Published Apr 28, 2017Colin Stetson is a musical genius. The rhythms, melodies and harmonies produced by one man's windpipe and fingers are awe-inspiring. His newest album is also his leanest and most accessible.
A large part of the accessibility factor is the increased rhythmic heft, starting with the whip-crack of the opening cut and title track, "All This I Do For Glory," and the experimental techno-like drop halfway through "Like Wolves On The Fold." "Between Water And Wind" also admittedly resembles a riff that has spawned decades of head-banging: Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song." "In The Clinches" also offers a startling turn about 30 seconds in, when the groove changes from a fast, pumping 4/4 to a heavy, swinging 6/8 feel.
Concurrently, his trademark bed of slinky arpeggios (sounding at times like a modular synth) juxtaposed with ghostly melodies (owing a great debt to Thom Yorke's vocal phrasing) is still very much alive. The intimate sound of his breath adds texture and highlights the very physical nature of this music. The heavenly mid-album reprieve of "Spindrift" should speak to fans of ethereal melody from ambient to shoegaze.
The fact that Stetson can draw such varied sonic references together in one cohesive display of virtuosity makes him a national treasure. That this album distils what he does best should also widen his audience. Did I mention all the above sounds were made by one man with a saxophone simultaneously? Genius. (Kartel)