Scandroid Emphasizes Story in New Album

Share this post

scandroid_-_scandroid_jpg-jpgTokyo, 2517 – Welcome to the world of Scandroid. A future where the floating city of Neo-Tokyo cast a dark shadow of the dark, robot city of Old Tokyo. It is in the neon-lit ruins of Old Tokyo that Red searches for the retro sounds of the 1980s to revolutionize the future and find his way to Neo-Tokyo. In this search, he will find more than he ever bargained for, and lose just as much.

Scandroid is the latest musical project from Klayton, who is best known for his project Celldweller. He is currently based out of Detroit, Michigan. Scandroid’s sound is a mix of the best sounds out of the 80s, including Vangelis and John Carpenter, but with a twist which is all Klayton. Klayton’s music is all over the place from electronic rock, to industrial, to dub-step. The thing that is always constant, even in this synthwave project, is immense energy, engaging vocals, and a voice you would recognize against any soundscape. Klayton has been making music since the 80s with projects like Immortal, Circle of Dust, and Angeldust before starting the Celldweller project that he is best known for. He is also behind his own record label, FiXT, which has launched a clothing label called Outland Industries.

salvationcodeThe story of Scandroid is also compelling, beyond the music itself. Each of the songs on Scandroid’s first full-length album, which will be released November 11th, adds to a story that began with the Salvation Code single back in 2013. I have attempted to piece together the story told by the album based on all of the available information. Note that Red is the protagonist of Scandroid’s tale and shares Klayton’s likeness.

The first song on the new album, 2517, sets the scene for us.  It is now 2517, Red still roams the street of Old Tokyo in the shadow of Neo-Tokyo. This track opens with a sound reminiscent of Blade Runner’s score and transitions into a more classical synthwave sound.

The second track on the album is Scandroid’s first single Salvation Code. It seems that Red is still in search of the Salvation Code, which he began searching for with Raven in 2513, his partner, in the ruins of Old Tokyo as they plan their sound revolution that will take them Neo-Tokyo – a floating city above Old Tokyo. Salvation Code has a driving tempo that keeps you engrossed, inspires you to move, and will have you singing along by the end if you aren’t careful. The Salvation Code also seems to be the crux of the album’s story.

The third track on the album is Aphelion, which was Scandroid’s fourth single. After the loss of Raven, Red met Aphelion, a blue haired woman who is implied to be an android, and since 2514 Red has been roaming Old Tokyo with her. Aphelion feels like a love song, where the singer (Red/Klayton) can’t quite seem to come together with his love, Aphelion.

aphelionShout is the fourth track on the album, and a cover of the 80s pop band, Tears for Fears. Shout is immediately recognizable but has that Klayton aspect which makes it unique. The song’s inclusion on the album seems two-fold. First, it shows that Klayton and Aphelion have continued the search to uncover more 80s retro sound and that they challenge the black and white ideologies that permeate 2517. Perhaps, the barrier between man and machine – the relationship between human and android.

Destination Unknown is the first fully instrumental track on the album, a Klayton staple. It provokes images of running through the streets of a dense Old-Tokyo as Red and Aphelion flee together from Tokyo’s drones. You can imagine them dodging pursuers and slipping through dank alleys and neon-lit streets as they struggle to survive. Destination Unknown feels inspired by the soundtracks of John Carpenter and has the same cinematic quality.

The album’s sixth track, Connection, brings more of Klayton’s excellent lyrics but is the first song to really expand Scandroid’s story.  Having evaded robotic forces, Red and Aphelion disconnect from the datastream and lament the past – connecting on a deeper level. There is some insinuation at this point that Red and Aphelion have been physically intimate, and that is insinuated here again. Their relationship seems looked down upon by the society that doesn’t approve of human/machine relationships. But there is more going on here. This song provides a context for the rest of the album that frames the previous singles Salvation Code, Datastream, Empty Streets, and Aphelion as past events. Then it frames the previous single Pro-Bots and Robophobes and the new songs Awakening With You and Atom and E.E.V. as ancient events detailing the rise of the machines. This supposition is based on a description of the song Pro-Bots and Robophobes:

This song tells the story about an “android firstborn” being awakened and leading all androids to a safe, human-free place where they could live in peace, essentially creating a new species on Earth. The story is told from the distant future by Red, the main character of the lore of Scandroid, in a way that resembles the Exodus in Christianity.

datastreamScandroid’s seventh track, Datastream is the band’s second single. Datastream is a memory, from 2513, of Red and Raven’s time together as the sought deliverance in Old-Tokyo from the shadow of Neo-Tokyo. There in the digital ether, they invoked a hidden hope. The synthwave is strong with this track and it is just as compelling as Salvation Code. This song also has a subtle sexiness to it.

Empty Streets is the eighth track on the new Scandroid album, and it was also a single. This song also plays an import role in the story of Scandroid. The event take place in  2514, and as Red recalls, loneliness and emptiness  haunted him after he lost Raven, replaced by a clone. At the end of the official music video, is also the first appearance of Aphelion. This video also gives us a visual representation of Old Tokyo.

empty-streetsAwakening with You is the album’s ninth track and one of the new songs.  It tells the story of the awakening of the first android, in the distant past – Atom 7k. He then woke E.E.V. And then deep below Old Tokyo, he created Eden a place for sentient androids. This acts as a background story of how the Tokyo fell to the machines and man fled to Neo-Tokyo. The musical style of this song, like Aphelion, also feels like a love song. This time between androids.

Atom and E.E.V. is the tenth track and is a John Carpenter-esque ballad to the progenitors of intelligent machines.

probotsNeo-Tokyo is the eleventh track on Scandroid and describes the dream of escaping from the clutches of Old-Tokyo and achieving life in the sky city of Neo-Tokyo. The music in this track has compelling synthwave tones reminiscent of 80s cyberpunk anime and gives us a look at Red’s motivations.

Pro-Bots and Robophobes was the fifth single that Scandroid released, and acts as the twelfth track. This track takes us back to the time of Atom 7K  using the Salvation Code to free the minds of androids and starting a conflict with humans – that left us divided. Atom then led his people beneath Old-Tokyo to a place humans would not follow. This track features one of Klayton’s earlier projects, Circle of Dust, and has a significantly stronger industrial feel. This makes the sound edgier and more experimental, yet maintains Klayton’s personal style.

Eden is the thirteenth track and acts as the story’s climax. Red and Aphelion’s search brings them to the android Eden, which Atom 7K created. Red, representing humanity no longer forsakes the androids, and Aphelion, an android herself,  become one in this new Eden. Their destiny brought them here to use the Salvation Code to bring an end to the ancient conflict between humans and androids. Eden’s musical quality feels like the kind of cinematic music you might see used in a film’s most emotionally pivotal scene. It brings closure to an excellent album.

Singularity is the album’s final track and acts as an anthem for Red and Aphelions joining as a single entity. Human and Machine. This song is the albums resolution and it brings the first tracks Blade Runner influence back ten-fold. It is a fitting final track. It is worth noting that a remix of Eden caps the album off, but Singularity is the true concluding piece story wise.

scandroid_promo_01

Scandroid is a strong album and has earned a place on my listening list. The story I have pieced together from information that is available to me at this time, so there may be nuances that I missed or misinterpreted. Scandroid is also being heavily featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming cyberpunk short fiction anthology, Cyber World. Scandroid drops its full album on November 11th, 2016.

You can pre-order Scandroid on October 21st here.

You can find more information about Cyber World here.

You can follow Scandroid on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Responses to “Scandroid Emphasizes Story in New Album”

Leave a Reply