Martin Bisi and his noise rock all-stars unite
‘BC 35’ documents a lifetime of outsider music
Way back in 1979, before Gowanus was prime real estate for developers and wealthy Brooklynites, three producers, Brian Eno, Bill Laswell, and Martin Bisi laid the foundation for B.C. Studios in a cavernous former industrial warehouse. For nearly 40 years, Bisi has remained there at the helm, rendering music by everyone from Eno himself, Sonic Youth, Helmet, Foetus, Unsane, Swans, Herbie Hancock, White Zombie, Cop Shoot Cop, and countless more … even Whitney Houston recorded there in the early days. Both Bisi and the studio itself have played key behind-the-scenes roles in defining the American post-punk landscape both by documenting the ramshackle no wave scene of the early ’80s, and sculpting the noise rock that has come to define New York City of the early ’90s. Bisi’s synaesthetic talent for rendering caustic, post-industrial textures is clearly a hidden hand at work throughout the decades, and, as the title states, BC 35 stamps in time his role in the mix, and the like minded musicians he attracts.
BC 35 features a series of improv sessions recorded in the studio in January 2016, with various configurations of artists who’ve recorded there throughout the years, summoning the primordial sonic ooze that has left such an indelible mark on the world. There is a great amount of variety going on from one song to the next. “Downhill,” lead by J.G. Thirlwell of Foetus and Dana Shechter takes on a marvelous, Morricone-esque soundtrack quality, while Tidal Channel’s “Human Wealth Management, Inc.” is an ecstatic industrial stomp. Members of Live Skull, Swans, Cop Shoot Cop, old school Sonic Youth, and more are all over songs such as "Nowehere Near the Rainbow" and "What A Jerk." If these names pique your ears, you already know you like it.★★★☆☆
The Martin Bisi Band plays the Earl tonight (Fri., June 8), with Xambuca, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel, and US Prisms. $10. 9 p.m. Fri., June 8. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.
★★★★★ This album will change your life | ★★★★☆ A truly great album | ★★★☆☆ A solid effort, worth a listen | ★★☆☆☆ No thanks | ★☆☆☆☆ Don't bother