for EXCLAIM! Frequencies

Various Artists

Rauschgold-Alec Empire Plays Staubgold

Eat Your Heart Out Records  (


Rauschgold, Alec Empire’s second installation of DJ mix projects, is a much like a lesson in German cultural theory. For the most part, Empire samples across the gambit of dance, dirty scratchy beats and even downtempo stuff from all over the country, quickly bringing one up to speed about how innovative and quirky the Germans can be. For example, a song by Die Welttraumforscher (loosely translated meaning “the world’s greatest researchers) called “Liebe Lilli” sounds like a awkward, but charming admonition of love. Also, “Ice Bertolt Brecht” by Schwabinggrad Ballett  is an eerily haunting two and a half minute chant, titled after a famous pseudo-existentialist German playwright who wrote of absurdity and alienation. Backed by a strong base lead and something that sounds like an atom bomb about to explode, this song and many others on the album find a delicate balance between cacophony and charm. Rauschgold is an experiment in electronic distortion and psychedelia that should come with a seizure warning label.