• The Vibe

Martin Bisi (Brian Eno, Sonic Youth, Swans) announces BC35: Volume Two

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Almost one year to the day after the release of acclaimed album BC35: The 35th Anniversary of BC Studio, producer Martin Bisi and Italian label Bronson Recordings will release the followup: BC35: Volume Two.

April 19th, the album will be released in vinyl, CD, and digital formats.

A record release show, featuring Martin Bisi and many of the new album's contributors, is booked for April 25th at Market Hotel in Brooklyn. Click Here

The BC35 project was organized by Bisi and co-producer Genevieve Fernworthy as a celebration of the legendary Brooklyn studio's 35th anniversary. Founded by Bisi in the early '80s, with friends Brian Eno and Bill Laswell, and still owned and operated by Bisi to this day, BC Studio is the birthplace of classic recordings by a stunning list of artists, from noise-rock to hip-hop to the far reaches of avant music – Eno, Laswell, Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth, Swans, John Zorn, Afrika Bambaataa, Herbie Hancock, White Zombie, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, and many more. A cavernous space located in an industrial building near Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, the idiosyncratic studio has become synonymous with an adventurous, DIY approach. As an article in Newsweek put it:

"Considering how diverse BC Studio's output has been over the years, there's still something recognizable about the music that Bisi lays his hands on... A certain rawness."

In 2016, dozens of musicians with ties to the studio descended upon it to stage a weekend's worth of performances in honor of the anniversary – in some cases, full bands performing new written work; in other cases, individuals grouping together randomly and improvising. The performances were recorded and mixed, mostly by Bisi himself, and the first installment was released last year. Of that album, Pitchfork stated:

"The credits read like a who’s who of New York’s experimental underground... It’s a sonic embodiment of risk-taking, rule-breaking, and antithesis that celebrates the endurance of a man and a space tied directly to New York’s noise, art-rock, punk, free jazz, hip-hop, and alternative movements... Bisi demonstrates—as a producer, engineer, and general facilitator of the avant-garde—what’s made his name familiar to liner-notes obsessives and New York noise nerds for three and a half decades."

The upcoming release of the second installment, BC35: Volume Two, comes amidst new clouds of uncertainty, as neighborhood rezoning talks commenced in February which could impact BC Studio in a number of ways. The studio is situated in a former factory in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood – a desolate, polluted, industrial zone that is now gentrifying at lightning speed. The new rezoning proposal incentivizes residential development and tall buildings; BC's fate is unknown in the face of these changes. Meanwhile, a grassroots push is organizing to designate key historical sites as landmarks, including the building housing the studio.

Bisi further points out how gentrification has played in to the BC35 project from the start:

"In 2015 I was mugged and beaten right in front of the studio. And shortly after that, the studio was robbed. This was the first time these things had happened since I set up shop there in the early '80s. It's directly tied to the gentrification of the neighborhood. This area never used to be a target. We had actual packs of wild dogs roaming the streets but it was not a target for robberies until now. It was those events in 2015 that inspired friends of mine to suggest the BC35 idea, as something positive to bring people together and celebrate the spirit of the studio. Now, with BC35: Volume Two coming up, we have these rezoning talks in motion and we are facing even bigger effects of gentrification."

BC35: Volume Two features many musicians who performed on the first album, in addition to some new names. Some highlights include:

Track 1, "Save Sludgie the Whale of Gowanus"

Bisi teams up with current and former members of Sonic Youth, Lubricated Goat, and more, on an improvised song dedicated to a whale who died near BC Studio, in the Gowanus Canal, in 2007. Nicknamed Sludgie, the whale is assumed to have died from the pollution in the notorious canal.

Track 2, "Up Against the Wall"

A new track, written for the event, featuring all original members of NYC band Live Skull, reunited for the first time since the '80s.

Track 5, "Down the Ladder, Up the Snake"; Track 15, "Prelude to the March of Things to Come"

Both tracks feature guitarist Andy Hawkins, founder of Blind Idiot God, with whom Bisi worked in the '80s when the band was on SST Records.

Track 7, "Glass of Lunch that Name Is King"

A string and vocal drone piece by BC35 co-producer Genevieve Fernworthy (Tidal Channel), performing here under her solo moniker, LAUDS, along with seven participants; they sustain the note G in a composition reminiscent of a monthly, improvisational series called Lunary that is held and recorded at BC Studio, around the full moon.

Cover art by Alexey Novikov

News story provided by For The Lost PR