. OK, I know, money can buy you fame these days in several different ways. But deep in your heart you will always know that you are a fake, especially because – as somebody said – dignity does not consist in possessing honours, but in deserving them.
Share with us some of the biggest highlights from your career to date?
My motto has always been, that everyday is a special day. Being thankful develops a positive mindset, especially when we practice it every day. This means that also every composition, every production, every gig is something special, no matter where it is.
Let’s face it, great things are done by a series of small things brought together. And they are called hard work, strong daily commitment and the passion you put into your work.
As deejay I played in some of the best clubs of the world, as producer I released tracks on illustrious labels and as remixer I had the honour of remixing some of music’s finest names. Nevertheless, I am still hungry, I enjoy working at my recording studio and at the club and every time is like the first time. And this is my daily biggest highlight.
Tell us more about your latest release that we premiered and who’s been supporting it ?
I think that this is a really cool package. I love both remixers. Of course Dextro’s remix, with his industrial elements is very different than Rich Venom’s one, that is tinged with acid. But at the end both remixes complement each other and bring an added value to the original mixes. “Sigma” EP has received early support from DEAS, Drumcomplex, Forest People, Florian Meindl, Superstrobe, Paula Cazenave, Mladen Tomic, Paco Osuna, ZØE, Alexi Delano.
Talk to us about your DJ setup when you’re performing.
Well, I started my career as vinyl deejay, then I became a CD deejay and since 4 years I am working with Rekordbox.. so I’m always open to new technical opportunities. And… yes! I have some concrete plans for an integrated live performance. At the moment I am working on a live project together with Thomas Foster, an Austrian producer/musician, who built and customized the innovative multi-touch screen instrument NYX, which to date, remains unique as only one exists worldwide. We hope to be ready before the end of the year in order to perform live together.
Do you have any future project news you want to share?
In addition to the usual studio production, I started recently two tracks of my first album, that will also contain new mixes of old tracks of mine, furthermore I am working on a concept album based on specific works of science fiction, including ambient soundtracks and classical music adaptations.