Legendary American musician and producer Martin Bisi is hitting the UK over the next couple of weeks for a short run of dates in support of his recently released documentary. The documentary, Sound & Chaos: The Story Of BC Studio, includes appearances by Bill Laswell, Michael Gira (Swans), Bob Bert (Sonic Youth), Jim Thirlwell aka Foetus, and Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls).
The dates for the tour are:
- October 7th – London @ The Shacklewell
- October 8th – Salford @ Islington Mill (Doc Screening)
- October 9th – Sheffield @ Yellow Arch Studios w/ Doc Screening
- October 11th – Hull @ New Adelphi w/ Doc Screening
- October 12th – Glasgow @ The Old Hairdresser’s
- October 13th – Edinburgh @ Wee Red Bar at Edinburgh College Of Art w/ Doc Screening
You can see a trailer for the documentary below.
Having previously been covered by Newsweek, Noisey, The Village Voice and The Wire; Sound & Chaos… looks at BC Studio in Brooklyn. Founded in the early ‘80s with Bill Laswell, and with money from Brian Eno who worked on the album “On Land” there. Working with Bill Laswell and the band Material, Bisi recorded Herbie Hancock’s hit “Rockit” in this underground space. Following that success, Bisi worked with many other influential musicians there, including Sonic Youth, Swans, John Zorn, Africa Bambaataa, Material/Bill Laswell, Boredoms, Dresden Dolls, Cop Shoot Cop, White Zombie, Foetus, Unsane, Serena Maneesh, US Maple, Jon Spencer’s Boss Hog, among others.
The documentary also contemplates the future of the recording studio, as it is struggled through the encroaching gentrification of the neighbourhood, and looks at Bisi’s fears that increasing property values will push out long-time renters and artists like himself.
Of the live show; in his band’s set, Bisi plays guitar and sings. The band perform songs from his album Ex Nihilo (Labelship records UK) as a suite, contiguously, with improvised segues between songs that can be atmospheric soundscapes, or turn into spontaneous mini-songs of their own with Bisi adlibbing lyrics. This gives an open field for various genres. The proper songs veer between heavier post-rock, moody psychedelia and the occasional poppy chorus, as with The Mermaid Queen -see music video.
Bisi’s vocal style is very varied, covering a large range of genres and tones. The band’s overall sound is dense, with almost orchestral layering of guitar, keys, viola, effects, voices; reminiscent of many of Bisi’s record productions. All in all, making for a unique and magical performance that die hard music lovers simply have to see.