April 18, 2024

New Waves From Legendary Producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, Brian Eno)

Martin Bisi photo by Nicole Capobianco


NYC legendary producer Martin Bisi presents the ‘Let It Fall‘ single from ‘Solstice’, his first solo record in five years. His sixth full-length album, this is also his ninth release overall. A renowned producer, sound engineer and musician, Bisi has been a central figure in NYC’s musical history for the past four decades. Founding BC Studio in Brooklyn in 1981 with the help of Brian Eno and Bill Laswell, Bisi recorded groundbreaking music here by these artists, as well as Sonic Youth, Swans, John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Helmet, Africa Bambaataa, Dresden Dolls, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, Human Impact, JG Thirlwell, US Maple, White Hills, Fab Five Freddy, and countless others.

You can’t say, the man is a chapter alone in the alternative music scene. I avoid using the term ‘music industry’ because it mostly concerns other music worlds that are usually not in the core where art and the real progressive and avant-garde stuff are born. Bisi has a pretty impressive bio and more than this, Bisi was there when it was all happening like a sting of a bee on music. There are so many music-making facts that influenced and shaped him as a sound engineer, producer, and after all as a musician, and most of these (if not his entire route in music) are clearly shown and ‘visible’ in his new album. Improvisation, experimental stuff, art-making psychedelia with an eye on the roots of no-wave music too, and all filtered by a person whose brain wave seems endless. ‘Let It Fall’ is just a hint of his intentions with the rest of the album’s songs forming a strange sound universe. “With the opening track (and video), I wanted to go to the beginning of human society. Τhe song itself is a call to the cosmos for rain. The song also speaks of seeking control of nature, so I wanted the video to have a futurist look, to bridge our beginnings to an unknown future” says Martin Bisi… 


…adding “I’ve always felt music was a pathway to something primal, not completely knowable, and connected to our essence personally and collectively an essence connected to all life, and the planet. I wanted to do an album that reflected on our planetary cycles, hence ‘Solstice’ has Winter and Summer solstice sides – each with different energies.”

The whole record is a pretty adventurous audition with so many peculiar flashes coming in and out in every single song. What stays, in the end, is the sense of completion as nothing was left in the air to stray alone. Everything is in place in this pretty abstract and overflown record at the same time. 


Last year, Bisi also issued the compilation ‘BC35 Volume Two’, the second installment of two to mark the 35-year anniversary of BC Studio, featuring new music from people who have been part of that history, including members of Sonic Youth, Swans, White Hills, JG Thirlwell, Cop Shoot Cop, Live Skull reunion, Pop 1280, The Dresden Dolls and many more. Bisi released a music video for ‘Save Sludgie The Whale Of Gowanus’ from this album.


Earlier, Bisi’s work and studio were the subject of the film ‘Sound & Chaos: The Story Of BC Studio’, squeezed in by the approaching gentrification of his neighborhood, with commentary by Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Bill Laswell, Michael Gira (Swans), Bob Bert (Sonic Youth), Jim Thirlwell (a.k.a. Foetus) and Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls), among others.


Martin Bisi photo by Nicole Capobianco


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Written by Mike D.


About Mike D 282 Articles
Hey people I'm Mike D from Athens GR (43). I'm a sound engineer, radio producer, and certainly a music "freak." I couldn't be anything else, you see: I grew up in a musical home (my father was a composer), and wanted to be a rock-star but wasn't patient enough to study music. Instead, I studied the technical stuff and went really "nuts" when I started writing articles about the bands and artists I love. It all started back in 2002 in a printed magazine (Sound Maker - RIP) and I still do it because I really like sharing my libraries, discotheque, info, connections, knowledge, and all. I'm involved in all "waves" music (new wave/darkwave/post-punk/shoegaze), punk, industrial, EBM, alternative rock, indie, electronic, avant-garde/ experimental/ freestyle...but on the other hand I can easily throw a classical CD in the player, or a jazzy tune, or...ok you get it: Music! I'd like to read your comments on my writing because you know how it goes, and you all know the glorious song by Placebo,"Without You I'm Nothing"...Thanx and enjoy Freedom and Music, Loud!
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