Decades before Catey Shaw’s “Brooklyn Girls” was a watershed moment on the gentrification of the famed New York borough and its erosion of culture, Martin Bisi was behind the board at BC Studio, a creaky old space that hovered along the now-contaminated Gowanus Canal. Dubbed the “Sound City of the East Coast” by Gothamist, it’s been the recording-studio home to countless bands and musicians since opening in 1979, including Sonic Youth, Swans, Dresden Dolls, Africa Bambaataa, Foetus, Serena Maneesh, and others.
Now those years, and its current struggle to survive in a rapidly changing community, are chronicled in a new documentary The Sound And Chaos: The Story of BC Studio. It screens Saturday night at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, with Bisi on-hand for a Q&A (2 p.m., $8, all-ages), then rolls over to the Lilypad in Inman Square (10 p.m., $7, all-ages), where Bisi will perform on an after-party bill with Black Fortress of Opium.
“The doc traces the music recorded at Martin Bisi’s studio in Brooklyn, and the effect that real estate development can have on the arts,” says co-director Sarah Leavitt. BC Studio was once in an out-of-the-way and rugged area of Brooklyn; now there’s a Whole Foods across the street.
And so the film also, according to the presser, “contemplates the future of the recording studio as it is squeezed in by the encroaching gentrification of the neighborhood and Bisi’s fears that increasing property values will push out long-time renters and artists like himself.”
Sound And Chaos includes interviews with Bill Laswell, Michael Gira, JG Thirlwell, Brian Viglione, Grand Mixer DXT and Michael Holman, and you can watch the trailer below.
[embedvideo id=”hl-gLgjV4SI” website=”youtube”]