Windblower and earch-scorcher Colin Stetson returns for a new record of original solo material, his first since the finale in the New History Warfare trilogy. The core of his sound, developed through bass and alto saxophones, is pushed through with his signature circular breathing and cracked vocals, with additional percussion coming by way of mics capturing his frenzied fingering movements. After a stunning Norman Records Album of The Year™ with violinist Sarah Neufeld and an ensemble black metal reinterpretation of Gorecki's Sorrow, this could be seen as a roots record. It's a no frills edition of Stetson, capturing his sparse, largely one-take approach at its most intense, and arguably its most rhythmic. Influenced by Aphex and Autechre -- which isn't that big of a jump, when you think about it -- we happen to think it's quite brilliant.
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Nothing showy, this time: just a roar. Through his now well-travelled career, saxophonist Colin Stetson has weaved just about every narrative you could ask him to. He has always had friends by his side, be it on the feature-length trilogy ‘New History Warfare’, chock full of characters and paens -- or a reimagining of someone else’s, as in the furious, devastating and fucking metal cover version (it feels only right to call it that) of Gorecki’s ‘Sorrow’. He’s made adventurous experiments with violinist Sarah Neufeld, collaborated on free jazz collapses with Mats Gustafsson and made TV on the Radio songs smooth. Now, on ‘All This I Do For Glory’, he is alone -- and he opens on nothing more than a roar of the horn.
This record could be described as simple, or no frills, or even virtuoso, for how it reduces Stetson’s by-now signature sound. His circular breathed compositions for alto and bass saxophones speak for themselves here, it’s true, but there is an energy and emotion to them I have never before heard in his work: the eponymous title track is his most tuneful yet, truly letting that vocal sound crack through the hypnotic horn line to cascade a melody downward. “Like Wolves on the Fold” mixes his superfast, switch-tapping alto playing with an ominous vocal line and a contact-recorded percussive beat that sounds as frantic as horses bounding across the plains.
It is, ultimately, the most intense iteration of his sound I’ve heard, and it comes at the sparsest and most naked moment of his career -- this time, there are no overdubs or loops at all, and so Stetson’s screeches feel more frenzied, his rhythms more furious. There is an immediacy in this record, in both its dissonances and its bright spots, in its extreme rawness. The gurgling melody of “In the Clinches” sounds like something anyone could’ve written, screamed by a dazed Stetson; the beat of “The Lure of the Mine” is a simple, heart stopping strike I can imagine a first-time drummer trying to make. Stetson's sound, by now, is perfected -- but the energy is new.
10/10 Miguel Martins Customer review, 16th March 2017
Watching the new videoclip from this future album i'm fascinated by the ambience created by Colin Stetson... The way the mechanical sounds are integrated into the music creating additional rhythm is fabulous...
It made me go back to the live show in Portugal back in 2016 where we all went into trance mode...
For sure a must have for introspective home listening... and very glad for the white vinyl limited edition... it makes everything much much "clearer"...
Waiting for the next comeback to Portugal...
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