Counter Intelligence

2 Bridges Music Arts

60 minsFirst aired 14 Jul 2017
Maxwell Schiano

Techno 12”s, field recordings, art books and more: Hear how a Chinatown mall storefront became New York’s most adventurous new record shop.

2 Bridges Music Arts is easy to miss. Occupying a tiny booth on the second floor of a mall built into the arches of the Manhattan Bridge, on the southeastern edge of Chinatown, the shop has no presence from the street; with its minimal decor and bilingual signage, it feels hidden even when you’ve reached the front door. But to discerning collectors of experimental music, electronic 12”s, anthropological field recordings and other far-out sonic ephemera, the relative newcomer to New York’s vinyl scene – it’s only been in business since November 2016 – is an instant classic. Owner Simon Gabriel Greenberg, a veteran of the crew surrounding East Village digging staple Good Records, wanted to create a place where even the most voracious and adventurous music fans will rub up against the outer reaches of their comfort zones. The stock is limited, highly specialized and esoterically organized, but each title feels like it could kick off a journey into a never-before-considered musical universe. (If records alone won’t take you there, a selection of books covering topics from Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening practice to exotic marine life are available for purchase.) Here, Greenberg tells us how he came to run one of the world’s youngest and most quietly ambitious record shops in an unlikely location, and shares a selection of delectable sonic experiments, from acid house to ritual music from Papua New Guinea to tracks we couldn’t begin to describe.


East Village staple Good Records – one of New York’s best record shops – was started by Jonny Sklute, a close friend of 2 Bridges founder Simon Gabriel Greenberg, who remains closely connected to the shop.


Mars is generally accepted as the earliest No Wave band to form, although some classify the New York band as a bridge between New York punk and No Wave.


“Mask,” the 1988 Nuno Canavarro track from full-length Plux Quba was reissued on Drag City imprint Moikai in 1998 and again in 2015, after being discovered by German musician Christoph Heemann and shared with label head Jim O’Rourke and friends in 1991.


Get a better look inside the Chinatown mall booth that 2 Bridges Music Arts calls home.


British-Ghanaian mixed-media artist Larry Achiampong confronts his visual and aural narrative head on with a range of mixed media artworks, seen here at London’s Tate Modern.


Interview by Jordan Rothlein
Produced by Jeff Mao and Jordan Rothlein
Engineered by Tobias Jansen

More Counter Intelligence You Might Also Like Tune In Now