One of the leading lights in Bristol’s electronic scene has released his first studio album in 14 years.
Krust, who grew up in a Knowle West council estate, takes listeners on a powerful and profound journey in The Edge Of Everything.
The sound of the 11-track long-player, which dropped on November 6, is identifiably Krust – but it’s the deepest and most intense we’ve ever heard him.
While past anthems like Warhead and Soul In Motion gave us a peek through the Bristol music icon’s doors of perception, here they are flung wide open, pulling us across into dark new dimensions.
The 52-year-old, real name Kirk Thompson, who was a member of Mercury Music Award-winning collective Reprazent with Roni Size, said that while releasing his third studio album at a time when it’s not possible to play at clubs across the UK isn’t ideal, there is also a positive side to the timing.
Looking for the week’s top entertainment stories in one place? Sign up to our what’s on newsletter here.
“It’s definitely an interesting time to release an album and the circumstances aren’t ideal,” Krust told Bristol Live.
“Of course I would love to be out on the road touring it but on the flipside, the beauty about the situation is that this isn’t really a club record, so in a way I’m blessed that people will be in their best listening environments at home.
“If anything I’m fortunate this album has dropped at a time when people don’t have all the usual distractions in their lives and can instead fully digest the body of work in its entirety.”
Inspired by major film producers
The Edge Of Everything is described as more a movie than it is an album, with Krust inspired by the likes of Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick in its production.
In parts psychological thriller, action romp and sci fi space opus, the LP has a narrative arc that charts a journey to far beyond and back, full of highs and lows.
“I put a lot of thought into the conceptualisation of the project, including the track names and how all the tracks come together to form a singular body of work,” added Krust.
“Instead of just producing another record, which I’ve been doing for 30 years under various guises, I wanted to draw people into an immersive experience.
For news tailored to your local area, powered by In Your Area:
“That took a little bit of time to plan and get right, but it’s the difference between making art and just something for the weekend.
“When I made this album I thought to myself, ‘Who are the best at capturing your attention and holding it for a long period of time?’
“You’ve got Stanley Kubrick, the master storyteller, Christopher Nolan who’s the master of telling non-linear structures, Spike Lee who epitomises the afro-futuristic view of our culture and Martin Scorsese who’s the king of the gangster movies.
“They were all hugely inspirational in helping me tell the story I wanted to portray with this album.”
Album is a quest for self-discovery
The Edge Of Everything also has a practical message for ‘aiding both creativity and global society,’ added Krust.
Championing embracing the unknown and tackling the uncomfortably unfamiliar, it tells the story of an unnamed protagonist who faces the precipice, with no choice but to take a leap of faith.
Diving headfirst into unexplored realms, a profound and perilous quest of self-discovery is undertaken, during which the album’s leading character must reach a higher state and change forever for the better.
This is a fable that mirrors Krust’s own personal journey, as following a breakdown he left his regular life as a DJ and producer and entered uncharted territory.
In around 2008 he left behind major success – which included touring the world with Reprazent – taking time out to re-think via philosophical, mental and creative processes, which he now applies to producing music.
During his hiatus Krust went on retreats and workshops, meditated, studied beliefs and neuro-linguistic programming, and thought a lot about creativity and consciousness.
“It wasn’t until I had my breakdown, which I now realise was in fact a breakthrough, in the late noughties that I realised who I really was and what my strengths really were,” he added.
“I realised I’d been wearing a mask called Krust for such a long time that I had no idea who Kirk Thompson really was.
“When Krust stopped working I could take a peek at who Kirk Thompson could be.
“It was liberating and I found I could finally produce pieces of music from an authentic position – not a vulnerable coping strategy labelled Krust who had been making music for 20 years from a survival point of view.
“I grew up as Krust, not as Kirk Thompson in those crucial formative years, so it’s no wonder I was lost. I was running from fear.
“When I woke up and realised that, that’s when everything changed for me, and this album represents that wakening.”
Tracklist and how to listen
The tracklisting for ‘The Edge of Everything’, which was released on Friday, November 6 on Crosstown Rebels, is as follows:
1. ‘Hegel Dialectic’
2. ‘Constructive Ambiguity’
3. ‘Krust – Negative Returns’
4. ‘Antigravity Love’
5. ‘The Dust Fell Off’
6. ‘Known Truths’
7. ‘Deep Fields Of Liars’
8. ‘Keter The Heavenly’
9. ‘It’s A Lot’
10. ‘Space Oddity’
11. ‘Only God Can Tell’