It’s autumn. Potentially that’s not a part of your reality as of now, but up here close to the Arctic Circle, it’s very much in effect. What that means, is first and foremost oddly beautiful sceneries made up of dying things, migrating birds, freezing sunlit mornings, and a very particular kind of mood that sets the mind in a somewhat sullen ease, before the seemingly endless darkness of winter sets in. During these times, I tend to gravitate towards equally melancholic music, often with the emphasis on ambiance and vivid tonalities that engage in a beckoning dance together with the rust hues of my surroundings.
Mark Solotroff is a multi-instrumentalist and a veteran electronic musician, whose new album Today The Infinite, Tomorrow Zero comes out on November 3. The Chicago based multidisciplinary artist has made a name for himself by working on the ever-exquisite fields of experimental, post-industrial, noise, and metal music, dating back to the mid-80s. While perhaps best known for his vocal work in Anatomy Of Habit and BLOODYMINDED, and having founded Intrinsic Action, Solotroff’s endeavours with analog synthesizers dates back to his earliest recordings and continues still today, and today we’re glad to bring you the latest showcase of just that by means of premiering the song “Almost All Promises” for you, taken from how upcoming album. Sit down with a pair of headphones or speakers, and take the track in in all of its harrowing lo-fi-esque glory;
Spectral by design and ethereal by nature, “Almost All Promises” exemplifies the remainder of the album in essence. The whole album was recorded directly to a four-track tape recorder as layered synths, then looped to achieve various outcomes that each stand on their own, whether in a more melodic and lush or more grating and haunting manner. While “Almost All Promises” relies more heavily on the beautiful end of the scope, it isn’t bereft of that inexplicable feeling of yearning and emotive dearth one can experience from time to time, and not in the least during the autumns, as I explained in the first paragraph. Solotroff himself explained the following about the song;
‘“Almost All Promises” might be the calmest and prettiest song that I’ve ever created, particularly due to the complex melody that loops in and out. I’m slowly getting used to these types of compositions emanating from my head. Don’t let this wolf in sheep’s clothing fool you, though. What’s the easiest way to ‘fill in the blank’ with this title? I know that for me, it would read ‘Almost All Promises Are BROKEN’. Therein lies the very essence of this album and its title, in its most reductive form. Today you are promised something, and tomorrow that promise is broken, leaving you with ZERO.‘
So are these promises actual ones made by fellow humans, or the world surrounding us, or something else entirely? Not to sound like a broken clock with my analogies, but again I’d say that the notion of autumn fits to Solotroff’s description. After all, what is autumn if not a promise of beauty and vibrancy only to be broken by what awaits lurking in the horizon in mere weeks or even days?
A case could be made about the fact that Today The Infinite, Tomorrow Zero is a contemporary album tied – but not limited – to a moment in time, existing both sonically and creatively in a liminal space, entering the post-pandemic world by means of sounds that could just as easily be decades old at this point, to produce invigorating and strong, albeit eerie, sensations that further underline how some things should be experienced separated from everything else, to be fully understood for what it is. To some, the lo-fi washes and near-indecipherable tonalities of something like “Almost All Promises” can be daunting, but to others such as myself, it’s simply everything.
Mark Solotroff‘s Today The Infinite, Tomorrow Zero is out on November 3, and you can pre-order the record from here as well as follow the artist on Facebook over here. Meanwhile, you have a few weeks to prepare to get your heart put through a woodchipper.