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Alec Empire

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Berlin, Germany

Alec Empire is undoubtedly a veteran, having released his first record while still at school. At the age of fourteen he formed his English-speaking band, Die Kinder (The Children), supporting bands like Die Toten Hosen. With Atari Teenage Riot he incited rebellion, while still finding time to battle as a DJ with Q-Bert and Mixmaster Mike, and make more remixes than most people have had hot dinners! Though maybe primarily known for his groundbreaking recordings, Alec has from the very beginning been a highly respected artist in other fields for his experimental releases and remix work , and has always shown a desire to push his sound in new directions.

Founder of Berlin’s Digital Hardcore Recordings, Empire created some of the most musically diverse works of the 1990s. Empire was often identified with (and pigeonholed for) his ATR productions — lo-fi breakbeats played at the speed of thrash that simultaneously embraced the energy of punk, the uncompromising ferocity of industrial music, and the futurism of techno.
On his solo albums, however, Empire ranged through isolationist ambient, electro, breakbeat, hard techno, even twisted lounge music. As such, he gained fans in several fields while recording for the German experimental/electronic label Mille Plateaux. Still, his first American exposure came when the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal Records signed Atari Teenage Riot in 1996.

Born on May 2, 1972, in West Berlin, Alec Empire was influenced early on by rap and the breakdancing scene.

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