Legendary producer and founder of BC Studios Martin Bisi releases his newest album on 2nd December 2022 via Black Freighter Records
Since the early 80s, Martin Bisi has gained a reputation as an exceptional producer becoming one of the central figures of the music community of NYC. Bisi started discovering himself with the Creole Mass LP, released in 1988. The new album, Feral Myths, represents the symbiosis of different approaches – from jazz to krautrock influences. The tales of a wild state, New York heroes and villains over the years, and random paranormal encounters.
The initial story of Feral Myths dates back to the UK tour of 2016, where some elements of the closing title, The Great Trap In The Creek rose out of a jam, accompanied by Diego Ferri (baritone guitar), Oliver Rivera Drew (drums) and Genevieve Fernworthy (viola, vocals). “It was rare to have these three artists in one place,” recalls Martin, pointing out the diversity of fragments of a forthcoming collage.
He stresses the importance of the collaborative aspect of his work saying: “Sometimes someone’s idea will be better than what I had in mind – for instance, in the chouses of The Octave Bridge, Genevieve had a complicated idea for overlapping background voices – I soon realized that those should be the lead voice”. The addition of Dave Miller, a well-known jazz drummer, helped to get specific shading to the coloring of the whole song, which unites various approaches like a melting pot.
Prolific producer, Bisi never gives any instructions to his collaborators, leaving space for post-production – later edits and additional arrangements. Martin clarifies his way of converting them into motifs: “That’s the only time I’ll be very fixed on something – if I really like a moment or an idea – it’s always positive feedback. I feel I get the best results if I let people interpret on their own the very ‘big picture’ that I lay out”.
A producer’s approach overlaps throughout every stage, keeping the participants in their own context. Four female singers collaborated with Bisi on various songs adding not only musical parts, but specific context. In Esther Wings Again” Martin explores the narrative of women winning throughout history, while not being a part of the official story: “The first couple verses are about Stormy Daniels, the adult film actor who had a relationship with Trump. Then I go to a woman who was an animist witch. And then I play with the word “history”, turning it into “her story” which is of course “our story”, “your story” and “my story” which goes on in circular fashion”.
Explaining the system of characters on the record, Martin says: “I generally don’t write about myself or my feelings. It’s not very personal music. In the past I’ve written about groups of people or concepts, and any individuals were not really heroes or villains, they were just types of people I thought were interesting and worth considering”
In the case of A Storm Called Ida, referring to the hellish night when Hurricane Ida hit Brooklyn in 2021 with mythic proportions, Martin personifies the storm with female vocals recorded by Sara Fantry. The storm, in Bisi’s storyline is portrayed as a force of nature that is both a destroyer, killer and a member of the community. Lamenting “the people’s dreams were soaked” and warning “as the waters warm, the storms will come“, Martin injects an action that is taken – a friend at the end narrates about trying to escape into the storm…
Feral Myths are tales of a wild state, of New York heroes and villains over the years, and random paranormal encounters. The new LP from Martin Bisi is coming on 2nd December via Black Freighter Records.