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The Necks

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Australian trio The Necks have released about two dozen albums since their 1989 debut, Sex. It's a remarkably consistent body of work made up of lengthy jazz-leaning improvisations. Repetition and gradual development are hallmarks of the group's style, which has been compared to Krautrock and minimalism. There are other reference points: Miles Davis' 1969 landmark In a Silent Way, as well as the dark and mysterious music Davis and his bandmates were creating in the mid-1970s. Lloyd Swanton's bass line on "Signal" would be at home in a Horace Silver composition. Coupled with Tony Buck's lightly Latin-flavored drumming, it provides a backdrop for Chris Abrahams' piano and, during one stretch, a highly repetitive organ figure. (Abrahams is not afraid to play a riff many, many times, in this case imbuing the melodic morsel with a delirious intensity.) More than halfway through the 21-minute track, warm keyboard tones are introduced, changing the atmosphere just a tad. This sort of subtle shift is an example of what The Necks are masters of: quiet evolution consisting of alterations that, at first, may barely register. "Bloodstream" opens with heavy organ that evokes a religious service. Sprightly gospel-flavored piano enters, creating an unusual combination of spiritual styles. This band is no stranger to drones, but usually they are generated by keyboard or bass. Interestingly, at certain points in "Bloodstream," Buck's flow of hissing cymbals and sustained drumrolls produce that signature effect. Eventually the drums cascade, bringing the improvisation to an extended climax that is marked by bowed-bass accents. Close to the end of the piece the rhythm section falls silent, leaving the organ to pleasingly fade away. © Fred Cisterna/Qobuz

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The Necks

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1
Signal
00:20:50

The Necks, MainArtist - Chris Abrahams, Composer, MusicPublisher - Tony Buck, Composer - Lloyd Swanton, Composer

2023 Northern Spy Records 2023 Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

2
Forming
00:20:13

The Necks, MainArtist - Chris Abrahams, Composer, MusicPublisher - Tony Buck, Composer - Lloyd Swanton, Composer

2023 Northern Spy Records 2023 Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

3
Imprinting
00:17:14

The Necks, MainArtist - Chris Abrahams, Composer, MusicPublisher - Tony Buck, Composer - Lloyd Swanton, Composer

2023 Northern Spy Records 2023 Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

4
Bloodstream
00:18:39

The Necks, MainArtist - Chris Abrahams, Composer, MusicPublisher - Tony Buck, Composer - Lloyd Swanton, Composer

2023 Northern Spy Records 2023 Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

Album review

Australian trio The Necks have released about two dozen albums since their 1989 debut, Sex. It's a remarkably consistent body of work made up of lengthy jazz-leaning improvisations. Repetition and gradual development are hallmarks of the group's style, which has been compared to Krautrock and minimalism. There are other reference points: Miles Davis' 1969 landmark In a Silent Way, as well as the dark and mysterious music Davis and his bandmates were creating in the mid-1970s. Lloyd Swanton's bass line on "Signal" would be at home in a Horace Silver composition. Coupled with Tony Buck's lightly Latin-flavored drumming, it provides a backdrop for Chris Abrahams' piano and, during one stretch, a highly repetitive organ figure. (Abrahams is not afraid to play a riff many, many times, in this case imbuing the melodic morsel with a delirious intensity.) More than halfway through the 21-minute track, warm keyboard tones are introduced, changing the atmosphere just a tad. This sort of subtle shift is an example of what The Necks are masters of: quiet evolution consisting of alterations that, at first, may barely register. "Bloodstream" opens with heavy organ that evokes a religious service. Sprightly gospel-flavored piano enters, creating an unusual combination of spiritual styles. This band is no stranger to drones, but usually they are generated by keyboard or bass. Interestingly, at certain points in "Bloodstream," Buck's flow of hissing cymbals and sustained drumrolls produce that signature effect. Eventually the drums cascade, bringing the improvisation to an extended climax that is marked by bowed-bass accents. Close to the end of the piece the rhythm section falls silent, leaving the organ to pleasingly fade away. © Fred Cisterna/Qobuz

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