Five years after Ex-Nihilo (Labelship), American legend, producer, musician and songwriter Martin Bisi announced the release of a new album. Solstice is out on November 8th via Bronson Recordings. It is divided in two sides: Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice and according to the press release, it combines thick layers of sound in an asymmetric and electrifying ways. It is one of the curator, with Jerusalem in My Heart, of the experimental festival Transmissions and he will also play some shows in Europe:
05/11/2019 – Seattle, WA @ LoFi w/ 2 Libras13/11/2019 – Prague, CZ @ Underdogs
14/11/2019 – Zurich, CH @ Kontiki
15/11/2019 – Busto Arsizio, IT @ Circolo Gagarin (w/ White Hills)
16/11/2019 – Geneva, CH @ Lex Madone
17/11/2019 – Ancona, IT @ Circolo Reasonanz (w/ White Hills)
18/11/2019 – Zero Branco (Treviso), IT @ Altroquando
20/11/2019 – Verzuolo (CN), IT @ Oxygen Recording Studios
21–22/11/2019 – Ravenna, IT – Transmissions Festival (curated by Bisi)
25/11/2019 – Amsterdam, NL @ OCCII (w/ Live Skull)
26/11/2019 – Berlin, DE @ Urban Spree (w/ White Hills, Live Skull)
28/11/2019 – Hamburg, DE @ Schute
29/11/2019 – Leipzig, DE @ Zoro
30/11/2019 – Rotterdam, NL @ Roodkapje
02/12/2019 – Brussels, BE @ Magasin 4 (w/ White Hills)
Today we are glad to share the premiere of the new track “Ode To Freddie Gray” which is about the consequences of a killing by the police in Baltimore. Listen below and check our talk with him about the new album, the idea of experimentation, his role of curator for Transmissions Festival and much more.
“Solstice” is your new album. How was born the idea of the album and what was the path of the creative process?
I started with the Winter side. I wanted something continuous, which would touch on ideas of songs, but without getting into song structure. I wanted an overall meditative effect, but with moments that made you feel like you might be going crazy. So back and forth between sonic confusion and clarity. Once I had the Winter side, I came up with the idea of a Solstice album. So then I started thinking about what might go on the Summer side. I had the beginnings of the “Ode To Freddie Gray” and “Waves On My Mind” and realized those songs fit with a concept of a Summer side being about humans, as societies growing and taking action, with a long historical (even pre-historical) view, till present -all tied to forces of sun and earth, and cycles.
Can you explain the title “Solstice”? What are you talking about connected to the idea of the album?
I started thinking about the summer Solstice during the long summer twilights when I was in Scandinavia. I called it the magical light. It seemed very regenerative, and optimistic. In the winter, the Solstice period is quiet and introspective for me. And it challenges mental health with a potential for pessimism. So these are two very different experiences, almost opposite poles. And of course this fit the idea of the two co-equal sides of an album.
Considering your path, what is your way to give new shape to the sound and what is your idea of experimentation in art?
I generally hope to avoid doing Experimental music with a capital “E”. It would be closer to say that I want to continue reinventing Rock, or Punk. Experimental music doesn’t have so much of a sociological context, and often explicitly rejects it. But that’s something I need. On the other hand I love experimenting with sounds and process at specific points in creating. Basically there needs to be some intention. But it’s good to throw that away sometimes.
You are one of the curator of Italian Festival “Transmissions”. Can you tell us more about this experience and your choices ?
When we did the BC35 Volume Two record release show in New York, with 6 varied sets with all musicians that have worked at my studio (BC Studio), including White Hills and Live Skull and some collective improvisations, I realized that’s ideally what i should bring to Ravenna -as close as possible, and representative of music I get excited about in New York.
You will also play a show with the band at Transmissions Festival. What kind of show we can expect from you?
The Martín Bisi band will play material from “Solstice”, as well as new material. There’s some improvisation and noise, and songs. The drumming and sound is mostly heavy and dense -generally a cathartic experience.
Ritual question. What are the best releases you recently appreciated?
I like the new self-titled Weeping Icon record – and the FACS album “Lifelike”.