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Baker's Dozen

Start The Riot! Alec Empire's Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , June 16th, 2014 07:50

Ahead of Atari Teenage Riot's set at Camden Crawl, the band's founder uses his rundown of favourite albums to issue a clarion call for creativity and puts together a three-hour mix of tracks from his top 13

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"The future can't be a creative suicide with people with no attention spans trying to rule the social networks, trying to climb to the top... it's a road that leads to destruction," says Alec Empire at one point in his self-penned Baker's Dozen. It's a fittingly forthright statement from a man who specialises in forthright statements (often underpinned by visceral digital abrasion) and characterises the nature of his Baker's, where his list of favourite albums acts as a jumping-off point for his thoughts on music at large.

Empire will be in London this Friday as Atari Teenage Riot, now comprising himself, Nic Endo and new MC Rowdy Superstar, play London's Camden Crawl festival. The set comes ahead of the release of RESET (stay tuned to the band's website for updates), the band's fifth album and the first to feature this line-up of the band. It'll also mark almost 20 years after the band released their first full-length, 1995 (later re-released as Delete Yourself!), and established the sound of digital hardcore, their raw, head-chopping meld of techno, metal and punk and fiercely politically-engaged lyrics. As formidable a sonic aesthetic as this was, it was only fitting that it should lend its name to the band's label, and a couple of Digital Hardcore Recordings releases, Shizuo's Shizuo Vs. Shizor and Endo's own Cold Metal Perfection, get a namecheck here. Elsewhere in his selections, Empire leads off from discussing Winston Edwards and Blackbeard's Dub Conference to reflect on the current state of techno, reimagines Charlie Clouser's Saw II soundtrack as a dusty junk shop artefact and slams polished online music platforms as a "boring cemetery of data", all delivered with his customary conviction.

Not content with simply writing us his Baker's, he's also mixed it, putting together an ace, three-hour-plus mix of some choice cuts from his 13 selections. You can play it via the embed below, though it may be worth heading to Empire's Mixcloud profile here so you can listen and read in perfect (dis-)harmony.

Atari Teenage Riot play the Electric Ballroom as part of Camden Crawl on June 20 and Sonisphere on July 4. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Alec's choices


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Jun 16, 2014 1:53pm

“There's a riot going on”

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Grecian Hot Dog Vendor
Jun 16, 2014 6:02pm

This was, overall, a decent interview with a good message, but I have to say: Empire's use of the word "sheeple" earlier in the interview made it really hard to take him seriously.

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Jun 16, 2014 6:18pm

"Sheeple". Christ, get over yourself.

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F Again
Jun 16, 2014 8:15pm

Agreed. "Sheeple" is an arrow in the very slim quiver of bonkers conspiracy theorists and not a word to toss around if one hopes to have any truck with reality so this guy's opinions have little agency.
Which is a shame as there are several nifty records here.

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Jonny Chinchen
Jun 16, 2014 9:57pm

Yes, use of "sheeple" is a bit irritating, but it does nothing to destroy the validity of his opinions.

If he had said "smartphone zombies" or something more current, would you have respected him more?

Rejecting a guy for one word, seems to represent moral highground snobriety.

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Jun 17, 2014 1:03am

In reply to Jonny Chinchen:

Not really. He just sounds like a prat.

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Jun 17, 2014 2:59am

Whatever....Alec is right. Tricky would say it too, and he's mostly sample-heavy: Learn an instrument (not a laptop). I love how digi-centric folks complain that traditional musicianship and an old-fashioned ethos like songcraft is holding the future back.....As if we're not already swimming, drowning in this future!!! Enough of the digital already. Technically speaking, the hand-eye creation is far more complex than any arrangement of 0s and 1s. Disclaimer: I make music using Logic Pro and sample quite a bit from records, but I wish I had more of the skill not to.....

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Jun 17, 2014 6:07am

In reply to Jonny Chinchen:

Quite right

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Jun 17, 2014 8:49am

I really dislike this guy.
More so since a friend of mine, who was a massive fan, set up a show for him in the UK (around 2002). This guy was just a fan and financed the gig from his own pocket and really laid it on for Alec and his band.

The entire band and in particular Mr.Empire proceed to treat him like dirt throughout the evening.
Massive ego and lack of humility.

Personally speaking, I always though he was a chancer.

I do like his selection of records here though! :)

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Jun 17, 2014 1:20pm

In reply to Grecian Hot Dog Vendor:

Why ? Because it was on point ?

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Jun 17, 2014 2:04pm

"It's alright Alec, you can come out from up your own arse now"!
Christ, what a self opinionated twat.

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Jun 17, 2014 5:36pm

Great stuff. That Freddie Hubbard album is new to me.

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Jun 17, 2014 5:44pm

Ha judging by the comments you have successfully annoyed a bunch of people (who seem to be hung up on some minor things while ignoring the substance of the article.) Nice to hear some of your influences and read some inspirational words for us introverted audio-weirdoes :)

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Jun 17, 2014 7:55pm

Oh God, couldn't get past the second paragraph. Just pick the records.

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Jun 18, 2014 1:06am

It would be great if all Bakers Dozen's had a mix/playlist type thing to go with it!! 13 tracks would do! :-)

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Jun 18, 2014 6:41am

great - a mimaroglu record at last. one of the great electronic pioneers.

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Mr boy
Jun 25, 2014 12:21am

Finally! Thanks.

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Jun 26, 2014 12:39am

In reply to Chris:

Hush! He has come to save us from the fate of being "sheeple"!

I'm really glad to see most other people on here can't take him seriously either.

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Jun 27, 2014 10:44pm

this is possibly the best mix I have heard in a long long time. Sad to see how little people out here seem to care about music but get hung up on one word. A word that makes a lot of sense. You can complain as much as you like, it doesn't make it less true

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Jun 27, 2014 10:54pm

amazing mix, amazing words. Thank you Quietus and Mr.Empire. You saved my day.

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Jun 27, 2014 10:57pm

In reply to Kraken:

he probably just made love to your girl friend. Now you hate on him. Don't be such a jerk , telling everyone your made up fantasies

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Jul 15, 2014 11:46am

I remember mimic him while he was doing some "I am the coolest guy on earth" moves on stage pointing the girls in the audience and suddenly after he saw me and my friend cracking while doing his character, he jumped off the stage and ran over us trying to kick our asses. Luckily we were young ad fast! Good times.

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Andreas spengler
Jul 17, 2014 5:42pm

Brainless, anarchist twat. ATR was a gimmick that got old very fast.

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Jack Smiley
Sep 11, 2014 5:36am

Awww, he's so adorably polemic... some good records here, though. Did it really take a conversation with Adrian Sherwood (lucky twat) to make him aware of the importance of dub to the evolution of electronic music?

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Afro Zen
Apr 16, 2015 7:28am

In reply to Jonny Chinchen:

Hey Jonny, Duncan here! How you doing?!
He's got some nice selections but does sound a bit self important...

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