As we’ve previously reported, this project kicked off when Barrow and Salisbury revisited and started expanding upon some of their early material, deciding to continue writing what was essentially soundtrack music. Barrow, along with album designer and long term friend, Marc Bessant, were both avid 2000AD readers from a young age, and the sprawling metropolis and classic stories of Mega-City One seemed the ideal inspiration for this ‘soundtrack’.
Although Mega-City One has been brought to life in great detail over many years by the acclaimed work of writers and artists alike, the creators of Drokk feel there’s still huge scope for readers to have their own vision/soundtrack of the city. Rather than intending to be the definitive sound of Mega-City One (could there be a ‘definitive sound’ of a city so vast, changeable and varied?), Drokk is Barrow and Salisbury’s personal, outsider’s’ interpretation.
Drokk was written in a six month period between Barrow’s Portishead world tour and Salisbury’s composing jobs for the BBC. Although it is a soundtrack of sorts, Barrow and Salisbury instinctively felt that music for MC1 should steer clear of the rich orchestration common to many contemporary film scores.
Barrow and Salisbury instinctively felt that music for MC1 should steer clear of the rich orchestration common to many contemporary film scores. Even for electronica the music is purposefully stark and spare, with the majority of tracks created exclusively on the Oberhiem 2 Voice Synthesizer (a 1975 classic keyboard), and its onboard sequencer used to create rhythm and drum sounds.
The only exception are a handful of tracks which combine the synth with digitally manipulated and time-stretched performances of acoustic instruments – such as piano, violin, mandolin, ukelele, voice and hammered dulcimer.
“2000AD is delighted that Judge Dredd continues to inspire artists in the year of the character’s 35th anniversary, especially such high profile talents as Geoff and Ben,” said a 2000AD spokesperson. “You can tell, from their vision of the Big Meg, that they’re massive fans of the strip.”
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.