Moritz von Oswald, legendary master of electronic experimentalism and technical exactitude, has an unassailable place in the modern history of forward-thinking music. To follow his career is to take a guided tour through some of the most important developments, places and people in the history of electronic music.
Trained as a classical percussionist, von Oswald joined avant-garde new wave band Palais Schaumburg in the early 80s. His growing interest in the possibilities of electronic music culminated in a landmark collaboration with Thomas Fehlmann in 2MB (and 3MB). By the early 90s he had gone on to found Basic Channel (with Mark Ernestus), whose releases would go on to define and epitomize various strains of techno. As a central figure in the Berlin techno scene which coalesced around the Tresor club and label, von Oswald helped initiate and develop the famous Berlin-Detroit access, collaborating with pathbreaking artists in the burgeoning Techno scene across the Atlantic such as Juan Atkins, Eddie “Flashin” Fowlkes, Jeff Mills and many others. As half of both Maurizio and Rhythm & Sound (again with Mark Ernestus) he transformed this new sound in respectively minimal and dub-inflected directions, originating traditions in electronic music that continue to this day. Von Oswald’s influence on the fledgling music scene in Berlin also had a more concrete dimension flowing from his tireless work as a mastering and cutting engineer at the legendary Dubplates & Mastering studio. Since the new millennium, von Oswald has branched out into more experimental and improvisational contexts: a landmark release for Deutsche Grammophon which commissioned him and Carl Craig combine to recompose music from Ravel and Mussorgsky, a critically acclaimed collaboration with Norwegian jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer for Universal Music as well as continued recorded and live work as The Moritz von Oswald Trio which sees him ‘conduct’ Max Loderbauer, and Tony Allen. Von Oswald’s later work builds on his illustrious output from the 90s - which has now entered the canon of truly original and influential electronic music - and expand it through novel projects, collaborations and performances.