Debuting with the acid-trance rocker "Narcotic Influence," which was voted one of the 100 greatest dance singles of all time by no lesser an authority than Mixmag, Empirion formed in 1993 at an Essex club featuring resident DJ Jamie Smart.
Smart, who had spent time bumming around with the Prodigy's Liam Howlett (the two both worked at a car wash), met up with reformed industrialist Bob Glennie and rock & roller Oz, and the trio soon formed Wanted Records, recording "Narcotic Influence" in just two days. Unlike the Prodigy, however, Smart, Glennie and Oz all take an equal part in recording and running the label. Later singles "Quark" and "Ciao" furthered the band's reputation as forward-thinking dance hooligans, and Smart's DJ sets at Prodigy shows also increased their fame until Beggars Banquet signed the trio to a major-label contract. The debut album Advanced Technology was released in early 1997. ~ John Bush, Rovi