I have been a fan of Scuba’s for over 10 years, since his emergence in the more techno tinged side of the dubstep scene.
Paul was starting his SCB alias back up again, focusing on stripped back techno with a concept.
The brief was a dystopian sci-fi nightmare, to tell a story and create a world based on environmental catastrophe and the controversial decisions of an anti-hero.
The project was formed of 4 pieces. 3 EP’s to introduce the character and the world, documenting his rise to power from street level, to prophet, to power (and madness).
The 4th piece would form the album cover, initially we didn’t know what it would be but we knew it would emerge from the story.
Each piece would take place at a different moment in time, with the story progressing.
As Paul’s ideas for the album took shape, the artwork was able to evolve. The stripped back, industrial nature of the music fit perfectly with my vision of these gargantuan cities and then the subsequent “Caibu” concept that emerged.
Caibu is a fictitious surgical procedure where one person’s cognitive ability is augmented through transplant into another. It’s this nightmarish, narcissistic surgery that is deemed to be the beginning of a solution in the eyes of the main dictator-like character at the centre of the story.
It was the third piece that set the scene for the album artwork. Paul wanted me to illustrate the character undergoing the surgery with a nod towards the orphanage from Blade Runner 2049.
This is a vastly overpopulated world, it was not hard to imagine structures and machines that were of a makeshift quality, almost bodged together like something out of scrapheap challenge!
I wanted the surgical robot arms to be massive, the last thing you’d want cutting you open. It was also important to me that the arms didn’t look like they could move particularly well, as though they would be prone to jamming up and going wrong A LOT. Then the expensive equipment and actual surgeon is seen working on our main character.
The equipment then became the focus for the final piece and album cover.
I tried to really develop this arkane technology with some rough sketches, figuring out how to make it look more terrifying.
The finished drawing, on its own on a white background (how I like to present a lot of my images) is, hopefully, a bold representation of the story so far…
You can purchase the album at all good record stores