|MadHatter was a steel drivin' man.|
The proposed concept album The John Henry Complex will blend the ever-popular steampunk aesthetic with hip-hop storytelling. It's a re-imagined tale of John Henry, the steel drivin' man of American folklore, as he fights against the crooked mechanical and entertainment industries as a true hero of the common folk.
MadHatter elaborates saying:
Set in a broken-down, surrogate America during 1894, the music is composed only using instruments available during this time period such as timpani, snare drums, violins, cellos, pipe organs, etc. with accents of industrial clangs, electricity, booms, rivets being struck by hammers, steam hisses, marching, and more. All of the themes deal with the industrial revolution of man versus machine, hard work, racism and slavery, mad science, new world communication, people's basic rights, corrupt governments, and evil corporations.
Featuring seven completely original songs as well as two timeline-perfect covers (Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" and Louis Jordan's "Beans and Cornbread"), this album is executively composed by Pelicaine!einhander, one of the most unique producers in underground Hip Hop from Texas. It also features record scratching (or phonograph manipulation, if you will) by Dale Chase, a quick-rising Nerdcore star and amazing beatsmith from New York.
There will be a few major collaborations with fellow nerdy emcees as well as appropriately untranslated verses from a few international artists on the track "World's Faire."
Also, you should know that this release will be completely radio-friendly to appeal to a wider audience and be playable anytime, anywhere.Concerning the presentation of this unique project, the goal of the Kickstarter fundraiser is to garner enough cash to press 12" vinyl in period-appropriate packaging "including jackets with custom etching-styled illustrations" by Scrub Club's in-house designer Mr. Spooky.
Of course it wouldn't be a Kickstarter project without contributor perks, and on this end the Scrubs really pull out all the stops. Rewards run the gamut from the typical digital album download and a copy of the physical release to extravagancies like a special guest verse on your own track (from MadHatter or Dale Chase) and a custom-made beat (compliments of Dale or Pelicaine!einhander).
Anyone interested in high-concept nerdcore or steampunk culture should definitely peep the full details. This sounds like a genuinely original album concept, and I truly hope it meets its funding goal. If you feel so lead, please do what you can to help fight the (stodgy, distinctly Victorian) power!