Pitchfork: The credits read like a who’s who of New York’s experimental underground: members of Swans, Sonic Youth, Pop. 1280, Parlor Walls, Live Skull, Cop Shoot Cop, Foetus, and many, many more... 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... Across 13 tracks, 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. Showcasing the opaque, roaring, visceral sound he’s come to epitomize, BC35 acts as a totem to his enduring role in NYC’s rock mythos...

The New York Times: Thirty-five years ago, in an old factory space in Gowanus, Brooklyn, the producer and musician Martin Bisi established BC Studio, where he’s has been at the controls for underground classics such as Sonic Youth’s “Bad Moon Rising”and the Dresden Dolls’ self-titled debut. Fittingly, Mr. Bisi is honoring this anniversary with a righteous racket: first by releasing a compilation with bands he has produced, as well as some he put together and one that was resurrected for the occasion, and then by celebrating that album with those groups at clubs in Brooklyn, Boston and Philadelphia...The evening promises to be ear-splittingly glorious.

Newsweek: Bisi... the man who contributed to the sound of early hip-hop, avant-garde, and indie rock, might soon finally get recognition... 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.

Noisey: 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.

Dangerous Minds: The New York noise scene that emerged with and after No-Wave can feel like the story of Sonic Youth and its near-orbit, due to that band’s massive influence. But Downtown artnoise can as easily be understood by viewing Martin Bisi as a nexus... In early 2016, his Gowanus, Brooklyn studio, sort-of eponymously named 'BC,' had been in operation for 35 years, and to commemorate the milestone, a weekend-long series of performances took place in the facility...

Wondering Sound: Given that resume, you’d expect a measure of heaviness, but what Ex-Nihilo actually delivers is gravity. - Edward Keyes

The Big Takeover: the audio equivalent of an Alejandro Jodorowsky film, magnificent in scope and completely unique. Bombastic angelic choirs encompass the songs like a Greek chorus...Bisi explores the lascivious nature of religion, the Bible's sex and violence. - Chuck Foster

The New Yorker New York City: a strange and captivating new album - Its seven epic songs are marked by the unlikely incorporation of dreamy, operatic background vocals and ritualistic intensity.

Indy Week Chapel Hill, NC: Thanks to the recent resurgence of young New York bands vested in the dark and heavy, he and his aesthetic have enjoyed something of a resurrection. His new Ex Nihilo is his first solo album in five years. Like a house of horrors haunted by a medieval choir and a free jazz band that delights in fright, Ex Nihilo is an hour-long crawl through sinister madrigals and malevolent soundscapes. It's a fitting if fitful encapsulation of Bisi's legacy. - Grayson Currin

Alive Columbus OH: It’s little surprise then that his latest album, Ex Nihilo, has a more experimental bent, moving from the art-house operatics of “The Mermaid Queen” to eight-plus-minute album closer “Holy Threesome,” which begins as a solitary lament before giving way to sonic chaos that sounds like the world coming to an inglorious end. The album is certainly a challenging listen — more akin to recent albums by pop-crooner-turned-avant-composer Scott Walker — packed with ambient interludes, atonal passages and moments of all-out musical anarchy. - Andy Downing

Metro Pulse Knoxville TN: Whatever expectations might have existed were most likely dashed to bits by his performance. It took a few songs to adjust to the quirky art pop he and his band played, not to mention Bisi’s half-sung, half-spoken narration. But if you gave it your attention and went with it, you began to realize how interesting and layered the music turned out to be. [..] Ex Nihilo contains more thorny art rock with a touch of cabaret affect, not too far afield from what Bay Area groups like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum are up to. [..]Bisi can also be a bit Zappa-esque in his predilection for frequent time changes and caustic humor. Despite resemblances to the musicians mentioned, though, Bisi is really on his own trip, playing most of the instruments on the album and concocting some truly bizarre lyrics. - Eric Dawson

Signal To Noise: "This ia a sprawling stylistic whirlpool, but it manages to hold together in a sort of cinematic way. It's not so much a soundtrack to a non-existent film, as it is a series of pieces which circle around a central premise"

All About Jazz: "His caustic and satirical observations of these characters [in Sirens..] have more in common with New York City playwright Eric Bogosian's material than any rock and roll band. It's straight theater. It conjures images, it's funny, and it's where Bisi shines."

NY Press: "Bisi uses the various, mostly fictitious, characters that inhabit the songs as windows into a much broader perspective."

LA Weekly: "Another bout of uncategorizeable experimentation. [...] crooning in English with a mush-mouthed voice that unwittingly evokes Jonathan Richman and the Alley Cats’ Randy Stodola, the Argentine native pays alternately baleful and sarcastic Zappa-tastic homages to such apocalyptic sirens as “Mary Maudlin,” “Buddhist Girl” and “Goth Chick ’98.” A circus-y, prog-cabaret vibe runs through the album, broken up by Bisi’s occasional demented spoken-word skits"

Alternative Press: "Inspiring material that hits an emotional nerve not often struck"

NME: "Martin Bisi is one of New York's brightest talents"

Timeout NY: "eccentric singer-songwriter material, which can suggest a manic, punky take on Leonard Cohen’s husky balladry."

CMJ: "Far from what's today considered "typical" college spin material -but of course that's all the more reason to give it an ear."

Melody Maker: "A raw untreated sewage-farm of ideas bursting with mutant life"

Billboard: "From the harmonic poetry of Sonic Youth's "EVOL" to the harrowing excess of Live Skull's "Dusted" to the scorched-earth metal-jazz of Last Exit's "Iron Path", the music documented by Bisi at BC Studio reflects a kindred urban spirit." [..] "At BC Studio, the artistic, bohemian atmosphere is palpable. A band's personality mixes with the essence of the space."

Alternative Press [interview question]: "Part of your sound seems to be chaos and confusion"

Cleveland Scene: "Bisi has just released a fearlessly demented album called Sirens of the Apocalypse.. The fierce, assured delivery of his cryptic and periodically goofy material demands serious, attentive respect"

Washington Post: "Martin Bisi is one of those unsung rock-hero types you'd know only if you peruse album credits."

NY Press: "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."

Philadelphia City Paper: "Martin Bisi has been at a crossroads since 1979. It's a four-way intersection of ambient electronic music, industrial noise, no-wave jazz/punk and hybrid funk."

Pittsburgh City Paper: "Martin Bisi's life in music seems to mirror his description of the creative process: part spontaneous eruption, part sustained intellectual effort"

Seattle Weekly: "[Sirens Of The Apocalypse] takes some lighthearted jabs at some of the musical movements he helped midwife in the studio"

copyright © 2018
Martin Bisi