Thursday, January 6, 2011

Alec Empire Vs. Elvis Presley: The Intergalactic Space Rock-A-Billy Show


From NME: "...for 'Alec Empire Vs Elvis Presley' is not only the biggest compliment Empire could pay Elvis, it's also the best Alec Empire-produced album for some time: experimental, totally punk and peppered with black humour. Possibly because there was no overbearing Atari Teenage Riot agenda involved - he did it for himself and, hey, if anyone else likes it, how on earth did they get a copy? - Empire has taken the opportunity to go completely loco, smashing Elvis into fragments on 'Jailhouse Cock Rocks The Most' and 'You Ain't Nothing' and filling the gaps with super-trashed drill'n'bass and mangled electronica. Well come on now, what did you expect? Ironically, what raises this record above postmodern novelty status is that it actually sounds like an updated, crudely remastered Elvis album; however hard Empire tries to destroy and distort The Voice, it remains the one stable reference. Hence when Alec Empire drags Elvis Presley through Hell backwards during 'He's Dead, That's The Way It Is', Elvis is still the epitome of cool".


So let's forget about the "Viva Elvis" Sony/Solei scam, we hated that one here, no more empty headed remixes: mere commercialism, not this one. Now this was way before the JXL VS Elvis remix, and this is no dance gimmick and crap to make Elvis sound "up to date", this wasn't made for the money, for and add or for a show, (if you know who's Alec Empire/Atari Teenage Riot you'll understand that he didn't needed the name Elvis on his credentials to have name) this is about transgression and a statement. THIS IS NOT ABOUT REMIXES, THIS IS ABOUT ART NOISE. 


Empire recorded vs. Elvis in 1998 after returning home to Berlin from a tour of the United States with his band Atari Teenage RiotAs a method of escape from the digital hardcore sound he became interested in Elvis, watching all of his movies. Inspired, he collected two hours worth of samples and mixed them in his own particular style, the result of which caused his girlfriend at the time to leave him.

Originally intended for release on his DHR Limited label, Empire ran into problems when attempting to release the album as the Elvis samples were used without permission from the Presley Foundation. Concerned at the prospect of legal action Empire decided not to release vs Elvis on DHR, and instead pressed a few copies for friends and DJs. In a record store in New York in 1999, Empire to his surprise discovered a vinyl copy of the recording that had been pressed by El Turco Loco ("The Mad Turk"), an obscure label owned by former Matador Records artist Khan. The album is long out of print.




A video was made for the track "You Ain't Nothing" by Empire's friend and collaborator Philipp "Virus" Reichenheim. The Museum of Modern Art in New York, included it in its collection.






Awww! you didn't like it?





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