Martin Bisi, the NYC post-punk producer releases Solstice, his first solo record in 5 years.

MARTIN BISI – Solstice
New York producer Martin Bisi announces Solstice, his first new solo album in five years.
A psychedelic journey through light and shadow, split between Summer and Winter Solstice.

Solstice will be released worldwide on November 8th via Bronson Recordings.

Beloved as an engineer, producer, and central figure in New York City’s avant-garde music scene, Bisi has recorded landmark works by Brian Eno, Bill Laswell, Sonic Youth, Swans, Helmet, Herbie Hancock, Fab Five Freddy, John Zorn and more. Operating out of his Brooklyn studio, BC Studio, for almost 40 years now, Bisi has brought his style to a disparate slew of crucial albums, from hip-hop to noise-rock and beyond.

A recent Noisey article states, “Bisi has presided over recordings that defined seminal scenes, counting downtown NYC’s avant-garde jazz scene, ’80s art-rock and ’90s Bowery scum-rock. A glance at his stunning, across-the-genre-board discography results in minds blown.”

An underground celeb behind the console, Bisi has also been recording and releasing music of his own since 1988. Solstice is his sixth full-length album and ninth release in all. Bisi proclaims how his role as producer has shaped him as a musician: “I draw influence in large measure from what comes through the studio. It’s like a giant sieve of this NYC stuff. I don’t advertise, so I record people who are drawn to me for various reasons. I think engineering/producing has been an essential part of my path as a musician.”

On new album Solstice, dense layers of sound combine in cacophonous and electrifying ways. “Most of the music was born out of improvisation, then developed from there,” says Bisi. Something like early Sonic Youth crossed with Bitches Brew, a stomping post-punk vibe churns beneath a wild array of tones and rhythms – operatic vocals, effects-driven guitars, keyboards, electric viola, drums, and more. Rapturous melodies and anthemic lyrics emerge from the din. From the out-there improv of “You’re Sun” to the haunting, synth-driven rock of “Ode to Freddie Gray,” Solstice covers vast musical ground yet feels united by Bisi’s voice as musician and producer.

The album is split between “Summer Solstice” and “Winter Solstice” sides. “I started thinking about solstices, visiting Norway in the early summer, where the power of the summer solstice is more pronounced than in New York,” Bisi explains. “The solstices seemed the most dichotomous of the big, captivating, celestial events. It seemed well suited to the LP format of two sides, including the shape of the disc which is like the Sun or Earth.”

“The Summer Side is more about action,” he says. “The opener ‘Let It Fall’ is set in an early society first developing its mythology. ‘You’re Sun’ is about tribal rituals. From there we go to modern revolutions. ‘Ode to Freddie Gray’ is about the aftermath of a police killing in Baltimore. ‘Waves on My Mind’ is about bringing back traditional Anarchist values. The Winter Side is one contiguous piece, “Unbirth,” that’s more contemplative, populated by people and ghosts in the immediate surroundings.”

To record Solstice, Bisi traveled far and wide – California, New Jersey, the UK – in order to track in person with his various collaborators. He then assembled and mixed the album back home at BC Studio in Brooklyn and handed it over to Fred Kevorkian (Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Peter Murphy) for mastering.

Summer Solstice Side:
1) Let It Fall
2) You’re Sun
3) Ode to Freddie Gray
4) Waves on My Mind

Winter Solstice Side:
5) Unbirth

Summer Solstice lineup:
Martin Bisi – vocals, guitar
Amanda White – soprano vocals
Diego Ferri – baritone guitar
Oliver Rivera-Drew – drums
Genevieve Fernworthy – keys, electric viola, vocals
Billy Atwell – drums, percussion

Winter Solstice lineup:
Martin Bisi – vocals, guitar, synth
Amanda White – vocals
Joan Hacker – flute
Sheila Bosco – drums
Mark E. Miller – drums

Tour:
Sep 12 – Washington, DC @ The Dew Drop Inn w/ Luna Honey
Sep 13 – Asheville, NC @ Static Age Records
Sep 14 – Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn w/ Moloq
Sep 15 – Raleigh, NC @ Slims w/ Wailin Storms, The Paul Swest
Oct 4 – Montreal, QC @ L’Escogriffe w/ Red Mass
Oct 5 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern w/ Mike Watt
Oct 6 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle w/ Mako Sica, Mark Shippy (US Maple)
Oct 7 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Collision
Oct 31 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Redwood Bar
Nov 1 – San Francisco, CA @ Little Box Theater w/ Scot Jenerik
Nov 3 – Portland, OR @ Black Water w/ Scot Jenerik
Nov 5 – Seattle, WA @ LoFi w/ 2 Libras
Nov 13 – Prague, CZ @ Underdogs
Nov 14 – Zurich, CH @ Kontiki
Nov 15 – Busto Arsizio, IT @ Circolo Gagarin w/ White Hills
Nov 17 – Ancona, IT @ Circolo Reasonanz w/ White Hills
Nov 21-22 – Ravenna, IT – Transmissions Festival (curated by Bisi)
Nov 26 – Berlin, DE @ Urban Spree w/ White Hills, Live Skull
Nov 28 – Hamburg, DE @ Schute
Nov 29 – Leipzig, DE @ Zoro
Nov 30 – Rotterdam NL @ Roodkapje
Dec 2 – Brussels, BE @ Magasin 4 w/ White Hills

Discography:
Creole Mass (New Alliance/SST, 1988)
All Will Be Won (New Alliance/SST, 1993)
See Ya In Tiajuana EP (New Alliance, 1994)
Dear Papi, I’m In Jail EP (New Alliance, 1996)
Milkyway Of Love (Stripmine, 1999)
Sirens Of The Apocalypse (Black Freighter, Labelship, 2008)
Son Of A Gun EP (Black Freighter, 2009)
Ex Nihilo (Black Freighter, Labelship, 2014)
Solstice (Bronson Recordings, 2019)

Photo by Joan Hacker

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