Mark Allen-Piccolo | 📷 FORCE FIELD PR
Oakland’s BotCave Records cultivation Mark Allen-Piccolo releases his new album this coming May. The homegrown music maker’s sophomore LP ‘Word of the Day’ makes for a heady harvest. The label, established last year, blossomed from the BotCave Recording studio as a way to help independent musicians release their music.
Toasted in that hazey glaze synonymous with California. Marks music blends soulful harmonies and meditative mantras. Particularly epitomised in the track ‘Soledad’, a dreamlike concoction of evocative thoughts and kaleidoscopically manifest flare. The acoustic guitar rhythm and soft brush back beat running through this tune. Are the demonstrative bridge, epitomising the development from Marks sonic roots through the BotCave into a deeper rather than darker, more introvert and experimental sound that characterises ‘Word of the Day’.
The nurtured, evolved sound Mark has crafted on the LP is a Matt Adams, Blank Tapes, Synthy Tame Impala’s kinda vibe. A low-fi karmic fuzz embalmed with science fiction soundscapes. Psychedelic reverberations echoed around wistful lyricism and melancholic introspection. Not so much ‘down the rabbit hole’, more pleasantly absent ‘Under The Cherry Tree’. Incidentally a great tune from the LP that lends itself perfectly to serving as the second single. It musically mesmerizes . Taking the listener on a romantic journey of luscious chords and melodies. Exploring grittier sonority through modulated drum machines, spitty synthesizers, and oscillated vocal processing.
On ‘Under The Cherry Tree Mark says “This song started as a soft piano ballad, but I wanted to take it as far away from that as I could. Beginning with a patch on the OB6 synth, I started searching for sonics that would complement the buzzy, spitty sound I had found. Pretty soon, the song developed into a collage of unrelated “sampled” music including some “bad” edits: a random distorted harp arpeggio, a monster bass solo by my pal Naytronix, a badly recorded piano. I processed my voice until it sounded like a choppy malfunction cyborg. The end result is quite a dystopian sci-fi cyber punk journey a la Bladerunner or Brazil. The lyrics talk about ducking under a cherry tree for cover as a storm rages. There, I share a moment with a stranger as we watch other people weather the storm”.
Quite an image. Poignantly framing contemporary times.
New LP ‘Word Of The Day’ has been built in parts, over individual sessions, recorded at a pace and arranged in a way that Mark says “gave the songs a sense of patience and breath that is often lost in our hectic daily lives” On the LP label boss Nate Brenner (a.k.a. Naytronix and also the bassist of perennial indie favourites Tune-Yard says, “ Mark has pushed his boundaries, exploring grittier sonority through modulated drum machines, spitty synthesizers, and oscillated vocal processing”. On artists development Nate stated that “we must learn how to devote ourselves to art while at the same time living. Indeed, Mark has gone through many changes this year, having a daughter being the most monumental. It becomes necessary therefore to produce art in small steps: one album a year, one song a month, one melody a week, one word a day.
Mark Allen-Piccolo ‘Word Of The Day’ is out via BotCave Records on DL x ‘Limited Edition’ LP May 1st 2020.
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