Concert preview: Producer/musician Martin Bisi’s music makes for a challenging, rewarding listen

By Columbus Alive
From the October 10, 2013 edition

As a producer, Martin Bisi specializes in working with artists on the fringe, and he’s recorded albums by the likes of Swans, US Maple and Pop. 1280. 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. Occasional guests turn up to help bring these songs to life, including White Hills, opera singer Amanda White and Dresden Dolls drummer Brian Viglione, but there’s never any doubting the singularity of Bisi’s musical vision. Invisible Things open the show.

[Photos: Music_Preview_MartinBisi_1010]