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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Watch Alec Empire Discuss the Atari Teenage Riot Reunion

Posted By on Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Any child who came of age in the '90s has probably at least heard of Atari Teenage Riot. Band leader Alec Empire and his rotating crew of anarchist cronies brought their gritty, blown-out electronic speed punk (known best as 'digital hardcore' or 'breakcore') stateside from Riot's home base in Berlin, and were hell bent on revolutionizing angst-ridden audiences while on tour with the likes of Rage Against the Machine. The band fell apart in 2000 after releasing only three albums in its eight-year career, and sadly lost founding member Carl Crack to a drug overdose a year later. The remaining members went on to create separate solo works. But at the beginning of this year, the members of Atari Teenage Riot announced they were getting back in action for live shows, and even released a brand-new track called "Activate!".

To say the least, I was elated to find out that the punishing sounds of ATR would soon be returning to my life, and coming across this video interview with Empire made it that much more rewarding. The prolific producer shares an astounding amount of backstory and information on his project's reunion -- which is somewhat out of character for the elusive and standoffish artist. He goes in depth about recruiting weirdo MC CX Kidtronik, working on even more new tunes (!), and his connections with electronic music's ever-shifting genres. Footage of a recent, fiery live set from the trio is spliced into the mix. Empire's über-thick German accent may render bits of his verbiage hard to decipher, but the piece is well worth any re-watching that may require.

Atari Teenage Riot hits North America this fall, but doesn't have a San Francisco date scheduled yet -- expect to read about it here if (or, hopefully, when) that changes.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown and @PatricFallon

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