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20240412 Morphose 081EXIL, Göttingen, Germany
12th April 2024
Morphose & Special Guests: audiocall

“Paths are made by walking.” Franz Kafka

So far, my concert reviews for Reflections of Darkness have focused solely on writing about DIARY OF DREAMS. The contact with the band has now become something very friendly, familiar; one knows each other, and capturing the mood becomes child’s play. However, to challenge myself a bit and to give space to the new, I have decided to take the plunge and write about two bands about which I basically know nothing or very little. MORPHOSE crossed my path briefly a while ago with ‘Spin the wheel’, but with AUDIOCALL, I had to start completely from scratch.

Of course, I’ve been diligent over the past few weeks, buying albums, listening, studying lyrics where available, scouring social media channels, searching the internet for interviews, and obtaining information in other ways. The focus of my concert reports always lies on the emotions and energies that unfold between the stage and the audience, and of course on my own thoughts and feelings, which start building up even before the actual event. The excitement begins with the purchase of the ticket, and perhaps one even travels to a place they’ve never been before, meets old acquaintances, and makes new connections. It’s an evening spent in a place where there is nothing but like-minded individuals, with whom one feels connected and shares emotions. A concert weekend is always like a little vacation for me, a very welcome break from the usual routine.

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And there’s also, of course, that unknown component X that adds to the excitement. Will I enjoy it? How crowded will it be? Will the spark ignite between the band and the audience? Sometimes the atmosphere explodes right from the first song, sometimes the tension builds more slowly. This doesn’t always depend solely on the artists on stage, but also on factors like the location of the performance and whether it’s their first time playing there, and they need to win over the audience. Ideally, though, the band falls in love with their audience right from the start of the performance, and the audience with the band. For both bands on this evening, it was their first live performance in Göttingen, so they began forging this first delicate bond with the city in a small setting. I had Helge Roewer from HR-Pictures with me today, who will provide the appropriate visual framework for my live review with his highly sought-after photos in the scene. Thank you for your company and the safe travels, dear Helge!

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My experience in Göttingen as my first stay in this city, began in a small group of five people who had travelled from different directions. However, our first stop was Chay Vegan Kitchen because a night with great music naturally calls for excellent food. We highly recommend this small, cozy restaurant with a focus on vegan Asian cuisine. Around 6:45 p.m., with full bellies and great anticipation, we made our way back to EXIL. Cheerfully, we strolled back to the venue over the city wall, where other familiar faces were already waiting outside the still-closed door. Shortly after 7 p.m., the club opened its doors, and my adventure of “bands I barely know and have never seen live” could begin. Encountering Arc Morten as one of the first at the merchandise stand once again demonstrated how familiar and relaxed small club concerts can be. Even though the presence of security personnel and the shielding of band members have their justification, this was definitely not the case at EXIL. The motto seemed to be “Welcome and come on in, let’s have a great evening together!” Not only are the bands new territory for me in a live setting, but EXIL also hadn’t yet made it onto my list of visited clubs. The initial impressions gleaned from various online channels promised a small, cozy, almost living-room-like meeting place. Located very centrally in Göttingen, EXIL has been hosting cultural events for lovers of various music genres for over 20 years. The club is operated by the association [sic!] Subculture Is Culture e.V. Whether it’s rock, pop, indie, alternative, hip-hop, sounds from the 60s, 70s, 80s, punk, wave, goth, synth, NDH, Medieval, Metal, Swing, or Charleston - the selection of sounds offered is seemingly endless.

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And indeed, EXIL is definitely the smallest club I’ve ever stayed in for a concert. However, since I’m generally not a fan of large events but rather enjoy and appreciate the intimacy of these small venues, I immediately fell in love with this cozy atmosphere. Everything is within close proximity; both the way to the bar and to the restroom are easily accessible without major detours, and even those needing a breath of fresh air can step outside and quickly return to the stage. What I had to adjust to, and which I really struggled with initially, was the realization that there will be just about 100 guests around. The fact that tonight’s event would take place in this very small setting initially made me feel uneasy, as I imagined how it must feel for the two bands who put considerable effort into their stage performance and naturally want to present it to as many people as possible. However, the realization that even with a very small audience, the spark can ignite passionately, and the number of people in the room becomes irrelevant, was ultimately the most impactful experience of the evening for me. As the saying goes: quality over quantity. One thing this concert evening definitely held was the most bizarre moment I’ve ever encountered at a concert, but more on that later.

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Due to the fact that AUDIOCALL, founded in Rastede, Lower Saxony, Germany, has only been around since August 2023, there isn’t much information available on the internet to adequately introduce the band. I wasn’t inclined to simply copy existing short texts, so instead, I took to the band’s social channels and gathered the most important information, as posted by Axel Tasler himself, as the basis for my band introduction. As evident from the band’s very first post on Facebook dated August 5, 2023, AUDIOCALL is characterized by a mix of Industrial, Rock, EBM, and Wave, with Bandcamp also mentioning additional Post-Punk elements. Powerful guitar riffs and basslines combined with a clear vocal style that confidently guides through the songs are defining elements of AUDIOCALL’s music. The main figure behind this new, fresh project is Axel Tasler (vocals, synth), known to many as the guitarist and programmer of the band STERIL. He is joined by Alex Bianco (guitar) and Thorsten Lücht (bass). The purely digital release of their first album ‘Know Your Murderer’ took place in August 2023 via Bandcamp, including a listening party and fan chat.

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Also in August, the first connection with MORPHOSE was established. Arc Morten shared the following statement: “Definitely give it a listen. A very beautiful and exciting project. I’m really looking forward to seeing you live!” Axel himself had his very own MORPHOSE “aha” moment in November 2023, as on his constant, but often unsuccessful quest for masterpieces that truly touch him, he stumbled upon the album ‘The Open Shutter’, which gripped him so much that he listened to it every morning after waking up and only stopped when he went to bed in the evening. “Music made for me”, you can read in a Facebook post. Just a month later, he saw MORPHOSE in Hanover at the Subkultur. It should come as no surprise now why these two bands were on stage together at EXIL. On February 23, 2024, the ‘Love Can Repeat Itself’ EP was digitally released, including a video. AUDIOCALL had their first live performance on March 23, 2024, at the Subkultur Hanover. “Game day” " as Axel announced. Reflections of Darkness were also live on site and wrote a very nice concert report about it. The release of ‘Know Your Murderer’ on CD and again digitally took place on March 28, 2024. AUDIOCALL is signed with the record label Dark Dimensions Label Group.

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Music & Performance
With a good seven minutes delay, at 8:22 p.m., the first musical part of the evening finally announced itself: a visibly cheerful Axel Tasler entered the stage with his two bandmates, introduced himself and his fellow bandmates, and took the opportunity, even before their own show, to mention that MORPHOSE is an awesome band with awesome songs. He also remarked that hopefully the fog would soon dissipate, referring to a fresh cloud of disco fog that was currently limiting the view of the stage and the audience. It was very encouraging to see the dance floor well filled, which dispelled any lingering uncertainty about the mood for the evening. AUDIOCALL boldly engaged with the audience from the very first moment, and there was never even a hint of disappointment that perhaps a few more people could have fit into the room. As the opener, AUDIOCALL had chosen ‘In the Rumours’, which was a change from the last setlist, as there had been obvious complaints about the selection of the first song. Taking criticism to heart, a new track was promptly chosen, and judging by the audience’s reaction and my own feeling, it was clear: it worked brilliantly to get them into the groove right away.

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The first impression was successfully set, as the applause was loud and intense. Axel joked briefly about his voice, which, due to hoarseness before the concert, sounded a bit like SKINNY PUPPY or a frog on drugs. However, there was no trace of hoarseness in his voice; it rang out clear and to the point. ‘Supreme World’ announced itself, and the audience left no doubt about its danceability. What immediately impressed me was the obvious, genuine joy with which AUDIOCALL performed in this small venue right from the start. I really appreciate it when there’s communication from the stage to the audience between the songs. Not only does it provide material for a concert review and fill it with content, it also creates closeness with the audience and reveals a thing or two about the band and the music. After the audience rewarded this song with enthusiastic applause as well, Axel thanked everyone for the warm reception and expressed how happy he was about the evening. The next song, ‘Where is the Love?’ was introduced briefly in terms of content. It’s about a married couple whose love is lost, and one of them can’t bear this state anymore and wonders where the love went. Axel immediately connected with the audience, saying that there are surely some in the room who have experienced this state before. This song, too, was celebrated, danced to, and rewarded with ample applause.

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My favourite of the AUDIOCALL set turned out to be ‘Leave My World’. This song hasn’t been released yet but will find its place on the upcoming album, slated for release in 2025. As Axel briefly explained, it’s about an alien that has been living on Earth for millennia but must watch as humans destroy its planet. For this reason, it spreads a virus so that humans will finally leave its Earth. Who can’t help but think of the not-so-distant past coronavirus pandemic in this context? As a track in a calm guise with a slow tempo, it offered a brief respite from dancing and mentally invited one to drift off and ponder where we humans will take this planet. However, less speed didn’t mean less applause - here too, the audience rewarded the band’s performance fittingly. And it was also clear here that the evening was going to be enveloped in a sauna-like atmosphere. The following song, ‘Out of Control’, starts with an unusual text passage that somewhat resembles a radio-read message from past times: “The direction we will move in was clear now, we’re not wanting it, without even knowing it. It made us blood brothers; we were becoming a gang.” It also stands out vocally and sonically from the other tracks. There’s a blend of coolness and power in the air, and it’s a great song to clap along with raised arms, enhancing the sound from the stage. Axel playfully interacts with the cameras and smartphones pointed in his direction during his vocal performance, readily posing for the occasional photo.

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As the last notes fade and the enthusiastic applause of the audience subsides, he thanks Willi for the great sound, noting that it’s so good that he’s never heard himself so clearly before, and I can only agree: the sound was truly fantastic. Willi Dammeier’s operation of an Institute for Sound Harmony Research certainly contributed to the sonic excellence of the evening. Thematically, ‘Out of Control’ deals with two souls coming together in the infinite universe and merging with each other. As the sixth song in AUDIOCALL’s repertoire for the evening, Axel introduced ‘The Tower’, but not without giving a brief explanation of its subject matter: a love relationship in which one partner withdraws, making it difficult to break down those walls. As I looked around the audience, I spotted some people fanning themselves with hand fans, and for a brief moment, I envied them for this simple idea of trying to cool down their faces in the sauna-like atmosphere of the club. The announcement by the frontman that the last song of the evening would be played was met directly from the audience with regretfulness. The grin on Axel’s face couldn’t hide how much he enjoyed this reaction, and at this point, he naturally knew that ‘Too Far’ wouldn’t be the last song of the evening. The song comes across as very refreshing and danceable, one might say catchy. And to briefly summarize the content: we all know what it’s like to have gone too far, each of us has done it here and there throughout our lives or painfully experienced it through others. The songs are thematically drawn from life, and everyone can find themselves in different places. Not all artists voluntarily disclose what their songs are about; some don’t even want their lyrics to be published.

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However, AUDIOCALL is very open about their lyrics, yet as a listener, you still have enough room to pick out the appropriate situation from your own life. After the last notes have sounded, the band leaves the stage to loud applause, whistles, and immediate calls for an encore. This performance, returning for an encore, was new for AUDIOCALL, as Axel immediately announced upon his return to the stage that this was the first time for his band. His wide grin left no doubt about how much he loved this moment, and the same went for his two bandmates, Alex and Thorsten. Since the following song wasn’t the expected ‘Love can repeat itself’, this meant that AUDIOCALL would be playing at least two more songs because without their most famous single, this evening would surely not end. ‘The Escape’ was the choice for the second last song, and for me, it was also the second favourite title in this setlist. That was exactly the rhythm I liked to dance to: not too fast and not too slow. And now the time was right to release the final song ‘Love can repeat itself’, which was released as a single on February 23, 2024. While many other bands incorporate their most famous songs pretty early on, AUDIOCALL saved this gem for the end to really whip up the energy in the room once again. Unplanned, the last number by AUDIOCALL also turned out to be the most curious of the evening, as in the middle of the song, a food delivery person entered from the right carrying a freshly prepared pizza on a large plate, completely unfazed by the proceedings, walked directly in front of the stage to the left, and disappeared behind a black curtain. This naturally caused both disbelief and hearty laughter on stage as well as in the audience.

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You’re almost done with your stage performance, and then such a delicious pizza walks right in front of your nose. As a final treat, there was a remix of various songs, but with that, AUDIOCALL’s program was definitively over at 9:10 p.m. With lots of applause and cheers, the obviously very happy trio was now released into the night. The premiere in Göttingen was a success, as the audience in the intimate setting had managed to make so much noise that, especially acoustically, it gave the impression that at least twice as many people were present. Dear Axel, Alex, and Thorsten: thank you very much for this atmospheric first hour of the evening, it was a lot of fun and left an impression. I wish you just as much good spirits and an equally enthusiastic audience for future performances. And as could be read on AUDIOCALL’s Facebook page two days after the event, the band found the evening to be fantastic and thanked not only for the great sound but also for the fantastic guests who created a great atmosphere from the beginning and were friendly to the band even after the concert. This concert will definitely remain in the trio’s memory. Dear Axel, not only you, but also your fan base will fondly remember this evening. Thank you all for this great entertainment. It was heartwarming to see how, as musicians, you can genuinely and wholeheartedly enjoy even a relatively small audience.

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01. In The Rumours
02. Supreme World
03. Where Is The Love?
04. Leave My World
05. Out Of Control
06. The Tower
07. Too Far
08. The Escape
09. Love Can Repeat Itself
10. Remix Of Various Songs

Music: 9
Performance: 7
Light: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

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To understand who and what MORPHOSE is, it’s best to quote the creator of this project, Christoph Schauer, himself: “MORPHOSE is like a hybrid, electronic, band-like project, where dark electronic vibrations, soundtrack-like arcs, catchy vocal lines, and dynamic drums and loops come together to create something that ideally evolves, expands, and constantly changes through its form and the people involved.” MORPHOSE was founded by Christoph Schauer in 2014 and began as an experiment with friends. At that time, however, the necessary network was lacking to further develop it, which led to it being put on hold for the time being. From this break came CYTO, but the Corona pandemic almost completely choked off this project, so the focus was then shifted back to MORPHOSE. In 2021, Christoph felt it was the right moment to approach various artists and see if they would be interested in singing for MORPHOSE. What started as a consideration of three pieces felt so good that the idea of making a complete release out of it quickly arose, which in turn led to the thought of also taking it to the stage. Christoph produces the songs, while the singers are given complete freedom regarding the lyrics. Live on stage, there is a fixed line-up consisting of Christoph Schauer (guitar, bass), Arc Morten (vocals, synth), Marius Lürig (drums), and Max Filges (keys). Guest singers join them, depending on who is available and not currently involved in their own projects. So far, the line-up has included Sascha Klein (NEUROTICFISH), Christian Schottstädt (FORCED TO MODE), Sven Friedrich (SOLAR FAKE), Lennart Salomon (SONO), Victorija Kukule (also known as Vic Anselmo), and Krischan Wesenberg (ROTERSAND).

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For those who want to continuously immerse themselves in MORPHOSE’s music, the three releases so far are highly recommended: ‘The Inexplicable Lightness Of The Dark’ (double EP, Oct 31, 2014), ‘The Inexplicable Darkness of Light’ (EP, Oct 14, 2023), and ‘The Open Shutter’ (Oct 13, 2023). MORPHOSE performed their first solo live show on October 15, 2022, at Subkultur Hanover. They are signed to the label Infacted Recordings, with management handled by neuWerk Music. Christoph Schauer hails from Hanover and has been living in Berlin since 2011. He is a freelance musician, composer, film music producer, and photographer. In 2021, he received the German Documentary Film Music Award for the German army documentary ‘Soldaten’ [Soldiers], and in 2023, he won the German Television Award in the category “Best Music Fiction” for the eight-part thriller series ‘Höllgrund’, released in 2022. He was also involved in the documentaries ‘Tod vor Lampedusa - Europas Sündenfall‘ (2015) and ‘Auf dünnem Eis - Die Asylentscheider‘ (2018). For those interested in his soundtrack releases, they should check out films such as ‘SUM 1’, ‘Abgeschnitten’, ‘Steig.Nicht.Aus!’, or ‘Freies Land’. However, his most well-known work is likely the series ‘Sløborn’, which revolves around a global pandemic and earned a nomination for the German Television Award in the “Soundtrack” category in 2021.

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Music & Performance
As soon as AUDIOCALL left the stage, diligent stagehands rushed forward to transform the stage to suit MORPHOSE’s style. This break gave the audience a chance to refill their empty glasses, get some fresh air, visit the merchandise stand, chat with musicians, or simply discuss the experience they just had. We all agreed that AUDIOCALL had made excellent use of their performance to not only showcase themselves but also to build anticipation for the main act. It took about 20 minutes until everything was set up for MORPHOSE to begin their stage show. The lights in the room dimmed, shifting the visual focus onto the stage, and at 9:34 p.m., the first gentle notes of ‘Open Shutter’ from the album of almost the same name, ‘The Open Shutter’, began to play. Emerging in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the album symbolizes the time when societal life began again after the closures. It felt like stepping back into the light, into the sun, after a prolonged period in darkness. Everything initially felt overexposed and blurry, uncertainty lingering about whether things would truly return to how they were before, and if not, what changes would occur. The audience was immediately present, filling the rows in front of the stage and welcoming the band with enthusiastic applause. Once again, I was amazed at how this small group of guests could create such a delightful uproar.

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‘Open Shutter’ was vocally delivered by Arc Morten and Lennart Salomon, the only singers of the evening. However, this didn’t detract from the songs on the setlist for the night. It actually added to the versatile nature of MORPHOSE, as each concert becomes a kind of surprise package, which of course adds an enormous allure. After Christoph, Arc, and Marius positioned themselves at their instruments on the stage, Christoph greeted the club-goers with “Good evening, we are MORPHOSE!” As the extremely atmospheric mood of the song continued to build, my anticipation grew until the vocals kicked in. Indeed, a few months ago, ‘Open Shutter’ had been my MORPHOSE “aha” moment when I heard it for the first time. I wasn’t prepared for that initial vocal part. It hit me like a bolt out of the blue. Quite literally, I was left breathless, wondering where this voice had suddenly come from. Why had I never heard it before? Who is this? What on earth had I been missing? There I sat, mouth agape, heart pounding, and goosebumps covering my entire body, unable to focus on anything other than this voice and the overwhelming force with which it enveloped me for the following hours. It was as if someone had stopped time. And as I stood there in Göttingen, experiencing MORPHOSE live for the first time, and Arc Morten began with his vibrating, gentle vocals, Steffi from our spontaneously assembled little concert travel group next to me suddenly grabbed her heart, her eyes widening.

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After she overcame her initial speechlessness, I heard her exclaim loudly, “What kind of voice is that?” She experienced exactly what I had back then, and it was hardly surprising that she had goosebumps all over her body. As a member of the SOLAR FAKE fan club, her focus is usually on Sven Friedrich, who unfortunately couldn’t be there today due to other commitments. To continue briefly mentioning absentees: Also absent today was Max, who had to drop out at the last minute due to illness. At this point, of course, let’s wish Max a speedy recovery and hope he feels better soon! The vocals now switched from Morten to Lennart, this unstoppable bundle of energy, who stepped onto the stage, positioned himself in the centre with his new, truly handsome guitar, and let ‘Open Shutter’ grow into a powerful number with his vocals. The audience didn’t even wait for the last note to fade before bursting into applause, so eager were they to properly honour this first song and express their enjoyment. This wave of euphoria was used to segue directly into the next track. With the following ‘Encounter’, the first song from the album ‘The Inexplicable Darkness of Light’ was announced, its lyrics penned by Lennart and accordingly performed by him tonight. From what I could see, Axel from AUDIOCALL had joined the crowd for some dancing, leaving no doubt that he was still having a great time even after his own show. ‘Encounter’ maintained the tempo of its predecessor, and even though the stage was very small, Lennart skilfully moved around, igniting the audience with his dynamism.

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The spark for a lively party had definitely ignited. Lennart understands how to spread the mood, after all, he’s been in the business with his band Sono since 2001, knows the stages of the world, and knows exactly which buttons to press to ensure that the audience cannot escape his energy. Song number three was also reserved for the SONO frontman, and with ‘Sounio’, a holiday atmosphere filled the air, not only because the video was shot in Greece. Cape Sounion, also known as Cape of Columns, is a cape at the southernmost tip of Attica in Greece. From an interview, I gathered that ‘Sounio’ is the most personal song on the album ‘The Open Shutter’ for Christoph. The moment in the video where doves rise into the sky reveals the most intense part of the album for him. This number, with its slower tempo, indeed planted images of the sea, beach, Greek temples, and good food in one’s mind. It was the perfect moment to slow down, listen to Lennart’s voice, and sway rhythmically. And since he didn’t need his guitar for this song, he simply swung it onto his back and carried it like a sort of light luggage until the end of the song. The feeling that this atmosphere simply shouldn’t end washed over me, but every beautiful vacation, no matter how short or long, eventually comes to an end. After the last notes of ‘Sounio’ faded away and the audience rewarded this short journey to the sea with plenty of applause, Lennart cheekily asked, “Can I do one more?” The initial “yes” shouts from the audience apparently weren’t enough for him, so he asked the question again, and this time, a doubly loud “YES!” thundered back at him.

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With ‘Spin the wheel’, the song was now played that I had encountered some time ago and liked so much that I listened to it on repeat for days, albeit without taking the step to explore further songs by MORPHOSE. I regret that because the project offers truly unique opportunities to compile albums and concerts with a variety of singers, and I wish I had known about it earlier. This song with its slow tempo, especially highlights the intense play of drummer Marius deep into the ears, and it’s no wonder that this song is part of the third season of the pandemic series ‘Sløborn’. A mixture of threat and new beginning resonates from the lyrics, and apparently, these lyrics are on the minds of much of the audience, as they sing along confidently. For those keeping an eye on Christoph, they’ll notice that throughout the concert, he switches back and forth between bass and guitar. Admittedly, the main focus is always on the people at the microphone, but one must not forget that there’s a complete band on stage, with each member giving their all and contributing to creating a memorable experience. Nevertheless, it’s not easy for a single observer to keep track of four musicians simultaneously and to store their actions and interactions over the course of an hour or more in such a way that one can accurately recount the concert afterward with equal focus on all musicians.

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To overlook or even ignore the drummer is naturally impossible, after all, he fuels the most imposing instrument on stage with his drumming. As one of the younger members of the live crew, Marius stands shoulder to shoulder with his older band mates, and his unadulterated passion, genuine brilliance, and intensity give MORPHOSE’s live sound that special dark and powerful touch. Anyone who wants to learn drums, guitar, or bass themselves can do so with Marius, because together with Dominik Dubig, he runs the small, private music school HINTERHOF HELDEN in Fritzlar. After exuberant applause filled the room, it was now time for Lennart to step back from the centre of the stage and leave the microphone to Morten, as he had the task today of not only performing his own songs but also those of Sascha and Viktorija. This, in turn, is exactly what MORPHOSE stands for: demonstrating the versatility of the songs through various interpreters. The opening song was ‘Control’, typically sung by Arc Morten. The song starts relatively calm and innocuous, but after about a minute, you get a very clear idea of the vocal power you’re dealing with. And it’s not just the vocal aspect; Morten’s physical presence and facial expressions speak volumes about the passion with which Christoph’s longtime companion presents his songs. It’s the exact opposite of the almost shy “hello” with which he greeted the audience. While I had seen Lennart live with SONO many years ago, know the songs of NEUROTICFISH, SOLAR FAKE, and have heard of Viktorija alias Vic Anselmo, Arc Morten appeared out of nowhere for me.

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You go to all sorts of concerts, dance and sing along to the lyrics, and can talk about the evening in detail for hours afterward, but this experience outshone everything I had experienced before. What followed were eight songs that left me speechless and emotionally turned me upside down. Anyone who knows what it means to be highly sensitive understands how emotions and sensations can intensify and how experiences of this kind can be physically overwhelming. I can’t deny: I was electrified, totally electrified, and unfortunately, that led me to completely forget to take notes from this point on. I was physically present, but I was so deeply immersed in the enjoyment mode that I did what I usually do when I’m not writing a concert review: I let myself be carried away and forget about the world. Singing along, dancing, applauding, all of that works, but observing details, that doesn’t work anymore. And anyway, where did ‘Control’ end and ‘Beneath it all’ begin, that enchanting little, little, little song to sing, which carried you away like a sky lantern? And isn’t it probably intended for you to just go with the flow? How can I stand firmly on the floor and not lose my grounding when such gripping songs are delivered with such vocal force? If I had even the slightest clue what would happen from this part of the setlist onward, I would probably have been a bit more cautious about my intention to put this evening into words. Was I the only one floating through time and space? The answer is no. In hope for a little help regarding what was happening on stage, I asked some other guests of that night and received feedback multiple times that people simply enjoyed the concert dreaming and with their eyes closed and unfortunately couldn’t say much about all the details I tried to restore.

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What Jürgen said, whom I met along with Steffi and Claudia that evening, is really worth to become a part of this review: “Why does he bring guest singers when he has such an awesome guy with him?” Because that’s the concept of MORPHOSE, dear Jürgen, to be on the road with different singers, even though I completely understand your enthusiasm for the performance of this one guy. Following the loud and vigorous applause for ‘Beneath it all’, ‘Patronize’ ensued, a song typically associated with Viktorija Kukule’s vocal range. Can it work to hand a song with such a high female voice to a man? Certainly, because he’s not doing it for the first time today. Morten has previously sung Viktorija’s songs, and from the reactions I’ve read, they all showed tremendous enthusiasm, which is completely understandable given what he did with this song on this evening as well. And because it worked so well, there was a second Viktorija song right after. At this point, at least mentally, I was back anchored in my task, and I noticed that the volume of the vocals didn’t come across as forcefully at my vantage point as it did for others closer to the stage. Perhaps some songs don’t work as well live as imagined. What struck me somewhat negatively at this point was that quite a few guests were conversing quite loudly, creating a noise level that was unnecessary and perhaps even dampened some of the sounds from the stage. ‘Voyager’ is such a captivating song, the way it builds up, grabs you, doesn’t let go, and draws you into another world. Why don’t listen, but talk? Nevertheless, it was truly difficult to resist this pulsating beat and enchanting vocals. Wild applause then brought the last dreamer back to reality, and it was time to slowly ramp up the pace.

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‘Moveout’ was on the program, typically reserved for Sascha Klein better known as NEUROTICFISH. Since the lyrics to MORPHOSE songs are not publicly available, I wrote them down by listening just to get a rough idea of what they could mean or what comes to mind for me. With ‘Moveout’, an immediate connection arose to my now very ambivalent relationship with my home state of Thuringia, which is due to the enormous shift to the political right side that is happening here so brazenly that thoughts of leaving arise, yet the unanswered question lingers of where to go. Or do you stay and try to stand up against it? Of course, various thoughts ran through my head during this song. However, one thing you didn’t have to ponder at all was whether it makes a difference who performs a song. Does it get more applause or less when another artist takes over? Morten doesn’t have to worry about that; the audience loved him and enthusiastically celebrated every one of his performances. What a special privilege to have such an audience! It got really wild and energetic with ‘Surrender’, another song whose lyrics are written by Sascha. I had no idea what bomb was about to go off. Even Lennart couldn’t resist rocking out with his guitar on stage. The obviously lyric-savvy audience danced, clapped, and generated a wave of euphoria that buried everything beneath it. And again, it didn’t matter at all that Sascha wasn’t at the microphone. The four on stage gave it their all, throwing themselves into the energy that blasted toward them and hurling it back with equal force. The audience raised their arms and clapped their souls out of their bodies in rhythm. What an energy was unleashed there!

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The frenetic applause, cheers, and whistles at the end of the song were more than deserved! After the thunderous applause subsided, the four musicians said their goodbyes and left the stage. But they weren’t getting away that easily. Calls for an encore rang out immediately and had their effect quite quickly because the band returned to the stage with happy faces. To the great delight of all CYTO fans, myself included, the first notes of ‘Again’ from the 2018 album ‘Dark Matter’ could be heard. Experiencing CYTO live again, for reasons that Christoph explained in an interview with Reflections of Darkness, will not be possible in the familiar form, but there is indeed a way to adopt the songs at MORPHOSE. And as the audience’s reaction showed, there is a great hope in the air not to let these beautiful songs fade into oblivion, especially because the live performance is a feast for the eyes and ears. With loud applause, enthusiastic whistles, and an eagerness for one more song, they then moved on to ‘Closed Shutter’, the last song of the sweaty evening, at least MORPHOSE thought this would be the final stroke of the evening. Not with us, dear friends, not with us, because we wanted to hear more! Even though the band initially left the stage despite the enthusiastic applause, the immediate surge of “encore” calls managed to bring Christoph and his guys back into the spotlight, and he commented on this moment with “We actually have nothing more,” which led to the spontaneous decision to just release ‘Encounter’ once again.

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It wouldn’t have mattered which song they chose; the audience would have enjoyed anything because who wants such a fantastic evening to end? Of course, it ended nonetheless, but with a warm, excited, and happy feeling in the heart. I can only speak for myself, but this concert was an almost out-of-body experience, like floating through space and time. To conclude with the words of Hans Christian Andersen: “Where words fail, music speaks.” Lined up in final formation for a group photo, MORPHOSE allowed themselves to be celebrated one last time for the evening, and thus the sweaty show came to a definitive end. Those who were up to dance the night away joined the after-show party “Night of Shadows” or engaged in some lively conversations. The merchandise stand was practically overrun after the concert, as some quickly grabbed a memento of this unforgettable evening to take home. What Christoph said about his concert could be read on Facebook two days later: “The 6th MORPHOSE concert: a blast at EXIL Göttingen. All I can say is THANK YOU!” Well then, let me say the same: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Until next time, hopefully in the not-too-distant future! By the way, the next album with the promising title ‘Fusion’ is already in the works, what brings along great anticipation.

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01. Open Shutter
02. Encounter
03. Sounio
04. Spin the wheel
05. Control
06. Beneath it all
07. Patronize
08. Voyager
09. Moveout
10. Surrender
11. Again
12. Closed shutter

Music: 10
Performance: 9
Light: 7
Sound: 9
Total: 8.8/10

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All Pictures by Helge Roewer

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