Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges (2011)

This is the most jaw-dropping piece of musical genius I've heard in a long time.

Colin Stetson is an explosive saxophone soloist. And by this I don't mean that he rips sick licks while some funky jazz band lays it down. I mean that Colin Stetson plus one saxophone is all you need for a completely enveloping musical experience.

Colin Stetson uses an array of saxophone tones, screams, hums, vocalizations, key clicks, and magic to create a densely-layered steamroller of sound. For this record, his performance was captured by a total of 24 microphones, allowing each subtle sound to be EQ'd and mixed independently. This gives the record an incredibly rich, full sound with thumping bass and rich throaty highs. The record sounds fuller than most full bands.

Stetson is joined on a few tracks by female vocals, spoken word by Laurie Anderson, and a french horn interlude. The accompaniments are sparse, and the emphasis is really on his otherworldly saxophone performance.

The best part about this record? It is tasteful, intelligent, engaging, and fun. This guy has played sax for everyone (Bon Iver, The National, Tom Waits, The Arcade Fire, G!YBE, etc. etc. etc.) and its awesome that he has stepped out to create such an awesome record on his own.

Fill yr ears with this record HERE.

And in case you need to see to believe, skip to 2:15 below (or watch the whole thing).

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