Alec Empire released Intelligence and Sacrifice on April 22nd on Digital Hardcore. Alec Empires astounding output over the last eight years has encompassed the all out noise assault of Atari Teenage Riot and his own, Destroyer, album to the neo-classicism of, Les Etoiles, and the conceptual modernism of, Hypermodern Jazz.
Empire has drawn together these diverse approaches into a remarkable two CD set. INTELLIGENCE AND SACRIFICE. The first set takes off where his previous hardcore excursions leave off. Employing his patent breakcore beats and adding generous measures of hard as nails riffs, edge of pain distortion and a vocal attack as intense as a scream of defiance, Empire both consolidates his reputation as Harder Than The Rest and pushes the boundaries of rock a decade more into the future. The centre point of this set is the single Addicted To You which is featured in the recent much played John Hillcoat video.
Disc Two explores a pure electronic milieu but again breaches the frontier of the movement so far. It takes the form of a journey, initially lulling the listener into a sense of security by means of more restful sounds but quickly introduces more tangential ideas. These build up as the album moves on until it peaks in Alecs Ladder, a combination of revolutionary sounds and spatial effects which disorientate the mind before leading the listener back to the starting point of the opening track 2641998. Altogether this outstanding work encapsulates Empires career to date and establishes him as one of the foremost influences in modern rock. Alec was the founding member of Atari Teenage Riot who have released four albums.
Alec also has a demanding solo career, which has seen the release of three solo hardcore albums, five electronic albums and numerous singles and E.P.s. During the course of his career Alec has sold over a million records worldwide. He is unique in having gained the respect and admiration of artists as diverse as The Beastie Boys, Beck, Rage Against The Machine, Wu Tang Clan, Derek Bailey and Merzbow.
Amid complaints about Pop Idol and the quest for the identistar, Empires the kind of figure we always fondly hope will be the next big thing: freakish, powerful and exactly how the old people thought pop music sounded. (NME 2001)