Oakland, California-based dark ambient/synthwave solo project S.C.R.A.M. presents a filmic new full-length concept album, The Inner City, confirming its October release date and issuing the cover art, track listing, preorders, and a visualizer for the lead single, “Slipstream Visions.”
Formed in the isolation of the 2020 Covid lockdowns, S.C.R.A.M. (Safety Control Rod Axe Man) is the solo project of Pranjal Tiwari. Known for his work with the long-running cult doom metal band Cardinal Wyrm, Finnish-language hardcore band Ransu’s Revenge, and more, Tiwari utilizes this project to create cinematic, experimental, ambient, electronic, and heavily instrumental passages, focusing tension and negative space to create immersive auras. Having released an EP, two prior albums, and a split with Gridfailure over the past two years, the soloist offers his most introspective material yet with the third full-length album, The Inner City.
With ten new songs on The Inner City, S.C.R.A.M. delivers a record that channels the soundtracks of 70s and 80s classic films such as Blade Runner, Tron, and even Taxi Driver, yet transcends dystopian and futuristic cliches with a very personal and reflective approach. The record was fully written, performed, and recorded by creator Pranjal Tiwari, with crucial contributions from several guests, including trumpet on “Welcome to New Damascus,” “Tomorrow Is Always Right Behind You,” and “Never Could Live Like That,” by Mac Gollehon (multi-platinum David Bowie, Duran Duran, Blondie, Onyx session player), trumpet on “A Rooftop Funeral” from Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Cardinal Wyrm, Ionophore), additional keyboards on “Never Could Live Like That” from Nathan Bishop-Bolin (Cardinal Wyrm), and field recordings on “A Rooftop Funeral” and “Never Could Live Like That” from David Brenner (Gridfailure, Diminishing). The album was mixed and mastered by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios, and is fitted with artwork by the legendary UK sci-fi artist Chris Moore, photography by Joelle Garson, and layout and additional photography by David Brenner.
Tiwari reveals, “I can’t remember a day when I’ve felt like I belonged in this world. At every stage, in every setting I have been an outsider. It seems like wherever I am, whoever I am with, I have never been quite there, never been quite right. I’ve always lived somewhere else.
“That other world, The Inner City, is what I’ve always tried to illustrate through the music I make. I started S.C.R.A.M. during the lockdown of 2020, and since then it has grown and developed and taken over much of my time. This is particularly true of The Inner City, an album that has taken me years to complete (although if you count the time that the soundtracks to Blade Runner, Taxi Driver, Tron and The Terminator have been percolating in my brain since I first heard them as a kid, it’s probably taken decades). This album is my most ambitious work to date, and I’m grateful to all my musical collaborators on it: Mac Gollehon, Leila Abdul-Rauf, Nathan Bishop-Bolin, David Brenner, and of course Greg Wilkinson for his excellent work mixing and mastering everything together. I couldn’t be more proud of the end result. The world that this album channels is simultaneously a vast and intimate place. It is dark, mournful, funny, contemplative, terrifying, dangerous, yearning… and beautiful.
“It is The Inner City, and it’s where I’ll be if you need me.”
Watch a trippy visualizer for the first precursor track from S.C.R.A.M.’s The Inner City, “Slipstream Visions,” at YouTube HERE and stream the song at Bandcamp HERE.
Stand by for additional audio premieres, videos, and more from the album to enter the digital ether over the weeks ahead.
The Inner City Track Listing:
1. Second Sun
2. Welcome To New Damascus
3. Quantum Rats
4. Abigail’s Dream
5. A Rooftop Funeral
6. Future Noir
7. Tomorrow Is Always Right Behind You
8. The Inner City (Through A Screen Darkly)
9. Slipstream Visions
10. Never Could Live Like That