Colin Stetson Vinyl, CD & tapes by Colin Stetson at Norman Records
Here comes Colin Stetson, the big man with the big lungs and the bigger sax, one of Constellation Records' crown jewels, and the only person allowed to play the saxophone on an indie rock record.
Colin Stetson is an absolute machine. And I'm not talking about his work rate, which I'll get to later. His signature trick is, on top of having mastered circular breathing (a technique by which people who play wind instruments don't have to stop playing to breath), singing a different melody AND using a clever system of microphones and pulleys to turn the drumming of his saxophone's keys into, well, drumming. To be able to do all of that at the same time, and for it to be listenable, means Mr Stetson is a talent almost entirely his own.
He first broke through with his three-part New History Warfare series which were released between 2007 and 2013. On these Stetson pushed his instrument as far as he could, creating tracks that seem almost impossible. He drones, he thrashes, he oscillates, he croons. And all this at the same time with no overdubs. Beyond these he's released an album with his wife, Sarah Neufeld, worked with Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, and many, many more.
He's also been the front man of a thrash metal band in Ex Eye, a reimaginer of melancholy classical music on SORROW, and a composer of soundtracks. Ooff, just reading all that's left me a bit winded, imagine playing it all.
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