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empirion resume
Artist: Empirion
Title: Resume + EPs: I am Electronic / Red Noise & The ADSR Remixes
Genre: EBM / Industrial / Electronica
Release Date: 23rd August 2019 / 21st September 2019 / 8th November 2019
Label: Dependent Records


Album Review

EMPIRION, for those that don’t know, hail from the county of Essex in the east of England. They originally came into existence in the early 1990s consisting of Oz Morsley, Bob Glennie and Jamie Smart. Smart who was a DJ at the time provided the vehicle for them to release their music through their own record label, Wanted Music. Throughout the 90s they toured around the UK and Europe with the likes of THE PRODIGY and KRAFTWERK and played festivals including the Phoenix Festival and Tribal Gathering. Their first release, ‘Narcotic Influence’ only sold around 50,000 copies but a later rerelease went on to sell over 15,000 copies. In the late 90s the band toured with 808 STATE and MOBY and released the single ‘B.E.T.A’, which included remixes by FRONT 242.In1996 the album ‘Advanced Technology’ was released but a follow up album had to be shelved due to Bob Glennie being diagnosed with a brain tumour. He died in 2005 after the band had been on hiatus for many years. In 2011 the hiatus was paused. But it wasn’t until 2018 that the new album, ‘Resume’, was announced…

...This album is very good!! It’s very good for walking to! I can do a three mile walk around my local park and get home just in time for the last track to finish as I get to my gate! Perfect timing! It’s also great for handwashing clothes too. Your scrubbing motion can be synced to the beat. Baking is another activity suited to EMPIRION’s music along with MMA training. Lyrics are thin on the ground but block chants are inserted to enforce the vibe or idea behind the music. In places the tracks sound like THE PRODIGY as in the track ‘S.E.T.I’ and in others they sound like NITZER EBB at their finest in the track ‘They’re In My Dreams’. In places they sound like SKINNY PUPPY too. You can hear the KRAFTWERK / PRODIGY influence in the track ‘I am Electronic’; it’s very binary and block-like in feel but still has a punch. I can see Keith Flint in my mind’s eyes in his star spangled sweater, wild eyed with his tongue out staring right into my eyes…

…At this point I think it’s time to make some comments on the ‘I Am Electronic’ remix EP. The EP consists of the album version of ‘I am Electronic’, a ‘Victory Pill’ remix, ‘Red Noise’ and a ‘Rotersand Remix’ plus ‘Strange’ and ‘Clear The Area’. ‘Red Noise’ feels like a smoky and smoothed down NITZER EBB whilst the ‘Rotersand Remix’ removes the smokiness and replaces with emphatic beats and hard accents! Midway you get some respite overlaid with caustic refrains of “Raise your body / raise your heart”. ‘Strange’? It’s alright, by this point I am either tired or bored. I can’t decide which, this is nearly three hours of music I’ve just listened to. After a break for refreshment and a change of focus I ‘Resume’ to finish the album and EPs...

...The ‘Victory Pill’ remix starts outs with a spacey section and robotic disconnected voices before jumping into the usual cadence and rhythm. But it’s not as punchy. It’s not as hard stare and fist clenching, more look at the sky with watery eyes and wave your hands about. It’s alright but not really my bag chips to be honest! ‘Clear The Area’ starts with “You don’t need to know my methods, I said I’d clear the area and I’ll clear it”! Before returning to the punchy beat that the previous track had lacked! If I was on a dance floor I’d be clearing an area of people so I could dance unimpeded by a claustrophobic push of flailing arms and elbows. I love the ending of this track, tension built to crescendo before resolution with “You don’t need to know my methods, I said I’ll clear the area and I’ll clear it!”

The track ‘ADSR’ was also released with various remixes. The version on the album is the same as the opener on the remix album. It sounds like POP WILL EAT ITSELF had some input on this, but they didn’t. The drum beat is martial whilst the keyboards dance around it like many neon hands in the dark. The ‘Leeroy Thornhill remix’ as you’d expect has a PRODIGY vibe to it, it’s Techno Acid House with booming bass and squeaks and squeals. Vocoder style vocals along with throaty rasps add to the tension and intensity! ‘The Empirion Clubbed up mix’ has a softer beat to start with overlaid with robotic vocals that becomes more trance-like as it goes along. It’s very bacon egg and “mushroom” in this mix. The next track on the remix EP is called ‘I Just Like The Noise’. It reminds me of an album released way back in 2015 by EX MACHINA, of which there are tracks featuring Ogre from SKINNY PUPPY. The vibe is very liquid and floaty with explosions of energy! And then we come to ‘Too Many Masters - Xmsb Remix’ which is the longest track on the remix EP at 10 minutes duration. The tone is darker. Martial beats, what sounds like “ooobaa” skipping in and out at the beginning before some light flourishes enter at the mid-point. This is like standing in the darkness of a black forest before the first rays of the dawn sun slice through the columns of trees… Anyway now we get back to various ‘ADSR’ remixes. There’s a ‘Cubanate remix’ along with one from SEETHING AKIRA. Then an ‘Empirion Electron remix’ finally ending with a ‘Radio Edit’.

The last track on the ‘Resume’ album is a track about hate. There is some chap ranting on about killing the lefties and all other groups he finds undesirable. The track is called ‘Hate The Hate’. Personally I’d fight hate with something different to hate. I find that ‘Resume’ to be an easy listen. It’s easy in the sense that it flows. There’s a central idea theme and that theme is stuck to throughout the album. There’s none of that last minute going off on tangents to see where it leads to and thus ruins the flow and experience for the listener. It’s EBM, it’s Industrial and it’s cerebral, it’s in the moment. When I listen I am in the now. I grab the music and pull myself up and the music then pushes me forward. In regards to the remix EPs, well, after numerous listens I decided that there were too many. One or two kept my interest and I enjoyed the different slant on the same theme. But in the main I got bored and started to repeat to myself “yeah, yeah, bored now”. It’s like someone cooking me numerous different versions  of a roast beef dinner. Just give me the bloody original, that covers all bases for me. In regards to albums, EMPIRION may only have released two albums in 24 years but they are good ones!


Tracklist ‘Resume’

01. Resume
02. S.E.T.I.
03. They’re In My Dreams
04. Red Noise
05. Too Many Masters Part 2
06. Stepper
07. Sideswipe
08. Lock It Down
09. I Am Electronic
10. ADSR
11. Hate The Hate


Tracklist ‘I Am Electronic / Red Noise’ EP

01. I Am Electronic
02. Red Noise
03. Red Noise (Rotersand Rework)
04. Strange
05. I Am Electronic (Victory Pill Remix)
06. Clear the Area


Tracklist ‘ADSR’ EP

01. ADSR - (Original Version)
02. ADSR (Leeroy Thornhill Remix)
03. ADSR (Empirion Clubbed Up Mix)
04. I Just Like The Noise
05. Too Many Masters (XMSB rmx)
06. ADSR (Cubanate Remix)
07. ADSR (Seething Akira Remix)
08. ADSR (Empirion electron mix)
09. ADSR (Radio edit)


Line-Up

Oz Morsley - Synths and Programming
Jamie Smart - Synths and Programming


Website

https://www.empirion.org / https://www.facebook.com/empirion.music/


Cover Picture

empirion resume


Rating

Music: 7.5
Sound: 7.5
Total: 7.5 / 10


xxx

Claudia
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