Various Rauschgold: Alec Empire Plays Staubgold

Rauschgold, Alec Empire's second DJ mix project, is a much like a lesson in German cultural theory. For the most part, Empire samples from the gamut 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: "the world's greatest researcher"), "Liebe Lilli," sounds like an 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 bass lead and something that sounds like an atom bomb about to explode, this song and many others on the album finds a delicate balance between cacophony and charm. Rauschgold is an experiment in electronic distortion and psychedelia that should come with a seizure-warning label. (Eat Your Heart Out)