PDA

View Full Version : Alec Empire



francesco
29-03-2005, 06:15 PM
I think Empire deserve more credit for making some of the most interesting music of the '90, but his persona got rightly ridiculized for the Atari Teenage Riot crap (albeit a few singles, expecially Sick to Death were good) and his irritant "black and white" if you are not with me you' re the enemy kind of "extreme" leftism.
But a listen to "hypermodern jazz", "the destroyer" or "les filles mort" you discover some of the best electronica recently made. Also his music has always sounded to me like a perfect o.s.t. for b/z-movies that are no more made, a psychedelic lurid '60 technicolor sci-fi for "hypermodern", a easter ultraviolent low budget splatter for "destroyer", a black and white silent documentary for "les filles". Now there is a new album out, "The Futurist": Anyone had listened to it and can tell me is any good? Should be a metal or a punk album i belive... (yes, he his a bit of a Zelig). Opinions on this album and on Empire ouvre in general?

mms
29-03-2005, 06:29 PM
agreed, you can add low on ice to that as well.
generation starwars has that amazing lash up the 9ties track as well but is all a bit happy shopper early hard aphex after that.

even if he is a leather clad midget. ;)
he was also one of the early people to rinse out the punk/revolutionary potential of rave, also with those riot beats records he was one of the first non scene artists and one of the first non english artists to approach jungle with their own attitude, well before drill and bass was de rigeur with the idm hoi puloi.
some fkr nicked my copies of those tho. :(

digital hardcore are an oft ignored label too, that messthetics thing where tracks feel like everything is going to fall apart like shizio and bomb 20 sound crucial now, and cobra killer is just the most dislocated fucked thing ever.
i think they were overshadowed by their almost comedy polemics tho, teenage anarchy is hard to take.


tell u what as well, there were some great records on the hugley overlooked geist label the hanayo album gift is awesome , also so is the tatsuko asano cd

hamarplazt
29-03-2005, 07:26 PM
I think Empire deserve more credit for making some of the most interesting music of the '90, but his persona got rightly ridiculized for the Atari Teenage Riot crap (albeit a few singles, expecially Sick to Death were good) and his irritant "black and white" if you are not with me you' re the enemy kind of "extreme" leftism.
Yes yes yes!!! Empires five albums for Mille Plateaux are some of the greatest musical treasures of the nineties. My personal favorites are the first two, and Limited Editions in particular... it's so otherworldly strange and sad and dream-like... in a way everything Aphex' Selected Ambient Works is supposed to be, but much better I think. Generation Star Wars is more messy, but that's part of it's greatness. All five of them indespensible in any case. Some later stuff like Curse of the Golden Vampire and Miss Black America is still pretty brilliant, but all in all the Digital Hardcore thing was such a bad move for him... it was just so obvious what he was doing, so forced, such a lame return to rock'n'roll mythology. And of course, the best things on DHR was the least rockist - Patric Catani and Christoph de Babalon. (That said, ATR was actually much better than their image would suggest - the first album in particular, it's almost ravey). Still, no amount of lame retro hardcore punk romaticism or noise rethorics can take away his place in my personal canon as one of the greatest.

hamarplazt
29-03-2005, 07:42 PM
also with those riot beats records he was one of the first non scene artists and one of the first non english artists to approach jungle with their own attitude
You could say that Empire and Biochip C was pretty much the only non-english artists to make 100% original contributions to break beat rave prior to the jungle breakthrough. They actually made a split/remix-each-other-EP called Das Duell, containing what could be my all time favorite breakbeat track, the Biochip remix of Empires "Hetzjagd auf Nazis".



tell u what as well, there were some great records on the hugley overlooked geist label
Yes indeed. One of Like A Tims greatest moments with I'm Serious (but also one of his weakest with Yeah Right), and those Rope-albums. And Nic Endos She Sattelites... sounding like Alec should have sounded at that time.

Dubquixote
29-03-2005, 09:23 PM
Alec Empire's contributions to those Electric Ladyland compilations around 95/96 were pretty spectacular. I always appreciated him more down at hip hop tempo rather than jungle, personally. The apocalyptic industrial drones and post-rave distorted synths punctured by mangled breakbeats at 95 bpm always struck me as a winning combination for him. Come to think of it, a number of artists seemed to hit their peak on Electric Ladyland: Spooky, Vadim (Andre Gurov), Spectre, Techno Animal...

polystyle desu
29-03-2005, 11:03 PM
Did enjoy Alec's rampage through the '90's
Saw ATR blow away JS Blues Explosion @ The Roxy some years back ,
enjoyed a set of Alec DJ'ing static - drone spatial stuff opening for Shizuo,
the limited ed. release and my ATR long sleeved T with MIDI JUNKIES GONNA FUCK YOU UP on the back

Dug Christoph De Babalon track on DHC comp.
Missed the last couple A Empire releases ( miss anything good ?)
but have enjoyed DHC escapees Lolita Storm's recent (unreleased) track
"Dancin' With The Ibiza Dogs"

Glad he got up and did ATR tho' ,
did have to tell him @ Shizuo that 1997 N America wasn't quite ripe to join HIS revolution
Hope he evolves and keeps going ...

francesco
29-03-2005, 11:23 PM
Saw ATR blow away JS Blues Explosion @ The Roxy
The ATR raison d'etre should have been their live show, with little kids going pogoing to loud noise, and not a bunch of university nerds watching someone e-mailing on his laptop (like Oval shows). But then on records ATR were, some songs excepted, dull and boring.

jd_
30-03-2005, 12:27 AM
"digital hardcore are an oft ignored label too, that messthetics thing where tracks feel like everything is going to fall apart like shizio and bomb 20 sound crucial now, and cobra killer is just the most dislocated fucked thing ever.
i think they were overshadowed by their almost comedy polemics tho, teenage anarchy is hard to take."


I never heard CObra Killer at the time, just discovered their cd in the used bins a few months ago, but yeah I agree 100%, it's totally screwed up. THere's so many standard things thrown out the window and the songs when they work teeter between being pop and just a mess.

dubplatestyle
30-03-2005, 01:50 AM
empire's early breakbeat singles are just amazing. "hetzjagd auf nazis" fits nicely on a mix cd between entombed and nasenbluten.

believekevin
30-03-2005, 02:00 AM
I was just having a great conversation with an old friend of mine. We were both big into the DHR thing in high school (mid 90s.) I left it for hardcore punk whereas he went off on some indie rock thing. Having not seen each other in years, he was asking what I was listening to lately and I just kept thinking about finding the first ATR record.

Instead, I found "the Destroyer" in my brother's collection. Can't believe how fresh it sounds to these ears. Seriously ill.

What is this dude on now?

mister matthew
30-03-2005, 05:04 AM
agreed! don't know whether to put this in here or in the Shizou thread, but i think a lot of the music that came out on DHR gets a bit lost behind their stchick and exclamation marks.

the early Alec Empire mentioned above
Shizou
Patric Catani
Christophe De Babalon
some of Bomb20's stuff

all good stuff i reckon, + as mentioned before it's interesting to note in light of all the breakcore/idm-ish stuff coming out recently that is very much in the same style.

'The Futurist' coming soon to a Kerrang! cover story near you i would imagine though.

LRJP!
30-03-2005, 05:03 PM
This thread made me remember when I first heard I Luv U; not having much beyond the obvious Grime/Garage Rap knowledge at the time it struck me as quite DHR sounding. Still does a little bit I thinků

owen
30-03-2005, 06:06 PM
ha that's what i thought on first hearing it as well!

i'm glad to see DHR getting props here, they made the late 90s (which were, a couple of timbaland productions and the odd 2-step thing aside, possibly the worst time for music i've lived though) almost bearable.

cobra killer were/are fucking amazing....and bomb 20's 'field manual' was great, huge ugly industrial hip hop which came with an essay on counter-terrorism which seemed risible in 1998 and would probably be understated now....'the destroyer' seconded...and what a way with songtitles ATR had! 'your uniform (does not impress me!)' 'destroy 2000 years of culture!' there could be some bathos seeing them live though, i remember in '99 seeing them try to 'start the wiot' to an audience of NIN fans...

i like the way the best DHR stuff has this balance between (often intentionally) hilarious and terrifying. s'funny that the breakcore stuff is more aesthetically acceptable to some, this may have something to do with them abandoning the very heavy riot grrl influence that is all over DHR...(will come back to this thread when i've worked more at this conspiracy theory)

francesco
01-04-2005, 02:32 PM
Reading a review of "the Futurist" from an italian magazine, Blow Up, it gives 5 out of 10 and says is not as good as "intelligence and sacrifice" but painfull dull uninspired and boring digital hardcore punk rock on autopilot.

redcrescent
02-04-2005, 11:45 AM
'The Futurist' coming soon to a Kerrang! cover story near you i would imagine though.
I wouldn't be surprised if The Futurist gets better reviews in Metal than in electronica-oriented publications, actually.

mms
02-04-2005, 12:10 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if The Futurist gets better reviews in Metal than in electronica-oriented publications, actually.

yep that kinda industrial stuff gets reviewed and featured in metal mags alot.