Krupskaya v Foible Instinct

Split Record Music and Artwork

Project details

  • Client: 7 Degrees Records (Germany)
  • Responsibilities: Illustration, Art direction, Digital Illustration, Photo-manipulation, Drums, Songwriting

Creative brief: Bring the band back with a bang after a six year absence

Krupskaya went from being immensely productive to… well, not so productive in the years during my absence.

The band did an incredible, six week tour of South East Asia in 2009 with the second drummer whom left to pursue other interests shortly afterward. When I returned in 2012, I think we all hoped/expected that we’d be just as productive as we were in the 2005 to 2008 era. Evidently, we didn’t fully appreciate that our bodies and responsibilities were not what they were back then.

Anyway, after some years of writing demos and plenty of solid gigs, I found myself frustrated with our lack of a follow up to 2010’s split release with Sandokhan. I forget the exact flow of events, but between myself, Simon at 7 Degrees Records and Denis at the Gazelle of Death (whom organised our Russia/Ukraine 2015 tour) we managed to arrange a split record release with Ukraine’s grindcore finest – Foible Instinct.

Musical approach

Alex and I had been working on some much longer, more complex tracks on and off durin my visits back from South Africa. These weren’t quite ready for public consumption though and so for this release, we turned our attention to reworking some of the demo’s they’d been working on with other drummers during the interim.

Being able to listen to the tracks in advance and not worry quite so much about song structures was a blessing. It meant I could focus purely on what I wanted to do with the sound and feel of the drums. That manifested itself in more in the way of intricacies and precision. The calm areas were a lot more relaxed and laid back than they had been. Toms were utilised to a more musical end rather than simplying ‘beefing up’ rythmns or accents, as would so often be the case. Improving my playing of gravity blasts was likewise a goal, since I wanted them to cut through the mix with a little more concision than on the Sandokhan split.

Krupskaya - Order of the new Templars

Visuals and motion

From an artistic perspective, I wanted to mix the approach taken with both the Sandokhan and Clouds Over Pripyat records. I wanted to apply the messy, abstract style of photo manipulation I’d used on Sandokhan to a more identifiable, recognisable end. This resulted in the depiction of an urban, industrial environment whose layers bleed in and out of eachother in a sort of dream-like fashion.

Video trailer for the record

Video trailer for the record