The Darkscapes story was never fully realized; I had this huge, epic idea in my head about a society of beings, referred to in the artwork and stories as Cubes, that were basically solar-system-sized beings who consumed stars to survive, but were now dead or dying husks floating in space. I wrote a “captain’s log” describing the journey of a team of scientists who were on a mission to explore these constructs, and Darkscapes was supposed to be the soundtrack piece of this multimedia project that included CG animation, a graphic novel, an art book, and those text-format logs. Unfortunately I didn’t completely finish this part of the project and instead it came out as this weird, ambient-noise experiment that people either loved or hated; there was no middle ground!
There were a handful of electronic tracks on the albums that shared a common theme and kind of evolved into their own project. In April 2022 I released that collection as the Shadowrun EP; it was a catalyst for me diving head-first back into music as Circuit Scream.
Shadowrun was originally just a “standalone” electronic track I composed in 2015. It wasn’t made for any specific project, just something I did. I’m a big fan of the Shadowrun role-playing game, and I thought it sounded like something that could be part of that world, so I named it after the series. All of the tracks on this EP were created with that cyberpunk, future-Seattle environment in mind, and each tracks draws heavily on inspiration from that world.
This was also a standalone track at first, but I merged it with Shadowrun at some point and it became this hybrid. This was meant to be the album-only version, and no standalone version of Interlude exists – I must have deleted those demos at some point.
This track was originally part of an album titled Explorations, that is a sequel to Darkscapes. That project is only partially finished and kind of on the backburner right now. This track was originally named “Monolith 1” after one of the Cube constructs. The 2016 demo had pretty simple strings and synths, and I used my Yamaha RY-10 drum machine for that version.
Last month (June 2022) I took that demo, updated it and added new drums and instruments, plus new sections to the piece. Since I recorded that demo, I had also upgraded my DAW and production rig, so I needed to transfer all the track and stems out to the new environment – it (using a new DAW) really made a difference, and I think you’ll hear that when you listen to that early demo (also included on the EP).
In the Shadowrun game, the Metroplex, or ‘plex, is where all the real-world action takes place in Seattle. I think the new version of this track really captured that dark, seedy vibe of the ‘plex, I’m really happy with it.
This is a brand-new track. I wanted something fast and exciting to balance out the chill vibes of the rest of the EP. I composed, recorded, mixed, and mastered this track in a single day, there’s not even a demo version of it.
I was browsing Pixabay and found this amazing image by Mark Frost, an artist on the platform. He does amazing work, and uses many of the same CG tools I do. I thought this image was perfect for Shadowrun, so it became the cover. I made some color adjustments to it, and an appropriate crop, and that was about it.
After that I started designing the booklet with that same theme and color scheme in mind, and ended up with the four AI-assisted images that are included as digital downloads with the Bandcamp version. I did quite a bit of enhancement and hand-painting to complete those images, but the AI tools were an invaluable part of the process. I’m really happy with how the entire project turned out.
Shadowrun Remastered drops August 9th on all platforms.
Pre-order the Bandcamp version (with exclusive digital booklet and art downloads) here: https://circuitscream.bandcamp.com/album/shadowrun-remastered
Pre-save on Spotify here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/circuitscream/shadowrun-remastered