Alter Ego Why Not?!

Alter Ego Why Not?!
Alter Ego are the longstanding duo of German techno veterans Roman Flügel and Jörn Elling Wuttke. Although the pair have been recording together since 1994, as Alter Ego and under aliases such as Acid Jesus, Sensorama and a host of others, it wasn’t until the release of their massive 2004 single "Rocker” that they managed to brand themselves upon this decade’s club circuit in any major way, earning themselves a strong run of remixes in the process. In many ways, the barebones simplicity of "Rocker,” with its electro underpinnings and heavier-than-thou synth lines, helped push the lector house movement into more mainstream clubs. But the rest of Transphormer, its accompanying album, didn’t match that single’s heights. Three years later, Alter Ego return with Why Not?!, an album intent on rectifying that discrepancy. Though the leadoff single of the same name matches the energetic architecture of "Rocker” beat for beat, it’s the ten remaining tracks that surpass the overly noodly experiments that marred much of Transphormer. Alter Ego has, this time, opted to make an entire album of rockers, a move that pays off. This duo excel at skeletal blasts of mechanical power. On Why Not?!, this results in an album boiling over with rushes; it’s a sure-fire pleaser for anyone chasing a techno high. And a welcome return to form.

What do you look for in a track you’re remixing and where do you want to take it?
Flügel: The most interesting remixes are those with a great vocal in the original. We had this for example with our works for the Human League, Pet Shop Boys or Depeche Mode. It’s a big challenge to work with such vocalists when there’s hardly a chance to make them sing on your own music. It’s always important to merge the basic ideas of the original into the Alter Ego cosmos. Then we try to intensify what we think is important to the track.

"Rocker” was huge for Alter Ego. Were there any reservations about trying to follow it up?
Sure, it gives you some pressure. It’s hard to not disappoint yourself when you’re voraciously looking for a follow-up. "Rocker” was huge but it was never planned to become that big, and we won’t complain if we have another hit. It came out of nowhere in the studio because we did not want to fit into a certain pattern of how techno should sound. That is still the most important thing: surprising ourselves during our work and not ending up as a cliché. (Klang)