Pet Dog Storm is the awkward, rule-breaking cousin of serene Ibiza chill out band
“Aware.” Although sharing personnel, Aware and Pet Dog Storm happily co-exist. Aware’s production values influence the sound of Pet Dog Storm, the approach remains laid back and the arrangements bear a resemblance in places, but they are very much different beasts.
Formed by Mark Lane and Tina Morrison in 1999, Aware landed on the shores of Ibiza like reinforcements to a second wave Chill Out scene. A chance meeting with Hed Kandi pioneer, Mark Doyle, led to his interest in signing the band for compilations. Aware’s first ever gig on the island in a restaurant caught the attention of a friend of Jose Padilla who rushed the band straight round to meet the owners of Cafe del Mar. Roman Castillo heard the band and asked them to play for Cafe del Mar’s first live performance and 25th anniversary. Playing their second gig on the island, going from an audience of twenty to over two thousand, spurred Aware on to greater success.
From their residency at Attik in the heart of the English countryside, Aware continued to write and produce tracks for numerous international compilation albums including Cafe del Mar. Mark continued to DJ his eclectic sunset sets at the cult status “La Torre” in the hills of San Antonio, Ibiza, and recently sourced and curated the venue’s first ever compilation album.
After many years writing and producing for themselves and other artists, Aware decided it was time to throw out the rulebook. The studio door, like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, was sealed shut, the influences of the decade locked away and the telephone taken off the hook. They lived in two rooms, one to sleep, one to write, much like the ship featured in what was to become the Pet Dog Storm debut. They watched countless Science Fiction and Post Apocalyptic movies into the night and distilled every influence into their devotion to the project.
Pet Dog Storm’s debut album ‘Beautiful Is Down’ is a modern-day concept album from another world. Calling on a great love of everything from the Prog Rock era, making hundreds and hundreds of sounds to find a suitable synthesizer, guitar effect or subtle sonic nuance, they merged with their equipment in an attempt to record in a way that would sound both new and somehow resonant with the past. The final product is testament to this, sounding far from a modern digital recording.
Their only foray from the studio was to beg the local Vicar’s permission to use a piano Mark had played when he was seventeen. The piano’s movement from the Church Hall to the Church itself made an incredible contribution to the album track “Countdown.”
Pet Dog Storm is just beginning. There will never be another “Beautiful is Down”; it was a time and a place, and times change. Aware is currently working on another album, but who knows what will happen when the factory seals its doors once again…back to bands
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