May 20, 2017

Alec Empire - Hypermodern Jazz 2000.5 (1996)


Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Sun Ra Arkestra got their hands on drum machines and started sampling breaks? I'm sure you have. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any Arkestra-breakcore fusion albums, but this record by Alec Empire of Atari Teenage Riot is a pretty great simulation. Alec Empire's solo material is usually a departure from the straight up digital hardcore sound of Atari Teenage Riot and he never really walked the same path twice for an album. He indulges a jazz flavor this time around. The backbone of the album is drum breaks, but he also litters the recordings with Sun Ra-esque electric piano/clav sounds (I'm unsure if these are samples or his own drum machine sequences--probably his own), dusky horn samples, and acidic basslines to round up a solid nod to nu-jazz. Hypermodern Jazz is relaxing in its own way, but its symptomatic overtones will challenge most people a bit, especially on the first listen. I think this is absolutely dope, and I'm not even heavily into electronic music or breakcore.

Hypermodern Jazz 2000.5