Atari Teenage Riot Cofounder Dead At 30

Techno musician had suffered psychotic episodes; alcohol, pills found in stomach.

Atari Teenage Riot cofounder Carl Crack has died at age 30.

Crack (born Karl Bohm) was found in his Berlin apartment on September 6, a spokesperson for Digital Hardcore Recordings, the Berlin techno band's label, said Monday (September 24).

Alcohol and unspecified pills were found in Crack's stomach.

The vocalist had received psychiatric treatment in the past, but friends had not reported anything recently that would give rise to concern, Digital Hardcore said in a statement.

ATR were taking a year off after touring for several months behind 1999's 60 Second Wipe Out. Crack was working on the follow-up to his instrumental solo debut, Black Ark.

"His sudden death has hit me very hard and it is not easy for me to find the right words," ATR cofounder Alec Empire said in a statement. "I played in a band with Carl for 10 years. We've been through a lot together in all those times. He was my friend."

ATR, whose controversial first single was titled "Hunting for Nazis," are the forerunners of a politically charged hardcore techno movement that includes the Prodigy and EC8OR. Two years after forming Digital Hardcore in 1994, the group signed on for U.S. distribution via the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label, which released 1997's Burn, Berlin, Burn, a compilation of songs from its European releases.

Empire and Crack had communicated only by email since ATR's most recent tour concluded in March 2000.

"There was too much between all the members of the band and we all needed space to recover," Empire said. "He wrote to me that things were going better for him, he was playing music in different projects. And that he wanted to start a long-term therapy. He had suffered since a teenager from psychotic attacks, which I watched getting worse each year. I hoped that he would be able to work things out. His letters sounded positive and optimistic.

"I am very proud of him, and of what he has achieved as an artist," Empire continued. "People like us can't even imagine how hard it must have been for him to deal with those attacks, to record and perform, and on top of that, to take care of his personal life and relationships. I just wish we had talked in person one more time, even though we cleared things in the letters. I will miss him. Carl, we'll never forget you."

Empire recently finished recording a solo album and is preparing to tour, the Digital Hardcore spokesperson said. ATR had not planned to reconvene until 2003. Empire and bandmate Hanin Elias have not discussed the group's future.