When you write about music for a living, you tend to be able to get a handle on most things. You have either heard something like it before, or can see some of the joins between this genre and that style, perhaps you can even hazard a guess at what might be in the artists record collection and hence where their influences lay. There is usually something which helps you understand what is going on or a crack in the music itself through which you can see some of the internal workings. This has been what I have found to be true so far.
And then I heard Let It Fall by Martin Bisi and all of that went out of the window. I don’t know what this is all about…I really don’t. And that is what makes it so great. After all, why do you need to understand something to enjoy it? I know nothing about astro-physics but I get entranced by the moon which in turn prompts reminders to just how small a thing I am in the universal scheme of things. I know nothing about the process of distillation but enjoy the intoxicating qualities of a decent whiskey. And that is how you need to approach Martin Bisi in general and Let It Fall in particular. Let it overwhelm you, get drunk on its heady, sonic aroma, just don’t try to work any of it out.
If you do try to analyse the music then you are only going to make things harder on yourself as you try to work out how operatic vocals, discordant stabs of piano, tumbling and tumultuous drums, spoken word vocals and angular, avant-garde musical layers and spiky sonic textures can all exist in the same space and exist in harmony. Well, often the music is anything but harmonious… and that is great too.
If you like things to be neat and predictable, ordered and….ordinary, Martin Bisi is definitely not your man. Cool!