The Architect is a passion project that consists of music, illustration and story telling. I challenged myself to write a short story that's told over the length of a track. It was fun experimenting with this idea and I would love to do more. A full 'story album' excites me a lot. The project was split into 3 main parts. The track itself, the cover artwork and a simple music video.
The Final Product
This project started because of a short drumloop I created. My first synthwave album has very basic drums, so one day I set out to create a drum pattern that was a little more complex. I came up with the clip below. To me, it sounds like a factory or machinery. The drumloop made me visualize a machine building parts of a robot/cyborg...and that's where the idea of Kane came from.
The single cover artwork itself was inspired by the artwork of Dan Malone and Mark Coleman of the mighty Bitmap Brothers. Their gritty future art style captivated me as a kid and I still love it to this day (Speedball 2, The Chaos Engine, Xenon). I created the elements in Illustrator, then took them into Photoshop for texturing and lighting. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to animate this cover (which was done in After Effects). In this digital age, animated album covers should now be a thing! Of course, only the static cover was used in digital music stores.
The track itself was composed in MixCraft, using a number of VST synth plugins. It took a long time to develop the track. I was going back and forth with different ideas, but something seemed to be missing. Eventually, I had the idea to add some voice overs on the track. I'd never done any script writing or storytelling before, but I gave it a go! I hired some voice actors to perfrom my short script and then rebuilt the track around the script. It made a huge improvement and the track sounds a lot different to my usual synthwave style.
I love how my one short drum loop developed into this character, story and potential universe. I want to take Kane Kinetic further. There's the possibility of doing a full album in this style. I also really like the idea of pursuing a Sega Megadrive game based on the character (using SGDK). This is certainly not the last we'll see of Kane Kinetic. Here's a look at some of the graphics I created throughout the project.