Atari Teenage Riot are the glitch in the system.
They speak out against conformity, fascist tendencies when they arise in modern society, and they address often uncomfortable truths in their lyrics. These „uncomfortable truths“ led the German authorities to put the ATR album “The Future Of War” on the “index” in 2003, labelling it as a threat to society, blacklisting it. It was illegal to sell or play this album in public. Why? Because ATR described a Germany that the establishment wanted to hide: the growing militant far-right; the underlying racism; and secret arms deals with oppressive regimes. While the international music press celebrated Atari Teenage Riot as a true authentic voice from Berlin, Germany’s authorities tried to shut them down.
When the popularity of the far-right party AfD expanded during the last elections in Germany, many of Atari Teenage Riot’s critics understood that this development in Europe was something that ATR had warned about the whole time.
Alec Empire says:”I think it is a must for all artists to educate their audiences about these problems – A boxer wouldn’t simply go into a match unprepared, wouldn’t start training on the day of the fight. We as creatives have to look at reality every day or we lose the ground under our feet. It’s also bad for the music itself, if you lock yourself up in an ivory tower and ignore what is happening. Especially many young people don’t have the tools to understand and analyze what gets thrown at them on social media. They react emotionally and don’t know how to control their anger, don’t know how to channel it into something positive. Music can help people to self-determination. It can be far more than just entertainment. It can really make you think.”
Atari Teenage Riot Live in Rostock 01.11.19 | PWH Peter-Weiss-Haus
LIVE | 09.11.19. www.cyberpunkconvention.com
Cyberpunk Ball at the Middlesbrough Town Hall
ATARI TEENAGE RIOT REPRESENTS THE MOST RADICAL AND DARK SIDE OF DIGITAL CULTURE. ONE FOOT IN THE INTERNATIONAL HACKER SCENE, THE OTHER IN MUSIC…
Many big artists have embraced ATR for over two decades: from Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl to Björk to Trent Reznor to Rage Against The Machine to Steve. Aoki, and Skrillex.
When ATR’s leader Alec Empire created the group’s ‘Digital Hard-core’ sound in 1992 (!) in the Berlin techno underground, he combined the most powerful elements
of techno, punk, and hip hop and, subsequently, disrupted the music scenes on all continents for years to come. The band has toured almost every part of the world; from South East Asia to South America to USA & Canada to Iceland to Mexico, and Israel. Radio legend John Peel was the first in the 90s to push Alec Empire’s music in his weekly radio shows on the BBC and helped to establish it worldwide.
When The Beastie Boys released the Atari Teenage Riot album “Burn Berlin Burn!” in 1997, it reached gold status in the US and ATR started touring with Rage Against The Machine, Wu Tang Clan, Beck, Moby, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails.
Atari Teenage Riot’s strength has always been their huge live show. The band creates a tremendous energy on stage that is not matched by any other electronic music act. They do it with an Atari 1040ST computer. They apply the hacker’s mindset to music. These extremes make ATR’s sound unique. They digitized the spirit of punk.