Colin Stetson: New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
Colin Stetson established himself as an intensely original solo composer and performer in 2011 with the release of the widely acclaimed New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, which ended up on countless year-end lists. Anyone who has seen Stetson in solo performance can attest to the stunning physicality of his circular-breathing technique and capacity to produce a seemingly impossible palate of multiple voicings simultaneously in real time.New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light is the final installment in a trilogy of solo albums, again recorded live in single takes and again mixed by groundbreaking producer Ben Frost. Colin's membership in Bon Iver has also led to vocal contributions from Justin Vernon for this record, who appears on four songs, and whose voice constitutes the only overdubbing on the album.New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light is the most cohesive and fully realized of Stetson's solo albums to date. It should reliably stand as the apotheosis of the New History Warfare trilogy, and certainly signals the full flourishing of Stetson's unique talents as both composer and performer, pressing his arsenal of virtuosic techniques into the service of vivid, impassioned and conceptually astute songcraft.
Colin Stetson: Those Who Didn't Run
To say Colin Stetson has come into his own in 2011 would be an understatement. February 2011 saw the release of Colin's universally acclaimed New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, his second official solo record and an album broadly received as a sonic, conceptual, compositional and technical tour de force.
Having premiered a couple of new songs at a small art gallery show in Montreal in May 2011, we were duly blown away (along with everyone else in the room) and encouraged Colin to consider recording them while still in their raw, stamina-testing glory. He agreed and brought in good friend (and now Grammy-winning engineer) Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Islands, Unicorns) to help capture the performances in Stetson's own basement rehearsal/studio space.
The resulting two pieces on this EP both clock in at around 10 minutes and are documented in direct, unadorned fashion, using a handful of mic positions and, as usual, no looping or overdubbing of any sort. These are brilliant single-take performances, one each for alto and bass saxophone, that mark their own sense of time in palpably physical and transporting fashion, showcasing Stetson's love for minimalism as well as his mesmerisingly mantric technical ability.
Colin Stetson: New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Colin Stetson is a horn player of uncommon strength, skill and genre- defying creativity. He composes and performs otherworldly songs that combine a mastery of circular breathing technique with percussive valve- work and reed vocalisations, making a polyphonic solo music that combines influences as diverse as Bach, early metal, American pre-war Gospel, and the explorations of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Brotzman and Albert Ayler.
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is Stetson's second solo record and his first for Constellation. Colin has been making his mark as a staggering solo performer for several years now, in front of audiences small and large, from intimate jazz and experimental music venues to big stages, whether opening for Arcade Fire or The National, or playing at jazz and new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz. His talents have been widely recognised and employed by artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio and Bon Iver. Colin also plays in Belle Orchestre and Sway Machinery.
The music on New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was captured entirely live in single takes at Montre?al's Hotel2Tango studio, with no overdubs or looping, using over 20 mics positioned close and far throughout the live room. Guest vocals by Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) are the only exceptions to this rule, along with one brief french horn piece that was multi-tracked.
The Judges sessions were co-produced by Stetson and Shahzad Ismaily and engineered by Efrim Menuck at the Hotel2Tango, then taken to Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik and mixed by Ben Frost. The result is a highly original, experimental, euphoric record that fires on all levels: a document of a profoundly gifted player, a compositional tour- de-force, and a studio production bursting with intensity and inventiveness.
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges features cover art by Tracy Maurice and will be issued on CD in custom 100% recycled paperboard gatefold jacket and on Deluxe 180gLP with a limited edition screenprinted poster and a CD copy contained in the first pressing.