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The trio of Chris Abrahams, Lloyd Swanton & Tony Buck in their first release in 4 years, named for an industrial suburb, a bleak and beautifully building affair in The Necks tradition.

Necks, The

Necks, The: Silverwater (Recommended Records)
Label: Recommended Records    
Released in: USA    

"Four years on from their ARIA Award-winning 13th album Chemist, [Australia's] most beloved exploratory jazz trio return with the austere Silverwater. Named for a bleak, industrial Sydney suburb best known for its correctional facility, the record consists of a single hour-plus track that finds Chris Abrahams, Lloyd Swanton and Tony Buck in a very dark place indeed. As is fairly standard for the group, they start things out softly, with glimmering analogue keyboards that evoke the sci-fi ambience of Klaus Schulze's solo works.

From there, they proceed to subtly amp up the volume and intensity of the piece, led by Buck's fluid percussion. About a quarter of the way in, his bandmates step back, allowing him to set up the track's next section with a succession of circular fills, followed by Swanton's slowly evolving double bass line. This provides Abrahams with the impetus for Silverwater's most deliberately melodic movement, as he echoes Swanton's bass with admirable (yet not atypical) self-control. This is allowed to run its natural course for another 15 or so minutes, before being drawn (gently, of course) towards a more traditionally-structured jazz motif. Buck's increased confidence and ability as a guitarist (as showcased on his 2008 solo album Project Transmit) shines through here, as he augments Abrahams' understated playing with a few carefully-chosen and gently-bent notes.

Silverwater then glides back towards the near-empty space where it began, once again echoing early-'70s post-krautrock ambience. Buck's muted electric guitar brings some structure to the drift, leading into the album's final coda of piano, bass and gently-tapped cymbals.

There's an overall mood of passiveness to Silverwater that stands in direct contrast to the more aggressive Chemist. This is The Necks at their most reflective, utilising their key tools of minimalism and repetition to create a gently trance-inducing piece of music. Though occasional bursts of intensity serve to stave off monotony, Silverwater remains a largely subdued affair. That it's so utterly engaging, and so amenable to repeat listens is testament to the undeniable skill of the musicians involved."-Adam D Mills, Mess and Noise

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Product Information:

UPC: 752725027625

Label: Recommended Records
Catalog ID: ReR Necks9
Squidco Product Code: 12361

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Electric Avenue, Camperdown NSW and mixed at Studio 301, Alexandria by Tim Whitten.


Chris Abrahams-piano

Tony Buck-drums

Lloyd Swanton-bass

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Track Listing:

1. Silverwater 1:07:15