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The year was 1991. Alex Christensen had the idea to present Klaus Doldinger's main soundtrack-theme of one of his favourite movies 'Das Boot' (by Wolfgang Peterson) in another version, a techno-version. This extremely dynamic and powerful track with a lot of electronic sounds and underwater effects took German floor entirely while it peaked the charts in many countries: Norway, England, Denmark, Sweden, France, Holland, Belgium and Finland. Interestingly enough, this track was made to US and was released by a virtually unknown American label named 'Cohiba Records'. Das Boot was the first Platin-Maxi Single by this group, it sold at more than 500 000 copies.
In the beginning of 1993 U 96 released their first album called Das Boot. Another song in this album which is worth mentioning was I Wanna Be A Kennedy. In many places it reminded a 1980 hit from Visage : Fade to Grey. It this album produced by Matiz and AC16 (the team that actually produced all the U 96 albums), as guests were performing Miss Melody (Come 2 Gether and Ambient Underworld), Miss Andromeda (Sportly Animal-Loving Extravert) and a rapper named Satchmo in Ambient Underworld.
In 1993, U 96 released their second album entitled Replugged. It was Alex's response to what MTV-Unplugged series were presenting : a lot of rock while he was introducing a techno-rave style in the dance music. The first hit from this album was Love Sees No Colour. A reference to Das Boot was the techno version of War Of The Worlds. While Das Boot was the only one single to be released in the US, Love Sees No Colour was advertised in the US as : 'The Euro-techno smash finally invades American shores !'. A version of Love Sees No Colour remixed by Bass Bumpers as also released. The album was mostly recorded in France (Paris), written and composed by mostly French artists : Lagonda, Castioni, Wycombe, Ac Beat. As usual the album was produced by AC 16 and Matiz. Both producers were already in demand by many stars like Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin or Jean-Michel Jarre. This team of writers brought a French flavor to this album which can be clearly heard in Jean-Michel Jarre alike track called The One Russian. Alex Christensen meanwhile produced and composed songs for other artists. Probably the most well-known track written by him was released in 1994 : United sung by the team Prince Ital Joe and the ex- 'New Kid In The Block' Marky Mark.
The album Club Bizarre released in 1995 brought a quite new dimension to U 96's music and left a major impression on the new direction Eurodance was taking. The title song Club Bizarre was a small revolution. It was mixing the blue-sounded harmony with a strong and sharp sound of Vocoder creating a hybrid of melancholy and trance. The cover of this album showed Alex in crucified position. In Club Bizarre was also featured Das Boot II and Love Religion featuring Daisy Dee's voice. The closing song in this album was the ambient-styled Dark Room Rituals with the leading motiv from classic movie by Steven Spielberg 'The Close Encounter of The Third Kind'. This album had a new set of writers and composers. Besides Alex, the music and the texts were also written by Ingo Hauss, Helmut Hoinkis and Hayo Panarinfo. Another revolution was the release of a CD-ROM version fully interactive.
Both 1995 and 1996 were some year of changes for Alex Christensen. First, U 96 was joined by Dea-Li (Dorothy Lapi) (23) a beautiful, dark haired professional dancer and choreographer from Frankfurt with an admixture of Sicilian blood. The second change was the fact that Alex bought a new house in Mallorca, a small palace with 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, large living room, kitchens, huge dining room, 3 fireplaces, obviously a pool. and 2 fountains. But Alex's love affair with Mallorca is also partially professional. He performs several times a year in the island, the most often in disco temples like BCM or Joy Parade, which are among the biggest dance floors in Europe. Alex was often invited to Mallorca by DJ Sammy, 'The King of Disco Heat', co-owner of Joy Parade who also helped Alex in purchasing his new house. Most of the songs in his new album were actually composed in here.
In May 24th, 1996 U 96 released their fourth album entitled Heaven in which Dea-Li was featured (she participated in the preparation of 4 titles). Right from the start the title song Heaven, first single to be released, became a hit. The controversy around this track was an almost obvious 'ripoff' of Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time. The major difference beside the text is the speed of the track (154 BPM). Besides Heaven, the album contained several potential hits such as Are You Ready (sort of Trip Hop track but with nice sequence lines and vocals), A Night To Remember (nice male vocal, danceable Euro-Energy sound), Venus in Chains (which repealed to Grace Jones' hit Slave To The Rhythm), or the completely instrumental Drag Queen (acid sound with help of tribal drums).
During the summer Alex came back to Mallorca, where in July he took part to the meeting gathering the leading DJ's from Europe (such as Charlie Lownoise, Mental Theo, DJ Hooligan or Mark 'OH...). From Heaven, many singles were released. In May the title song Heaven was one of the summer hits of 1996. It was followed by A Night To Remember in August and Venus In Chains in October. In May 1997 U-96 released a new single entitled Seven Wonders, where a new vocalist was introduced : Nicky. Seven Wonders brought back the unique U 96 sound, virtual dance techno sound at its best.
2000 : U 96 released an album called Best Of 1991-2001 with 5 new songs and a bonus megamix CD. In the album's sleeve, you can find Alex's a and U96's story. There was also a new version of Das Boot released as a single, entitled Das Boot 2001.
2002 : some rumours are going around that there would be soon an full album called like I Love Italo Disco... The new video shows Alex with a nice girl called Yasmin K, who took part to the real-TV broadcast Popstars - his "new" artist-name would be "Alex C.". His new title was an interesting cover (also dance-style) from Corona's eurodance classic hit Rhythm Of The Night... Then came the singles Angel Of Darkness (named after the new Tomb Raider game) and Amigos Forever.
2003 : U 96 comes back again, wtih a new single entitled We Call It Love. It contains a sample of a pop-song, as well as soundparts of the hits Das Boot and Inside Your Dreams.
2005 : Love Sees No Color was covered by the project Shokata
2006 : New single of U96 feature Ben and it's a slow track entitled Vorbei. It peaked to #28 in the German charts. In May Alex worked on the new Paul Anka album. He had just finished the new Allessandro Safina album, and did also the top single Erinner Mich from Ivonne Catterfeld.
The follow-up single featured the rapper Das Bo, and was called Put On The Red Light. It was absolutely not a dance track. The video shooting was on October, 14th in the H1 CreamClub in Hamburg. The new album Out Of Wilhelmsburg is planned for release in 2007.
2007 : Dea Li, after a long pause during which she appeared in a few movies, released an album entitled Hungry as a Hunter.
2010 : Das Boot was remixed by Manolo Fernandez. The result is Das Boot 2010 by Manolo Fernandez vs. U96, released at the end of last March.
Thanks to Ulrich Valtat, Denis "DJ Hooligan" Zhabkine,
Tavi Meran, Nico and Shervin A.
The biography was last updated Sat, December 29th 2012
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Latest U96 news
21/08/2010 : U96 hit Das Boot was remixed by Manolo Fernandez. The result is Das Boot 2010 by Manolo Fernandez vs. U96, released at the end of last March. (Thanks to Eurodance Blog)
24/03/2009 : Dea Li, former U96 vocalist, recorded a new track call Hungry as a hunter. The song is a ballad with some chill-out influence... Discover it on her official Myspace (thanks to eurodance blog)
02/11/2008 : Guenta K released a cover of U96 hit Das Boot
16/10/2007 : Alex Christensen composed 2 new dance singles, one for U96 called Follow The Sun, and another called Du hast den schönsten Arsch der Welt, that he will release on 19th October under Alex C feat Y-ass. You can discover it on his Myspace (thanks to Tavi Meran).
12/11/2006 : U96's new single features the rapper Das Bo, and was called Put On The Red Light. The new album Out Of Wilhelmsburg is planned for release in 2007.
25/02/2006 : U96's new single will be out on the 3rd March (thanks to Shervin A)
01/01/2006 : New single of U96 will feature Ben and it will be entitled Vorbei. It should be released in March. The video is currently being shot (thanks to Denis "DJ Hooligan" Zhabkine).
Links to U96
DISCLAIMER : unless you see the artist's name among the credits of this biography, it was only created by gathering infos from the web and from fan sources. Sorry if, even if I did all verifications I could, some parts of the biography are false or lack accuracy. If you are the artist himself or contributed to the project, please wait till I come back from holidays.
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