Alec Empire - Squeeze The Trigger
Released November 11, 1997
Digital Hardcore Recordings
Those who have been lucky enough to hear Squeeze the Trigger call it one of Alec Empire's most important records. Formerly a rarity, Squeeze the Trigger was recut in 2002 as Alec Empire's popularity skyrocketed (unfortunately after the demise of Carl Crack and with him the spirit of Atari Teenage Riot). It's a bunch of tracks that Alec engineered specifically for his underground DJ performances of 1992-1997.
Squeeze the Trigger is 70 minutes of death. In true Alec Empire style, the entire album is an assault of breaks, bass and the trademark overdriven kicks of Atari Teenage Riot.
Taking a closer listen to Squeeze the Trigger, you can glimpse some of the mastery he has in constructing a DJ set. Each track is a carefully constructed progression. Even though most of them were never designed to be played right the way through (they are basically bridges) they are all very blastable.
The tail end of the disk is the real achievement. Alec places three mixes of the same song (titled The Destroyer, Burn Babylon Burn, and Destruction) back to back. The Destroyer is the basic song and the other two mixes are (I believe to be) live creations. Destruction sounds like it is meant to be built up onto over a long period - there is an almost out of place treble stab that builds up to something quite fantastic - you'll have to listen to the track, or take my word for it, but it has to be the most amazing peak I've ever heard in a Drum & bass track.
The coup de grace is the final track, I am you (Identify). This is a thundering attack on the eardrums - threatening to blow out your speakers. A good acid test for a car stereo. All the same, you have to smile at the genius beat construction.
I haven't heard much of Alec's early DJ sets (I dont think many of them have survived), but I have got The Final Reminder (May 6, 2000) which carries on the same theme. If anyone has any MP3s or OGGs from Alec's underground days, please share the wealth.