- David Pollock
- 20 August 2009
Profile of the German dance duo
Name: Alter Ego
Also known as: German duo Roman Flugel and Jorn Elling Wuttke.
Occupation: ‘The Pet Shop Boys of techno’, asserts their MySpace. It’s hard to argue.
Where did they come from? Longstanding legends of the German techno scene in all its forms, the pair started working together in 1993, first as Acid Jesus and then as Alter Ego. Early releases appeared on Sven Vath’s label Harthouse and were either played or remixed by artists like Black Dog, Luke Slater and Andy Weatherall. That might give you some idea where they were coming from.
Where are they now? At a peak of respectability, thanks to more than a decade and a half of shared history, the joint formation of respected techno labels Playhouse, Klang Elektronik and Ongaku, and an early 00s reinvention as heroes of the electroclash scene (RIP). To find out why, check out tracks like ‘Betty Ford’, ‘Why Not?’ and the ubiquitous ‘Rocker’. You’ll know that last one, give it a listen online. Or dig out the Katy Perry mash-up ‘I Kissed a Rocker’ for added contemporariness. Or better still, come see them at Optimo in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Any other business? Yep. Sad to say that the first of these dates will also be the last regular Optimo in Edinburgh. In the face of not so much falling attendances as fluctuating ones, Twitch and Wilkes have decided to call a halt to a gig which at one time (when it was at the Venue) even challenged Sunday night Optimo in Glasgow as the nation’s best night. Instead, expect one-offs in the city when the guest or occasion demands it from the duo, and a massive end-of-Festival party here.
Alter Ego play Optimo at Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Sat 29 Aug; Optimo at the Sub Club, Glasgow, Sun 30 Aug.