Bloodyminded and Anatomy Of Habit founder, electronic music veteran, artist, multi-instrumentalist and all around noise mastermind MARK SOLOTROFF will release his new solo album, Not Everybody Makes It, July 30th.
MARK SOLOTROFF‘s artwork and music focuses on several related key themes, including how cities develop, both organically and through organized planning, how the human body navigates urban environments, and how people navigate and interact with each other, particularly in an age of alienation caused by severe digital fragmentation. The significance of these themes was enormously intensified when the global pandemic emerged in early 2020. For SOLOTROFF, a key to coping with the myriad challenges of the past year was to focus on creativity and to dive deep into a daily practice of working on diverse aspects of music production related to his bands and his solo work, including writing, recording, mixing, and mastering as well as album and T-shirt design.
Recorded and mixed by SOLOTROFF during April and May of 2021 and mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room in May in 2021, Not Everybody Makes It is SOLOTROFF‘s most restrained and controlled synth recording to date. While he anticipated creating a hybrid of more primitive and aggressive sounds balanced by more subtle ambient textures, by the time he finished mixing the six new songs — each one exactly ten-minutes in length — he realized that he had made significant strides in evolving his recent style. Not Everybody Makes It functions as a sonic elegy to the countless losses that so many of us have suffered, over the last year and in the recent past, and its shimmering and crumbling frequencies and textures enter into a tense balancing act with elusive melodies that slowly drown in and then emerge from the shifting and eroding dronescapes.
In advance of the release of Not Everybody Makes It, today SOLOTROFF unveils “Suffering Sun (Barren Winter)” for public consumption, offering of the track, “I’m excited to announce my new album and to share this song, which may seem unexpectedly tranquil, compared to the heavier or more aggressive music that some people would anticipate from me. I think it exemplifies the elegiac spirit of the album, which I recorded following a year in which so many people have faced isolation, loss, and profound challenges. It embodies the fundamental balance between melody and noise and structure and abstraction, which I focused on during the recording of this album.”
Stream “Suffering Sun (Barren Winter)” at THIS LOCATION.
Not Everybody Makes It will be available on CD, in a four-panel digipak featuring SOLOTROFF‘s photography, and on all major digital platforms. Find preorders via Bandcamp HERE or iTunes/Apple Music HERE.
Not Everybody Makes It Track Listing:
- Charged Matter (The Problem From The Inside)
- Suffering Sun (Barren Winter)
- The Chaos Of Objects (Tell Her To Follow Me)
- Spatial Unrest (Irresistible Belief)
- Attention To Self (Compel Your Flesh)
- Return To Pleasure (Body Into Voice)
In the music world, SOLOTROFF is best known as the vocalist of both the doom band Anatomy Of Habit and the heavy electronic band Bloodyminded, and as the founder of the early post-industrial band Intrinsic Action. He also has a more than thirty-five-year history playing analog synthesizer. His synth work has been at the core of Bloodyminded and Intrinsic Action, and he recorded and released one-hundred hours of lo-fi analog synth music under the name Super Eight Loop, which he recently digitized and remastered. He is part of the dark-synth group Nightmares, which released a new album in early 2020, as well as the post-industrial trio, Ensemble Sacrés GarÃ§ons, which released their first new album in over twenty-five years, in early 2021.
SOLOTROFF has also collaborated with and contributed synth and/or vocals to numerous bands, ranging from a four-year role in Wrekmeister Harmonies, to live appearances and/or studio recordings with diverse electronic, experimental, and metal bands, including The Atlas Moth, Brutal Truth, Consumer Electronics, Indian, Locrian, Plague Bringer, Sigillum S, and The Sodality. In late 2019, SOLOTROFF‘s synth was included on new releases by Azar Swan (“The Hissing Crane” on Primal Architecture) and The Body (“Remixed” on Thrill Jockey), and in 2020, he created remixes, augmented with his synth, for Statiqbloom (“Asphyxia Remixed” on Synthicide) and Snow Burial (“Painting The Streets With Our Blood”).
As a solo artist, SOLOTROFF focuses on recording and performing tenebrous analog synth music. His bass-heavy soundscapes have been said to unsettle some listeners and calm others. He views these recordings and performances as possible soundtracks for movement through metropolitan terrains, whether by foot, car, or public transportation. Starting in 2017, SOLOTROFF released a series of recordings as limited-edition cassettes, which were also made available through the major digital platforms. An evolution from his overloaded wall-of-synth-noise Super Eight Loop recordings, which he began while living in New York and which were intended as soundtracks for walking through a pre-sterilization Times Square, his new recordings are far more nuanced and dynamic. Notably, they are meant to be listened to at a more moderate volume – allowing city sounds to blend into the music – and so as not to drown out voices, traffic, construction, and other day-to-day urban sounds that one might encounter. In 2021, he collected these small edition cassettes onto three double CD sets, under the title Strategic Planning. Creaig Dunton at Brainwashed characterized work from this period by saying that SOLOTROFF, “does an exceptional job at capturing bleakness, casting out cold sheets of sound like frigid rain falling in a vast, deserted space.” During the early stages of the pandemic, SOLOTROFF recorded and released a solo album, You May Be Holding Back, which consists of two long-form synth pieces, accompanied by unidentified found sounds. Chris Groves at Night Science called the work “redolent of isolation.”