New Orleans' biggest rap export puts his contemporaries in the shade on inspired new mixtape
Alec Empire : London Charing Cross Road Mean Fiddler
...this ever-evolving maverick is ahead of the game...
poster boy should kickstart tonight with 'Everything
Starts With A Fuck'. Breaking the land-speed obscenity
record with a splatter of industrial punk, it's
exactly the entrance we expect from Digital
Hardcore impresario Alec Empire.
Not everything else tonight is quite as abrasive, however:
after all, Empire's last album, 'Intelligence And Sacrifice',
even contained some memorable tunes. And if that album was
his unashamed stab at rockist commercialism then this gig -
albeit in ear-bleeding style - follows suit. Yet when he's
surfing the industrial/nu-metal explosion of 'The Ride' and
'Killing Machine', it becomes clear that these chaotic
sprawls are really just a ploy for luring kids away from
Fred Durst's influence. Because, in the brazen Iggy Pop/Robert
Palmer mix of 'Addicted To You', or the feral punk/techno/metal
car-crash 'Path Of Destruction', there's still enough electronic
trickery, head-fuck noise and street protest lyrics to mean this
ever-evolving maverick is ahead of the game.
Meanwhile outside in Oxford Street they're boarding up the shops before
tomorrow's May Day protests. They're too late.
Alec Empire might now be
aiming at the masses but, in here, the riot's started early.
**PIC Blur-endorsed Icelandic duo move from techno to post-punk on an itchy claustrophobic debut
The Californian garage king's T Rex covers album shows his melodic muscle
Johnny Depp plays a monstrous Boston gangster in a disguise so unsettling you’ll struggle to recognise him
An EP dedicated to victims of the Paris attacks shows the Foos are on defiant form