Watch a clip of Colin Stetson’s haunting new drone work


I first saw US saxophonist and composer Colin Stetson perform at 2014’s Mona Foma Festival in Tasmania, where I was somewhat hypnotized by his unique approach to his instrument of choice. At the time I couldn’t believe that he was operating without fx, “creating these rhythmic repetitive sounds that slowly build and evolve to over 15 odd minute pieces…his control is remarkable, frequently escalating, increasing in volume, changing the texture of his sound where it verges on distorted, even howling through the instrument, creating these remarkable polyphonic pieces.” You can read my review here.

Whilst he was worked with the likes of Tom Waits, Arcade Fire and TV on The Radio, more recently he’s been focussed on film scoring, including such classics as Hereditary (2018),and Color Out of Space (2019).

This piece comes from his forthcoming album Chim​æ​ra I (Room40), an extended and deep work of drone, utilising some of the aforementioned techniques and creating a dark semi industrial soundscape in the process.

This is what they have to say about it:

“Collecting a series of extended drone works for saxophone, Chimæra charts an entirely new thread of work for Stetson. This thread simultaneously maintains states of reductive minimalism and reactive maximalism. The album pushes his physical abilities, as a body and also as a player to a new terrain. The pieces reveal his increasingly refined capacity to compose works that push outward testing for the boundaries of timbre, harmony and also density.”

Chim​æ​ra I will be released via Room40 on the 11th of November 2022. You can find it here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.