The VIRUS Empire is the UK based project from Jake Watts. Known for driving beats, huge bass tones and infectious melodies, his music started out as simple and pure LSDJ but as time has progressed he has began to incorporate a wider array of sounds and production techniques into his work. The VIRUS Empire first launched onto the chip scene in 2011 with a short compilation of tracks released under the betamod net label. It was a crude and basic release but came loaded with emotion and charm.
One year and a lot of practice later the ‘Aurora’ EP was self released through Bandcamp, this was the first cohesive and complete record made by The VIRUS Empire and included the fan favourite track ‘Worlds Unknown’. Shortly after the release of Aurora was when The VIRUS Empire kick-started his live career, playing just about everywhere and anywhere that would have him. His first handful of shows were around his local area of Gloucestershire in the south west of the UK, but thanks to online hubs such as 8bitcollective he began to etch a name for himself with other UK artists and play across the country.
After another year of gigging and learning came the release of Oscillate Assimilate in 2013, this was a big step up for The VIRUS Empire in terms of production value and was met with high praise by peers and fans alike. The release came overflowing with perfect swelling arp’s, floor shaking bass lines and a cheeky cover of a little known 80’s act called The Human League. Oscillate Assimilate marks the turning point of The VIRUS Empire’s sound, where he begins to treat his GameBoy creations more like fully fledged electronic music rather than a raw LSDJ/chiptune affair.
Following the success of Oscillate Assimilate, it was time for the next instalment and to follow suit – it was time to step it up once more. Arguably his most ambitious record “Strix” hit the World Wide Web in 2014 and caused a stir, he used modern production techniques and mixed in external drum samples from a retro Roland module to give a fresh and exhilarating sound. Stand out tracks from this release include “Whispers” and “Less Than Three”. The momentum generated by this release propelled The VIRUS Empire into a year full of live shows, playing at events all over the UK including the prestigious SuperByte Festival and even making his first steps into the European scene by playing at Belgiums BITGRID.
Now firmly cemented as part of the strong and ever-growing UK chiptune scene, The VIRUS Empire continues to progress and evolve his own unique flavour of chip music and aims unleash it on crowds all over the world.