Boomkat Product Review:
Colin Stetson’s breakthrough album of gripping bass sax innovations still buzzes like few others.
In 2007 ‘New History Warfare Vol.1’ asserted Stetson as an indomitable player of wind instruments, here letting off on Alto, Baritone and Bass Saxophones, plus Clarinet, in a deftly muscular display of his skills which had previously been employed on record and in live tours for Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, Bon Iver, LCD Soundsystem and whoever the heck else needed a set of lungs as good as a blacksmith’s bellows.
While perhaps best known for wielding a massive Bass Saxophone that's responsible for some of the wildest sounds on this album, Stetson proves to be a sensitive beast capable of articulating the instrument’s full range tonal in his own voice, which variously comes out resembling a purring big cat and the dying wildebeest it just stalked, attacked and slaughtered in ‘Time Is Advancing With Fitful Irregularity’, while he uses the same broad tone to describe natural scenes as textured with soil and moisture and wind as an Anne Guthrie piece in ‘As a Bird or Branch’, while ‘Nobu Take’ sounds like a manic 8-bit computer game soundtrack and ’Tiger Tiger Crane’ adds a tight percussive workout for good measure, but trust its all acoustic, instrumental, hands-on, somehow not processed.
Still a stonking good record, this, ripe for re/discovery.