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.
In the music world, Solotroff is best known as the vocalist of 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 35 year history playing analog synthesizer. His synth work has been at the core of his bands BLOODYMINDED and Intrinsic Action, and he recorded and released 100 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 and the Milan-based post-industrial trio, Ensemble Sacrés Garçons.
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, Azar Swan, Brutal Truth, Consumer Electronics, Indian, Locrian, Plague Bringer, Sigillum S, and The Sodality. Solotroff's synth work was also included in his remixes for The Body ("Remixed" on Thrill Jockey), 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 in the 1990s, 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 2CD 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" (2020), which consists of two long-form synth pieces, accompanied by unidentified found sounds. Chris Groves at Night Science called the work “redolent of isolation.” His follow-up album, “Not Everybody Makes It” (2021), was his 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 songs, each exactly ten-minutes in length, he realized that he had made significant strides in evolving his recent style.
“Not Everybody Makes It” functioned as a sonic elegy to the countless losses that so many people suffered during the pandemic and in the recent past, and its shimmering and crumbling frequencies and textures entered into a tense balancing act with elusive melodies that slowly drown in and then emerge from the shifting and eroding dronescapes. Solotroff also created two self-published books to accompany his two previous albums, featuring urban/architectural photographs that expand upon the CD packaging imagery and the foundational themes of the albums. In 2021 and 2022, Solotroff released a series of what were intended to be digital-only singles, utilizing material from the “Not Everybody Makes It” recording sessions. In late 2022, he issued a 2-CD set, "Return To Oneself," that collected the three singles and added an unreleased long-form track, also derived from the 2021 sessions. “Today The Infinite, Tomorrow Zero” is Solotroff’s follow-up to “Not Everybody Makes It,” and he believes it is his most considered and developed recording to date.