Stress Jingle/Station ID #37: Martin Bisi

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Martin Bisi is an American producer and songwriter. In 1979, he started B.C. Studios (formerly named OAO Studios) with Bill Laswell and Brian Eno in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. B.C. Studios has since become a staple of the New York music scene, and it is also where Bisi lives, having moved to that (at the time) largely uninhabited area of Brooklyn to convert the multi-floored building into a living space and studio over two decades ago.

Throughout the 80's and 90's, BC Studio was a nexus for the New York underground: John Zorn’s Archery, Yankees, Locus Solus and Spy Vs Spy and Naked City’s Torture Garden were recorded there, as were Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising and Evol; Foetus’s Thaw; Swans’ The Burning World, Love Of Life and The Great Annihilator; Last Exit’s Iron Path; and albums for Afrika Bambaata, Boredoms, Herbie Hancock, Cop Shoot Cop, Helmet and more.

Martin Bisi has also recorded and released several albums and EP's of his original work since the late 80's. His latest album, Ex-Nihilo, was released in 2014. It was inspired "in part by the upheavals of the financial crisis, including street protests in the sonically impressive glass canyons of lower Manhattan, and the drama of the times and New York City in general". 

In 2014, Ryan C. Douglass and Sara Leavitt released their documentary Sound and Chaos: The Story of BC Studio, where the past history of the studio comes out through a lot of conversations with Bisi and the screening of archival footage of bands throughout the studio’s thirty-three year history.  

As it's shown in the film, Bisi and the rest of the Gowanus artistic community uneasily await a deluge of evictions, as the neighborhood’s buildings are sold off to crowds of yuppies and trendoids. But, although the future of BC Studio is in question, Bisi continues living and running the place.

"Martin Bisi has literally had his finger on the pulse of some of the most vital underground movements to take place in music over the last 30 years."

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