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Catalog No: FLX89
Title: Empire of the Atom
Sound Artist: Frank Rothkamm
Visual Artist: Holger Rothkamm
Label: Flux Records
Length: 39:36 (2376s)
Composed: 1988-1996
Location: San Francisco
New York
Instruments: Kurzweil K2000
Ensoniq Mirage
Atari Formula
Atari Cubase
Yamaha FB01
Yamaha TX16W
Yamaha TX81Z
Roland D110
Release Date: 2/3/2017
Format: Digital
File Under: Algorithmic

Frank Rothkamm [ Empire of the Atom ]
We live in fear. The wall is still up. It keeps them from coming in. We are surrounded by the wall. We have been told that we are still free here and everyone outside the wall lives in a prison they can only escape by risking their lives. Each time we pass the gate to go outside, we see the death traps. Automated machine guns that will go off if you step into the no-man’s land just outside the wall. By special arrangement we can pass through the gates and travel on roads through what we’ve been told is the prison country. We are not allowed to leave the road or to come in contact with anyone. Sometimes our road is shared with army vehicles. When we exit what we have been told is the prison country, we feel relieved and light up a cigarette to feel free again. So we join the protest. Just say no to nuclear power, to the empire of the atom. It is dangerous. An accidental meltdown can destroy us all. Just say no to nuclear weapons, the empire of the atom. It is dangerous. A crazy person with access to the launch codes can destroy us all. But our voices cry out in vain. We protest but those who tell us that we do not live in a prison country keep making more and more weapons and build more and more power plants. This is all safe, they who insist we are still free, tell us. So we trust them and go out and buy more and more things and consume more and more things, because we are free and it is all safe. And we have a real underground where we can be amongst ourselves. We recognize each other by the haircut. Late night in the club we know that we are one tribe, the chosen tribe that is much cooler than the other tribe where the haircut is all wrong. We move our limbs to the music in the strobelight. For hours we just move and never smile. We get numb and it is good. Eventually our soul departs from our body. We over-bought, over-consumed, over-freed ourselves. So we fly over the country that they told us is free and fly over the country that they told us is a prison. It is all one green pasture filled with a multitude of bodies without souls. Then I realize I am all alone. I am in a prison of my own mind and there is no outside. There are only walls. I move, I fly but I’m always surrounded by walls. I see the light at the end of a tunnel but the faster I go towards it, the faster it goes away. Eventually it all becomes dark and I only hear the sound of water in the distance below. I speak these words: “Let there be light,” and there is light. I see that the light is good, and I separate the light from the darkness. Now, I no longer live in fear. Once in awhile fear still attacks me, but I have pills that help with the pain. I’ve also been told that they tore down the wall between the two countries. You tell me.
[Empire of the Atom] Image