Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2
If you pick up one bass saxophone album this year, it should probably be this little gem from Colin Stetson. He’s a man who’s taken to the stage with artists such as Arcade Fire, Tom Waits and TV On The Radio, but New History Warfare Vol. 2 is unlike any of his work with said bands. Recorded live in single takes, Stetson explores the furthest reaches of his playing through fourteen frankly beguiling pieces of music. Bass warbles form a rhythmic backbone on ‘Judges’ while distorted screeches take ominous shapes, and the frantic, intricate lines drawn by his horn in ‘A Dream of Water’ are narrated by Laurie Anderson's urgent spoken word vocal. Stetson utilises low-end drones akin to Sunn O))) on the unnerving ‘Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes’, which also features a soulful vocal appearance from Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond. Running the gamut of heavy, experimental and unique sounds, this is quite unlike anything you’ll hear this year and all the more brilliant for it.