Genre/Influences: Industrial-techno, techno-body-music, techno-rock, breakbeats.
Background/Info: Empirion saw the daylight in 1993. Back in time there were a trio consisting of Oz Morsley, Jamie Smart and Bob Glennie. They became quite famous thanks to the legendary “Narcotic Influence”-EP released in 1994 on Wanted Records. They next signed to XL Recordings (know for The Prodigy) unleashing in 1996 their debut album “Advanced Technology”. Empirion did a support tour for The Prodigy and did a lot of remixes for great names (Front 242, Praga Khan, Cubanate…). Bob Glennie lost his battle with cancer in 2005, which also seemed to announce the end of a great band. Oz Morsley moved on setting up Kloq, but since 2010 Empirion came back to life doing live performances. They last year came up as a duo releasing new material featured at the EP “I Am Electronic / Red Noise” and here’s now their first new album since “Advanced Technology”.
Content: It always is a risky business for a band with such a great past to strike back after such a long hiatus. But those who know the sonic skills of Oz Morsley know his potential. Empirion is back and “Resume” is the ultimate release to join the past with the present. The album has something retro like featuring a few cuts with breakbeats (reminding me of The Prodigy) and the typical raw, analogue sounds, but also contemporary mixing elements of techno, industrial and EBM. This is music to dance! The songs don’t feature that much vocals, but samplings and vocals have been used more as an extra effect.
+ + + : I always get the feeling of losing my ‘objectivity’ when listening to music Oz Morsley has been involved with. But that’s because this guy is a real sonic alchemist. He transforms sounds into gold! This gold has something transcendental and hypnotic. “Resume” is mixing elements reminding me of Front 242 (for some analogue treatments), The Prodigy (for the breakbeats) and Thomas P. Heckmann (for the bass lines), but it’s first of all Empirion! It sounds retro-like and still visionary because there are not many bands in the line of Empirion. This album is total club-power featuring multiple outstanding cuts such as “S.E.T.I.”, “They’re In My Dreams”, “Stepper” and the already known “I Am Electronic” and “Red Noise”. The vocals aren’t the major element of the work and yet they’ve been produced with care; now with robotic effects and then just like a sampling effect.
– – – : I think a few more vocals could have been added now and then, but you don’t hear me to complain!
Conclusion: Empirion is back and that’s damn great news, but when a back strikes back with such a work filled with high-energy and sonic-magic you can only but be thankful. “Resume” will be without a shadow of doubt become one of my 2019’s favorites!
Best songs: “They’re In My Dreams”, “S.E.T.I.”, “Stepper”, “Red Noise”, “I Am Electronic”, “Sideswipe”.