Founder of Berlin's Digital Hardcore Recordings, Alec Empire created some of the most musically diverse works of the 1990s, recording both as himself and with the trio Atari Teenage Riot. Empire was often identified with (and pigeonholed because of) his ATR productions -- lo-fi breakbeats played at the speed of thrash that simultaneously embraced the energy of punk, the uncompromising ferocity of industrial music, and the futurism of techno. On his solo albums, however, Empire ranged through isolationist ambient, electro, breakbeat, hard techno, even twisted lounge music. As such, he gained fans in several fields while recording for the German experimental/electronic label Mille Plateaux. Still, his first American exposure came when the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal Records signed Atari Teenage Riot in 1996.