Dok (cyberinsekt) wrote,

Colin Stetson - Red Horse (Judges II)

I'm going to let you in on a secret. The best album of 2011 consists mostly of live solo performances on bass saxophone. The secret to the success of New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges lies in the way it was recorded. 24 microphones were used, each capturing a different element of Stetson's remarkable range of techniques: the rattle of the reed, the percussive tapping of the keys, or the harmonic overflow of the entire instrument vibrating. It's like he's got an entire band in there with him. If that wasn't enough, there's even a few tracks on which Laurie Anderson makes a guest appearance.

Red Horse (Judges II) maybe owes a little to some of the techniques pioneered by Ned Rothenburg - long circular breathing passages with rhythmic tongue slaps - but the power and energy of this particular piece is right off the charts. It's as if Stetson is roaring through his instrument, creating waves of amplification. Like early Cabaret Voltaire, he fills the audio spectrum with sound. No space for any vocals here. The track couldn't take them, it's stretched to its limits already.

No two ways about it, Stetson is a prodigious talent, you can tell that from any of the videos of his live performance. But this recording by Efrim Menuck at the famous Hotel2Tango studio is an amazing technical achievement. If you enjoy sound as much as I do, you're going to absolutely love this.

Colin Stetson - Red Horse (Judges II)
(alternate download)
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