Following the "Fashion Victim" album and its "Monster Music" introductory single, "Empire" is a “different” release for Larvae. Having presented his music live worldwide, Matthew Jeanes realized that he had more expectations to live up to than ever before. He was not struggling anymore to find an audience for his weird beats, and heavy basses. People were dancing, praising the shows, and asking for more. And still, he knew that the second album would be of a much more laid back and quieter answer to "Fashion Victim". The off-the-hook, part novelty "Monster Music" had to find a sequel. But still, the Godzilla reference had to be put to rest, and "Empire" was born. (Get this on 12" / Get this as mp3)
Like "Monster Music" before it, "Empire" is half-serious, half-playful. It's not simply a geek fantasy or disco "Imperial March" remix; it's more of a reflection on the last 27 odd years of Matthew Jeanes' life as it relates to those beloved movies. There's the vibrant optimism of the title track that plays off of having a fantasy world into which you can escape. Conversely, "Hayden's Ghost" and "Solo Shoots First" on the b-side are inspired by the fan reaction to the insidious changes made to the original movies in their new editions and by an artist's freedom to create and change whatever he wishes. Finally, "Sith Witch" is an attempt to extrapolate on the dark, macabre side of the Star Wars myths that didn't make it into the films. With remixes from label mates Bong-Ra and Enduser, the circle is complete.
"Empire" is meant to be entertaining and nostalgic, but most of all, fun. It captures some of the ups and downs of a lifetime of being a Star Wars fan without ever taking any of it seriously. It showcases Larvae's take at heavy, pounding drum'n'bass, offering a counterpoint to softer works to come, provides the Larvae fans with tracks they have been dancing to, and might very well bring instigate the use of light sabres on the dancefloor.
The following video, for the track "Solo Shoots First", was released (with a much higher quality) on the "Ad Noiseam 2001-2006" compilation (adn60)