New History Warfare Vol. 3:
To See More Light
CST092      CD 2x180gLP MP3 FLAC

"By far the most successful and complete of his trilogy, 'To See More Light' is a masterpiece that organically and coherently blends Stetson's avant-garde playing and dark, complex themes with accessible and compelling compositions that bring a ray of hope not just for the characters in his underlying narrative, but for the future of music."

"Stetson is a master of overblowing and multiphonics, which he has finessed to the point where his circular breathing has allowed him to play what sound like several other entirely distinct lines of song. Others frequently achieve this by live sampling and looping, but Stetson insists he doesn't use such techniques, which makes for an extraordinary aural illusionism… The 15 minute 'To See More Light' contains Stetson's most confounding sleight of hand, as he layers up gasping, phlegmatic fanfares over Nautilus-spiralling notes, then produces the real-time effect of slurred tape speed. On 'Hunted' and 'Brute', though, he pushes overblowing into realms previously only accessible with a fuzz pedal, finding timbres in the saxophone's tubing that are rarely brought out. This gives Stetson's sweeter melodies a bitter, eyewatering sting."
The Wire

"The thumping, self-distorted “Hunted” manages to alternately pull off animal-like and machine-like in the same track. “High Above a Grey Green Sea” bewitches and reverberates. “Brute,” as mentioned above, pulses with distortion and a concussive force that could easily be mistaken as heavy metal."
Fluid Radio

"Stetson has ventured into uncharted territory, and the heretofore-unheard sounds that he's brought back are utterly bewitching."
Under the Radar

"Propelled by light-speed arpeggios (e.g., “Among The Sef (Righteous II)”), Stetson's music often barrels forth with the relentlessness of a runaway train, and its physical robustness makes it feel almost as powerful and unstoppable. Adding to the considerable impression left by the album is the ease with which it freely ranges across styles and genres—soul, folk, experimental, metal, industrial, and gospel (the latter heard most directly in the cover of Washington Phillips' “What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?”) among them. To call it amazing is no exaggeration."

"The physicality of Stetson's efforts are apparent here. The longest track at 15 minutes, "To See More Light" is his crowning triumph. Stetson maintains the structure of the piece, building upon his circular breathing to create a hypnotic and trance-like state. About halfway through, he slows the proceedings to produce a heavier vocalization and thumping sound that crests into a zenith of growling energy."
All About Jazz
New History Warfare Vol.2: JudgesColin Stetson  CD / 180gLP / DL
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La LechuzaEsmerine  CD / 180gLP / DL
COIN COIN Chapter One: Gens de couleur libresMatana Roberts  CD / 2x10" / DL
Guitar & VoiceEric Chenaux  CD / 180gLP / DL
Impossible SpacesSandro Perri  CD / 180gLP / DL
MonogamyLand Of Kush's Egyptian Light Orchestra   CD / 2x180gLP / DL

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. Judges ended up on countless year-end lists and emphatically proved that Stetson's approach to solo saxophone transcends niche or genre; a unique and emotionally resonant instrumental music with influences as wide-ranging as jazz, metal, pop, soul, drone, industrial, minimalism, electro-acoustic and modern contemporary.

Remarkably, Stetson channels these manifold musical strains into a singularly identifiable and personal sound as a polyphonic soloist who doesn't rely on looping/layering or multi-track/overdubs technologies. 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 – making his already beautiful and evocative compositions all the more enrapturing and viscerally human.

New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light is the final installment in a trilogy of solo albums and is Stetson’s most ambitious song cycle to date, again recorded live in single takes with a wide array of microphone positions and again mixed by groundbreaking producer Ben Frost. Colin's membership in Bon Iver over the past two years has also led to vocal contributions from Justin Vernon for this record, who appears on four songs, with a diverse approach on each, and whose voice constitutes the only overdubbing on the album.

The record's 15-minute centerpiece, title track "To See More Light", is the longest piece Stetson has yet recorded and possibly the heaviest: a tour de force of swirling arpeggiation, continuous breathing, pumping valves and vocalizations through the reed of the horn that gives way to a tremendous, screaming, sea-sawing dirge through the song's final movement. This latter stretch conjures a sort of saxophonic sludge metal, and the album's heaviosity references other sub-genres of metal as well, most notably in the hardcore blast of "Brute" (abetted by Vernon's cookie monster barking) and the ambient grindcore throb of "Hunted". In other instances, the album is soulful and even hymnal, especially where Vernon's vocals play a lead role: opener "And In Truth" (featuring Vernon's most instantly recognisable contribution, of massed, multi-tracked harmonies), the cover of Washington Phillips' gospel tune "What Are They Doing In Heaven Today", and "Who The Waves Are Roaring For" where Vernon delivers one of the more tender and honest vocal performances we've heard from him in any context.

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.

Thanks for listening.

Release date: 30 April 2013
Running time: 51:39

Packaging notes
CD comes in a custom gatefold jacket printed on thick 24pt. board in 4-colour process with a matte UV varnish. Disc is housed in an additional dust sleeve printed on uncoated paper.

2xLP is pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl at Optimal (Germany) and comes in a gatefold jacket printed in 4-colour process with a matte UV varnish. Includes a large pull-out poster printed on 100lb Mohawk Antique Vellum Chalk paper. LPs are housed in black audiophile polylined dust sleeves. 2xLP includes a digital download coupon.

Artwork by Tracy Maurice.

01. And In Truth
02. Hunted
03. High Above A Grey Green Sea
04. In Mirrors
05. Brute
06. Among The Sef (Righteous II)
07. Who The Waves Are Roaring For (Hunted II)
08. To See More Light
09. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
10. This Bed Of Shattered Bone
11. Part Of Me Apart From You

Colin Stetson: Alto, Tenor, and Bass Saxophones. All songs written, performed and recorded live without overdubs or loops by Colin Stetson.

Justin Vernon: Vocals on 1, 5, 7, 9. Vocals performed and recorded as overdubs. 1, 5, 7 written by Colin Stetson and Justin Vernon. 9 written by Washington Phillips.

Produced by Colin Stetson and Ben Frost. Recorded and engineered by Mark Lawson in Montreal at Sonovox, Le Petit Eglise, and OBORO. Additional recording by Vid Cousins at Monkeypuzzle Studios, and by Marcus Paquin. Justin Vernon recorded by Brian Joseph and BJ Burton at April Base, Fall Creek, WI.

Mixed by Ben Frost at Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavik, assisted by Jon Ottosen; Studio Manager Paul Evans.

Mastered by Mell Dettmer.

Album artwork and design by Tracy Maurice, with assistance from Matt Moroz (3D).