September 30, 2011

Song Review: Colin Stetson's "The End of Your Suffering"


Before summer came and went, AwkwardSound gave a deserving hat tip to experimental bass sax master Colin Stetson and his adventurous sophomore LP, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges. An epic listen within it's own right, the release surely isn't recommended for listeners seeking out cohesive pop melodies and linear progressions. While Stetson managed to carve out a distinct, fragmented sax-based version of noise on that effort, he may be building something that isn't so much a free fall of sonics on his upcoming EP, Those Who Didn't Run, due out October 4th on Constellation. "The End of Your Suffering" is our first preview of Stetson's new work and while it's a daunting 10-minute long journey into a manic fit of saxing, the gifted noise prodigy at least focuses on one direction from start to finish -- One that is fast and snakes upward violently (or at least as violent as a bass sax can get...) The track is dizzying to say the least, reaching a hypnotic level by minute five where it's only then that this sax-on-speed approach is interrupted by what very well could be the sound of Stetson strangling his own instrument to death. Ending this mad dash with a subtle Gregorian chant-like exhale is an understated way to conclude the listen, but when you consider Colin Stetson's music is the definition of "inaccessible," it makes this and the thought of hearing "The End of Your Suffering" played before thousands of Bon Iver fans (whom Stetson is currently opening for) pretty brilliant.

Colin Stetson - "The End of Your Suffering"

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