Friday, May 07, 2021

Mark Solotroff :Strategic Planning Vol. 3" 2CD Out Now

 


DOUBLE COMPACT DISC SET NOW SHIPPING

My thanks to everyone who supported the first two "Strategic Planning" 2CD sets! I'm happy to announce that the third and final volume of my new anthology series is in-stock and ready to ship. It compiles all of the tracks from two limited edition cassettes that I released in 2017 ("Vantage Points" and "Connected City") along with 90-minutes of previously unreleased music, drawn from recordings that I made during the same period. Now that this series is complete, I've been working on the follow-up to my 2020 album, "You May Be Holding Back," and I expect to release my next album this summer. The tentative title is "Not Everybody Makes It."





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Strategic Planning Vol. 3

CD1:
1. Anthropological Place (14:40)
2. Place Of Loyalty (14:30)
3. Sensing Place (14:42)
4. Places Of Memory (14:36)
5. Actionable Insights (15:00)

CD2:
1. Strategic Planning Part 1 (25:00)
2. Strategic Planning Part 2 (25:00)
3. Strategic Planning Part 3 (25:00)

CD1:
1+2: Originally released on Vantage Points (2017, C-30, edition of 25)
3+4: Originally released on Connected City (2017, C-30, edition of 50)
5: Previously Unreleased

CD2:
1-3: Previously Unreleased


---------------------------------------------------------------------

ORDER THE 2CD VIA BANDCAMP:

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/merch/strategic-planning-vol-3-2cd

---------------------------------------------------------------------

In 2017, I began recording and releasing a series of analog synth pieces as limited edition cassettes, some in editions of 25 copies, and some in editions of 50 or 100 copies. Some had simple packaging and some had more elaborate packaging. I also made these releases available through all the major digital platforms.

This work was an evolution of my overloaded wall-of-synth-noise Super Eight Loop recordings, which I began while I was living in New York, in the 1990s, and which were initially intended as soundtracks for walking through a pre-sterilization Times Square.

These newer recordings were intended to be 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.

With these releases, I went back to my familiar method of recording the synth tracks on four-track cassette, and several of these pieces are mixed with field recordings and other external sound sources, to add further personal elements to the music.

Late last year, I thought about the interconnected nature of all of these releases and I decided to try to configure them in some new way and in a new format. This might appeal to those who haven't heard these recordings yet, to those who don't listen to cassettes or don't listen to streaming music, or to those who missed some of them when they were originally released. This certainly might fit in with my long history of series, formatting, and standardized packaging. There's also a dual meaning to and an inside joke connected to the title, which some people might get. It's not really that funny, but it makes me chuckle.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

ALSO AVAILABLE:


"Strategic Planning Vol. 2" (2CD)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/merch/strategic-planning-vol-2-2cd


"Strategic Planning Vol. 1" (2CD)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/merch/strategic-planning-vol-1-2cd


Ensemble Sacrés Garçons "Demonization: These Worldly Powers" (LP/Digital)

https://ensemblesacresgarcons.bandcamp.com/album/demonization-these-worldly-powers


Paolo L. Bandera + Mark Solotroff "Geological Plots And Subway Rifts" (Digital+PDF)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/album/geological-plots-and-subway-rifts


"You May Be Holding Back" (CD/Digital)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/album/you-may-be-holding-back

Friday, April 16, 2021

Super Eight Loop "Grid" New T-shirt, Hoody and Tote

Super Eight Loop "Grid"
New T-shirt, Hoody and Tote

I've been moving very slowly on the Super Eight Loop book that I announced, when I was wrapping up the remixing and remastering process. I do tinker with it, here and there, and one of the results of my work is this grid of all 100 faces from the digital art. I figured that I'd channel my energy into a new Threadless design and make it available to everyone, rather than auction it off as an NFT that only one collector would own. All 100 recordings continue to be available to stream/download exclusively via Bandcamp.

This new design is available as a T-shirt and as a hoody in a full range of men's and women's sizes. Tote bags are also available.





https://bloodyminded.threadless.com/designs/super-eight-loop-grid

Super Eight Loop:
Bandcamp

Friday, April 09, 2021

New Intrinsic Action "Metro 86" T-shirt

 

Intrinsic Action "Metro 86"
New T-shirt, Hoody and Tote

The first Intrinsic Action show was on December 10, 1986, at Cabaret Metro, in Chicago. We were on a bill with the bands Unit 731 and White China. I first saw Unit 731 open for Whitehouse, in 1984, at The Cubby Bear, and he (Paul) was a good fit. White China had an ex-member of Ministry, if I remember correctly, and they were more in that vein. The show was part of a regular Wednesday night budget-price series that was sponsored by the radio station WXRT and that was typically well-attended. We had a great crowd that night, too.



At the time of this show, we had already released our demo in 
1984 and our self-titled full-length in 1985, and we were about to release Intrinsic Action "II." We were definitely anxious to dip our toes into the live arena.



The choice of the Gustave Moreau image was based on my growing interest in this symbolist artist. I had graduated that spring from The School of the Art Institute and I was working as a curatorial assistant in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the museum. I only remember The Art Institute having a small number of works on paper by the artist, but they had long and prominently displayed the large dark painting, "Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra," which I regularly went to look at. When a curator at the museum found out how much I liked the artist, she gave me a copy of the fantastic catalog from the Kunsthaus Zürich show that had been published earlier in 1986. Shortly before our show, Pamela and I had been in NYC, and we saw the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Oedipus and the Sphinx," which became another favorite of mine. A related influence was Symbolist literature, which I had been increasingly enjoying, after encountering the reading lists published in The Industrial Culture Handbook, which I read when it was published in 1983. I was already familiar with some of the big names, particularly the major French authors and certain of their Russian influences, but the Handbook got me to delve deeper into writers like Lautréamont, and especially Huysmans.

After one of our practices, leading up to our first show, we (Pamela, Peter Margasak [my cousin, who briefly played guitar with us], and I) decided to go for a drink. There was a biker bar nearby, in Edgewater, called Deadwood Dave's Wild West Saloon. There were usually choppers parked out front, including one that had saddlebags with impressively long fringe that dragged on the ground. After walking in, we went up to the bar and we ordered drinks. I remember, specifically, that I ordered a weissbier. The bartender put my bottle and the appropriate tall glass in front of me and I proceeded to quickly pour the beer, which resulted in a volcano of foam and a wet mess on the bar. The bartender saw this and made eye-contact with me. I thought I was fucked. He walked over, pulled out a bar towel, and wiped up my beer, saying, "I see we've got a little spilly over here." Okay, not bad. Just a little friendly humiliation.

 About the show. I will tell you that we prepared a video to be played on the numerous monitors around the venue and on the two 12-foot by 12-foot screens that we requested be pulled up on either side of us on the stage. These screens were used to project videos during Video Metro nights. What we showed ran the gamut of objectionable and inspirational material... sex, violence, German scat films, S&M, Pentecostal Christian snake handlers, Alice Cooper and his snake, Led Zeppelin in all their glory... and more. Not only was the owner of Cabaret Metro very unhappy with us... but the museum curator who gave me the Moreau catalog attended, and she was extremely upset by our performance. Our working relationship and friendship was negatively affected... something I'd have to get used to, making this type of music. Still, the venue asked us back the following month, to open for Wiseblood, under the agreement that we wouldn't show those video nasties. Well, we managed to get a friend to "handle" the projection in the sound booth and - yes - we did it again. We were banned from playing Cabaret Metro until the following year, as our punishment.

I just added this new design to our Threadless store, and it's available as a T-shirt and as a hoody in a full range of men's and women's sizes. Tote bags are also available.


https://bloodyminded.threadless.com/designs/intrinsic-action-metro-86

Intrinsic Action:
Bandcamp
Spotify
Apple

Friday, April 02, 2021

BLOODYMINDED "202" T-Shirt

 



NEW BLOODYMINDED "202" DESIGN


What can I say about the connection between BLOODYMINDED and the Roland MC-202? It was the ideal choice of synth, when I was contemplating the end of Intrinsic Action and the beginning of BLOODYMINDED, in late 1994/early 1995. In the later era of Intrinsic Action, we were playing live with a Moog Rogue and a Roland SH-101, which meant that we were tied to keyboard stands or bar tables, or something similar. Using the attachable mod-grip and a guitar strap was never an option with the 101. Never. Back then, I pictured a point where we could be more mobile, onstage, even if we didn't start that way. But a small, battery powered synth, like the 202, opened up more possibilities for dynamic performance, and I'd say that we got there, relatively quickly. Also being being familiar with the 101 made using a 202, its "little brother," a no-brainer. I had already acquired two of the synths, prior to our first studio session, and from the start, we seemed very certain that 202s would be a big part of our band. On one of the spines of our "Trophy" CD, we included the phrase, "Twin 202 Power-Electronic Death-Noise," and we included a 202 on the inside artwork of our "West" 7-inch, with the name BLOODYMINDED replacing the Roland logo.

The 202 photographed for this new design is one that was used extensively on tour by Pieter, and it suffered tremendously, in his hands. Over the years, we've learned that 202s are not just musical instruments, but they're shields and sometimes defensive weapons. After nearly every show, I'd discover that another fader cap or knob was missing, and I finally removed all of them from this synth to replace missing parts on other 202s that were also seeing hard use in live shows. Pieter ultimately bashed this one up so badly that not only did the body crack in several spots (thus the gaffer tape), but the circuit board actually cracked in two pieces. I also recall that one of the bare faders punctured his hand during one particularly rough show. This one's been out of commission for years, and several other of our 202s are also in pretty rough shape. 

In 2010, when the majority of our 202 "fleet" had fallen into disrepair, I initiated a departure from our signature synth and I bought a few tiny Korg Monotron synths. It was worth a try, right? They'd typically break after just one show, because the mini output jacks are so delicate. A very kind Guitar Center salesperson, who'd seen me return several times with broken Monotrons, recommended that I buy a new one with a protection plan. While I would normally never waste money on that, she explained that for the low cost of the plan, I could keep bringing back broken synths after using them during shows. Huh!?! So, we went down that route, for a while, until the novelty of jumping around on stage with smartphone-sized synths simply got old for us. I kept a box full of broken Monotrons, but that seems like it would make for a boring shirt design.

I used to care more about synths, although I still have a variety of small to medium-sized analog mono-synths to write and record with. Over time, however, I think I pretty much lost interest in music gear. I even relaxed our 202 rule again, so you might see Isidro and Will onstage with something else in their hands -- maybe Roland, maybe Korg. Sure, maybe some new micro-synth hitting the market will catch my eye in the future, but I'm not holding my breath. In the back of my mind, I always wondered if BLOODYMINDED would have the natural expiration date of when all of our 202s were destroyed. In the 1990s, they were easier to find and they only ran about $350-$400. By the early 2000s, they were at least double that price, and now they're frequently priced well over $1000, with really clean ones even reaching $1500. That seems a lot of money for something that'll probably get destroyed.

Luckily, we've still got some back-ups, so we're not giving up, anytime soon... 


https://BLOODYMINDED.threadless.com/designs/bloodyminded-202


https://bloodyminded.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/bloodymindedchi/

https://www.facebook.com/BLOODYMINDED/

Friday, March 26, 2021

Mark Solotroff "Strategic Planning Vol. 2" 2CD Out Now

 


DOUBLE COMPACT DISC SET NOW SHIPPING

Thanks to all of you who have supported the first 2CD set! I'm pleased to announce that the second volume of my new anthology series is in-stock and ready to ship. It compiles all of the tracks from three cassettes that I released from 2017-19. I'm wrapping up the pre-production of Vol. 3 and I anticipate releasing that 2CD set, which will also include previously unreleased music, in late April or early May.





---------------------------------------------------------------------

Strategic Planning Vol. 2

CD1:
1. Ego Machine (30:00)
2. Achievement Society (30:00)
3. Era Of Crisis (14:30) 

CD2:
1. Administrative Framework (30:00)
2. Institutional Transparency (30:00)
3. Era Of Standardization (14:25) 

CD1:
1+2: Originally released on Symmetrical Spaces Of Communication (2018, C-60, edition of 50)
3: Originally released on Psychological Mobility (2017, C-30, edition of 25)
 
CD2:
1+2: Originally released on The Myth Of Community (2019, C-60, edition of 50)
3: Originally released on Psychological Mobility (2017, C-30, edition of 25)


---------------------------------------------------------------------

ORDER THE 2CD VIA BANDCAMP:

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/merch/strategic-planning-vol-2

---------------------------------------------------------------------

In 2017, I began recording and releasing a series of analog synth pieces as limited edition cassettes, some in editions of 25 copies, and some in editions of 50 or 100 copies. Some had simple packaging and some had more elaborate packaging. I also made these releases available through all the major digital platforms.

This work was an evolution of my overloaded wall-of-synth-noise Super Eight Loop recordings, which I began while I was living in New York, in the 1990s, and which were initially intended as soundtracks for walking through a pre-sterilization Times Square.

These newer recordings were intended to be 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.

With these releases, I went back to my familiar method of recording the synth tracks on four-track cassette, and several of these pieces are mixed with field recordings and other external sound sources, to add further personal elements to the music.

Late last year, I thought about the interconnected nature of all of these releases and I decided to try to configure them in some new way and in a new format. This might appeal to those who haven't heard these recordings yet, to those who don't listen to cassettes or don't listen to streaming music, or to those who missed some of them when they were originally released. This certainly might fit in with my long history of series, formatting, and standardized packaging. There's also a dual meaning to and an inside joke connected to the title, which some people might get. It's not really that funny, but it makes me chuckle.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

COMING SOON:



Strategic Planning Vol. 3
Tracks originally released on Vantage Points (2017, C-30, edition of 25) and Connected City (2017, C-30, edition of 50), plus previously unreleased recordings drawn from these 2017-19 sessions

---------------------------------------------------------------------

ALSO AVAILABLE:


"Strategic Planning Vol. 1" (2CD)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/merch/strategic-planning-vol-1-2cd


Ensemble Sacrés Garçons "Demonization: These Worldly Powers" (LP/Digital)

https://ensemblesacresgarcons.bandcamp.com/album/demonization-these-worldly-powers


Paolo L. Bandera + Mark Solotroff "Geological Plots And Subway Rifts" (Digital+PDF)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/album/geological-plots-and-subway-rifts


"You May Be Holding Back" (CD/Digital)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/album/you-may-be-holding-back

Friday, March 19, 2021

BLOODYMINDED "MOTHERCARE" SHIRT



NEW BLOODYMINDED "MOTHERCARE" DESIGN


Our "Mothercare" CD-single had a long and somewhat convoluted gestation period. During the 90s, I read several books on the Jamie Bulger case, which informed the direction of some lyrics that I was working on. In 1998, Xavier and I spent a week together in London, during one of my trips there. After Xavier returned to Toulouse, I spent a fun Saturday hanging out with Philip Best, visiting various pubs and "slob book" shops (I'm bastardizing Philip's slang here). I have a memory of passing by a Mothercare shop and boasting that BLOODYMINDED would be making some sort of shirt with the store's logo, as an insider nod to the Bulger case.

Five years later, our "Mothercare" single was released. My original thought was that we'd release a two-song 7-inch single, as something like a love-letter to the early grindcore scene, which definitely influenced my direction during the transition from Intrinsic Action to BLOODYMINDED. The single was to include two live songs, "As If" and "Baby," and it would have come in well under one-minute long. Somehow, along the way, the discussion changed to include "A Song For Lisanne, A Young Model," an alternate version to the one on our 2005 album, "Gift Givers," and to release the three songs as a CD-single in a cardboard sleeve. I have no memory of why we went with those choices, but there you have it. The front cover of the single features a cropped image from the well-known CCTV capture related to the aforementioned case. For the new shirt, I've included a wider crop of the photo and I've messed with Megan's great original layout. On a side note, the pressing plant objected to a photo of JonBenét Ramsey that we originally included on the back cover and they requested that we remove it, due to copyright issues. At least they weren't concerned about the photo of Alice Liddell that's on the back. The single went on to totally divide audience opinion. Some people loved it and some people simply couldn't understand why we'd bother pressing a CD that was only a minute-and-a-half long. I guess if you have to ask... 


Listen here: https://bloodyminded.bandcamp.com/album/mothercare

Twenty-three (oh my!) years later, we've finally made those Mothercare shirts, although they're not quite the same as the original idea that I had back then. They're a first for us, as the design is printed on red shirts (as well as red hoodies and red totes). People have been asking about colors, so as a follow-up to our recent "BLOODYMINDED Black-on-White" drop, here you go. They're available in a full range of men's and women's sizes.


https://BLOODYMINDED.threadless.com/designs/bloodyminded-mothercare


https://bloodyminded.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/bloodymindedchi/

https://www.facebook.com/BLOODYMINDED/

Friday, March 12, 2021

New Intrinsic Action "Shock Pit" T-shirt

 

Intrinsic Action "Shock Pit"
New T-shirt, Hoody and Tote

Intrinsic Action first performed our song "Shock Pit" on September 8, 1989, at Dreamerz, in Chicago, on a bill with the band End Result.



I had written the song earlier that year, after following the news of Gary Heidnik's arrest in Philadelphia, in March 1987. I believe that I relied on newspaper articles, as I'm pretty sure that the song was written before the publication of Cellar of Horror by Ken Englade. My memory could certainly be foggy on that point... In any case, it became a fixture of our sets, from then on.




The song was recorded during October and November of 1990, and was released on our album "Sado-Electronics" in 1992. You can listen to the song via our Bandcamp page (as well as on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.): https://intrinsicaction.bandcamp.com/track/shock-pit



I just posted this new design in our Threadless store, and it's available as a T-shirt and as a hoody in a full range of men's and women's sizes. Tote bags are also available. In fact, the 18" x 18" tote is probably perfect for heavy-duty jumper cables.

https://bloodyminded.threadless.com/designs/intrinsic-action-shock-pit

Intrinsic Action:
Bandcamp
Spotify
Apple

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Mark Solotroff "Strategic Planning Vol. 1" 2CD Out Now

 


DOUBLE COMPACT DISC SET NOW SHIPPING

In 2017, I began recording and releasing a series of analog synth pieces as limited edition cassettes, some in editions of 25 copies, and some in editions of 50 or 100 copies. Some had simple packaging and some had more elaborate packaging. I also made these releases available through all the major digital platforms.

This work was an evolution of my overloaded wall-of-synth-noise Super Eight Loop recordings, which I began while I was living in New York, in the 1990s, and which were initially intended as soundtracks for walking through a pre-sterilization Times Square.

These newer recordings were intended to be 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.

With these releases, I went back to my familiar method of recording the synth tracks on four-track cassette, and several of these pieces are mixed with field recordings and other external sound sources, to add further personal elements to the music.

Late last year, I thought about the interconnected nature of all of these releases and I decided to try to configure them in some new way and in a new format. This might appeal to those who haven't heard these recordings yet, to those who don't listen to cassettes or don't listen to streaming music, or to those who missed some of them when they were originally released. This certainly might fit in with my long history of series, formatting, and standardized packaging. There's also a dual meaning to and an inside joke connected to the title, which some people might get. It's not really that funny, but it makes me chuckle.







Strategic Planning Vol. 1
 
CD1:
1. Utopian Plans (29:50)
2. Attraction Structures (30:00)
3. Spatial Questions (14:47) 

CD2:
1. Emotive Issues (30:00)
2. Population Advisor (30:00)
3. Spatial Extensions (14:45) 

CD1:
1+2: Originally released on Radial Communication (2017, C-60, edition of 100)
3: Originally released on Spatial Settlement Patterns (2017, C-30, edition of 25)
 
CD2:
1+2: Originally released on Social Objectives (2018, C-60, edition of 50)
3: Originally released on Spatial Settlement Patterns (2017, C-30, edition of 25)


---------------------------------------------------------------------

ORDER THE 2CD VIA BANDCAMP:
https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/merch/strategic-planning-vol-1-2cd

---------------------------------------------------------------------

COMING SOON:



Strategic Planning Vol. 2
Tracks originally released on Symmetrical Spaces Of Communication (2018, C-60, edition of 50), Psychological Mobility (2017, C-30, edition of 25), and originally released on The Myth Of Community (2019, C-60, edition of 50)


Strategic Planning Vol. 3
Tracks originally released on Vantage Points (2017, C-30, edition of 25) and Connected City (2017, C-30, edition of 50), plus previously unreleased recordings drawn from these 2017-19 sessions

---------------------------------------------------------------------

ALSO AVAILABLE:


Ensemble Sacrés Garçons "Demonization: These Worldly Powers" (LP/Digital)

https://ensemblesacresgarcons.bandcamp.com/album/demonization-these-worldly-powers


Paolo L. Bandera + Mark Solotroff "Geological Plots And Subway Rifts" (Digital+PDF)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/album/geological-plots-and-subway-rifts


You May Be Holding Back (CD/Digital)

https://marksolotroff.bandcamp.com/album/you-may-be-holding-back

Friday, February 19, 2021

Ensemble Sacrés Garçons “Demonization: These Worldly Powers” LP out now

 


LIMITED EDITION LP NOW SHIPPING





(Note: reverse of poster sleeve shown for illustrative purposes)


(Note: this is a single LP - A and B sides shown for illustrative purposes)

Ensemble Sacrés Garçons is a post-industrial band that was formed in 1994, by Paolo L. Bandera (Sshe Retina Stimulants, Sigillum S, The Sodality, Iugula-Thor, etc.), Andrea Chiaravalli (Iugula-Thor), both from Milan, and Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit, BLOODYMINDED, The Fortieth Day, Intrinsic Action, etc.), from Chicago. “Demonization: These Worldly Powers” is the band’s second album. It contains seven songs that are characterized by dense foundations of magnetic tape processing, spectral analog synth, and layers of opposing vocals.

The album is pressed on 160 gram black vinyl. It’s housed in plain, glossy black LP jackets, with wrap-around 12”x24” poster sleeves, printed on both sides, in metallic silver ink on heavyweight black stock. There are individually numbered, double-sided 8.5”x11” cardstock inserts included, with credits and lyrics, as well as separate download codes.

Track Listing:
Side A:
I'm Your Nightmare (3:34)
Death Inflates (3:28)
Velocity (5:32)
Devil's Still On That Seat (4:25)
Side B:
Voice Stealing (4:47)
Dead Band (7:50)
Suffers (3:44)

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ORDER THE LP VIA BANDCAMP:
https://ensemblesacresgarcons.bandcamp.com/album/demonization-these-worldly-powers

Please note that the price of $30.00 includes postage in the US, EU, and UK.
Additional postage of $15.00 will be added for all other countries/regions.
EU/UK orders will ship from Milan each Saturday.
All other orders will ship from Chicago each weekday.
Tracking numbers will be provided.


---------------------------------------------------------------------

Andrea, Paolo, and I are very pleased to finally release the new album by our group, Ensemble Sacrés Garçons. We’ve been anticipating it for a long time… for over 25 years, in fact. We recorded our debut in 1994, in Brooklyn, at Bass Mind Studio. Andrea and I got to work utilizing recordings that Paolo had prepared in Milan, in advance. Megan Emish from Intrinsic Action/BLOODYMINDED produced those studio sessions for us. It was released on CD by the Italian label Old Europa Café in 1995.
 
We decided to start on our follow up, right away. To begin, Paolo again prepared material on analog tape, which he brought to Brooklyn, in 1995. I then manipulated these recordings in the manner of the SCTL (Source Control) style that I used on multiple Intrinsic Action releases. Roughly eight months later, after I completed my mix, Megan mastered the album for CD, at Acme Soundworks, NYC.
 
As 1996 continued on, Andrea, Paolo, and I considered and discussed the results. I think we all new that there was great material on the DAT master, but across the 12 songs and 70+ minute running time, it began to feel somewhat impenetrable. Amidst its thick walls of synth noise, tape distortion, and destroyed vocals, it was lacking in the appealing immediacy of its raw and primitive sounding predecessor. Time passed, and every so often, the three of us would discuss resurrecting the recordings, doing some judicious editing, and preparing to release it.
 
Finally, in 2018, a solid plan was put together. Paolo would focus on adding some minimal yet dynamic synth, I would write new lyrics, and Andrea and I would take a new and more direct approach to our vocals. In April of 2019, studio time was booked at Soundcheck Studio in Milan, and I flew there to record and to perform at our debut live show. I believe that our concert was particularly important, because it further solidified Ensemble Sacrés Garçons as more than a collaboration and more than a many-years-long series of face-to-face visits, video chats, emails, and faded out faxes. It felt like we really functioned as a band. During the recording sessions, Andrea and I were focused on our vocals, while Paolo was working his magic in the control room with the engineer, Matteo Pace. By the time I returned to Chicago, we knew that the tremendous chemistry of that week, grounded in our long friendship, had given us just what we needed to complete the album.
 
Paolo then got to work on his final synth tracks, as well as the challenging process of mixing the album. After just a couple of rounds of mixes, we knew that we were ready. But the album still seemed too long, especially if we were going to move forward with releasing it on vinyl. Our next step was to consider whether we had two solid albums, and if so, how we might divide the twelve songs between them. This actually turned out to be easier than we thought it would be, and two discrete albums materialized with very little effort.
 
We then sent the songs for the first LP to Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room, in Chicago, and we were thrilled with the results of his mastering work. As we were putting our plan together for the LP, the global pandemic hit and things slowed down again. We decided to use a relatively new pressing plant in Chicago, Smashed Plastic, which was doing some great work on albums that I’d heard. Once they were able to reopen their facilities our album went into the queue. After a few months, we had our vinyl in-hand. Staying local, we also decided to have a Chicago printer and friend – Erin Page/Kill Hatsumomo – screen print the sleeves that we designed. The three of us simply couldn’t be happier with the final outcome, especially after all of these years that have passed. As for the future, we’re already discussing plans for our third album, “Sanctification: Seeing the Singularity”...
 
(Mark Solotroff, February 2021)