IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE NECKS - Update 20th Feb 2014
Necks' bassist Lloyd Swanton will rejoin their Australian tour for Newcastle (Lizottes 20 Feb), Canberra (Street Theatre 22 Feb) and Sydney (Sydney Opera House 3 March) and one final date just added for the tour, at Bennetts Lane in Melbourne on Thursday 6th March. Details on our Tour Dates page.
NEW ALBUM OPEN OUT NOW
Our seventeenth album Open is being released (CD only this time - too long for vinyl - sorry!) in Australia/NZ on Fish of MIlk, in Europe and Japan by ReR/megacorp, and, in an exciting new development, in North America by Northern Spy.
Open is now available through this site. Place your order now on the Online Shop page.
EUROPE TOUR DATES TAKING SHAPE
We have announced the initial details of our March 2014 Europe tour, including a show in London at the Bishopsgate Institute, return visits to the BIMHUIS in Amsterdam and Victoria in Oslo, and first-ever Necks shows in Rimini, Italy and Seville, Spain. Latest details on our tour dates page.
NICE REVIEWS FOR OPEN APPEARING
Our new album, Open, is starting to get some very flattering reviews:
Sydney Morning Herald: "The triumph of album No. 17 is that The Necks can still turn one's head with surprise... (The Necks) at their most reflective... few do foreboding like The Necks... Their finest? I've given up that game. It's certainly their most beautiful" (4 stars)
Cyclic Defrost: "Their patience and subtlety, not to mention their ability to craft gentle moods without forgoing their spirit of experimentation is nothing short of astounding. This is truly great music."
Richard Williams, The Blue Moment: "...even at this early stage of listening it sounds like one of their best, up there with Aquatic and Silverwater, in my view."
... (along with Arve Henriksen's Places of Worship) "In their different but equally wonderful ways, these are likely to be the albums by which I’ll remember the year."
New York Times: "I can’t think of a record I was less eager to go back to a second time, and I can’t think of a record I changed my mind about more on the second, third and fourth time...
They look like a jazz trio... and they retain a trace of that music: stepping in and out of a groove. But they’ve moved toward their own kind of collectively intuitive, process-oriented minimalism"
Off the Tracks: "It feels – in the best possible way – like everything great The Necks have already (and always) done. And then it feels like so many of the things they haven’t quite got to yet...Open is a masterpiece. Another one. A new one.
Open is another life, an afterlife. It’s almost hard to imagine that three people could come together to make something this beautiful, this sure of itself, this happy to take this much time to unfold. It’s flawless."
The Music: "Truly, open space is a player here. A living masterwork for those with open ears"
The Wire: "(Displays their) astute handling of pacing and momentum, finely honed collective sense of timing, their shared ability to balance at length a group equilibrium"
Stack: "Their most intricately balanced and realised work in years."
SPIN: "one of the most mesmerizing records of the year: an hour-long, labyrinthine, uninterrupted dream."
SPIN (again): "The most beautiful album of the year (is) by these Australian slowpoke-jazz cult heroes... a beaming, wall-to-wall gorgeous 68-minute journey of haunting mosquito buzzes, cymbal washes, nail-biting drum rolls, jingling chimes, and pianos that resonate and ring. With the speed of sunlight moving across a field, it's jazz for Eno heads, ambient for improv fans, and a molasses-slow chillout that works like sludge metal (only friendlier)."
THE QUIETUS: "Even by The Necks' standards, Open feels intensely pure... Space is as important a component as anything else in the mix. At times it feels as if nothing, literally nothing, is happening. But it is, constantly...Open is magical, calming, intriguing, beautiful. It makes me smile to listen to it."
LONDON RECORDING ON THE BBC
BBC's Late Junction presents an encounter recorded in the BBC's Maida Vale studios between The Necks and legendary improvising saxophonist, Evan Parker.
To get to play music with someone of Evan's stature, and to find common ground with his utterly unique approach to improvisation was a huge honour, and some wonderful music flowed.
The audio of this recording will be available as a podcast for 30 days after the initial broadcast.
Renowned music writer Richard Williams sat in on the session, and wrote this account on his blog, The Blue Moment.
AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
The Necks are delighted to announce another big tour of Australia.
Apart from visits to all our favourite haunts, a couple of highlights are firstly, two dates in Perth at the beautiful, intimate Ellington Jazz Club, and to close off the tour, another huge concert in the Joan Sutherland Opera Theatre at the Sydney Opera House, the site of The Necks' triumphant 2012 concert which had the town talking for days.
All details are on our Tour Dates page. (some venue sites weren't up-to-date at time of posting, but this should be remedied very soon.)
NECKS PERFORMANCES AVAILABLE AS DOWNLOADS
We have a couple of downloadable pieces posted on the internet:
*In February 2009 we went into the studio at WFMU, New Jersey, and recorded a piece for Brian Turner's show. You can hear it at:
*On January 27th and 28th 2010, we played two memorable nights at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY. You can hear one of the sets here:
ARTICLE IN SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
NEW T SHIRT SIZE
All our T shirts are described by the suppliers as "unisex" but feedback we have been getting from female customers suggests that often the Small unisex is not small enough.
So for two of our most popular shirt designs, namely Swiss choc brown and THENECKS (black), we have introduced a new Female medium size. Dimensions are on our Online Shop page.
ANOTHER DOWNLOAD FROM ISSUE PROJECT ROOM SHOWS NOW AVAILABLE
NECKS CONCERT VIDEOS
Both sets from two memorable Sydney concerts, at the Metro Theatre and The Factory, beautifully filmed and recorded by Moshcam, can be seen on the Press Kit page of this site.
ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN (UK) BY RICHARD WILLIAMS
NEW ESSAY ON THE NECKS
There is a brief but good essay on us in Song Logic, a new book by music writer Rino Breebaart. See here for more details.
We also recently received some nice coverage in Working the Room (Canongate, UK, 2010), Geoff Dyer's latest collection of essays.
If you happen to be interested in reading more about The Necks, there are a few other options these days too.
We are the subject of entire chapters by:
Andy Hamilton in Blocks of Consciousness and the Unbroken Continuum (Sound 323, UK 2006)
John Whiteoak in Sounds of Then, Sounds of Now: Popular Music in Australia (ACYS Publishing, Australia 2008)
John Shand in Jazz: The Australian Accent (UNSW Press, Australia 2008)
and also receive significant coverage in:
Richard Williams' The Blue Moment: Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music (Faber and Faber, UK, 2009)
AETHER ADDED TO NATIONAL REGISTRY OF RECORDED SOUND.
Every year, Australia's National Film and Sound Archive adds ten recordings to its National Registry of Recorded Sound.
Sound recordings which the public consider to be of particular significance are nominated and then examined and selected by an expert panel.
We're very proud to announce that our 2001 album Aether has been added in 2012's list. (We always thought it was pretty good.)
For more information, see here
SEX BACK IN PRINT
Sex is the legendary first album by The Necks.
Released over twenty years ago, it has had a life all of its own and is easily our best-selling release.
We're very happy to announce that we have re-released Sex through Fuse Music Group, who have been distributing our latest release Mindset in Australia and New Zealand. Sex is again available through this website.
THREE GREAT REVIEWS FROM LONDON VILLAGE UNDERGROUND SHOW
GREAT REVIEWS FOR SILVERWATER
The Guardian, UK: (5 stars) - "austerely elegant"
Sydney Morning Herald: "Head and shoulders above the rest...the finest studio album in their 22-year history"
BBC.com: "The Necks are among the world’s most consistently great exponents of improvised music"
Uncut Magazine: "Maybe they should take a further leaf out of Morton Feldman's book, and keep it rolling for another hour or two more next time?"
Aquarius Records, USA: "Silverwater's shimmering textures and minimalist pulsations are simply beautiful, enthralling. It's a glorious 67 minutes, all right.
"If you know The Necks, you know you need this. If you're new to The Necks, please do yourself a favor and check this out. Next to seeing them live (which some of us have been lucky enough to do, oh my god they were good), this will demonstrate quite effectively why we hold them in such high regard."
Alternative Media Group, Australia: (4 & 1/2 stars) "...so simple and compact. Yet open the doors to Necks-world, take but a small peek inside, and suddenly the universe has opened up to worlds vast and previously unimaginable. The chemistry between Chris Abrahams, Lloyd Swanton and Tony Buck remains fresh and unhindered after over two decades playing together. Unplanned as always, the musical ideas that flow from this original position of nothingness are a testament to their philosophy (and a damning indictment of others who start with far more but end with so much less). Haunting, evocative, engrossing and astounding at each and every turn, Silverwater will defy any attempts at description but outstrip any expectation. This one really is special."
Mapsadaisical.com: "Silverwater is not just another bold piece of experimentalism...but is one of the most deeply satisfying albums anyone has released this year in any genre. An essential purchase."
***Rated Number 25 in Wild Mercury Sound's Top 100 of 2009 (Uncut Magazine)***
The Wire (UK): Like shoals of fish flitting at the periphery of vision."
New York Times: "The point of Silverwater is the entire creation...at some point, no matter how many times you’ve heard the group before, you say, “Oh I see, this is the main event.” Yet you’re still wondering where it’s going. It’s got you twice over."
The Times (UK): (4 stars) "They arrived fully formed, in a treeless plain where Kind of Blue’s narcoleptic haze meets Steve Reich’s pin-sharp minimalism, where time expands to fill the available space...stay the 77-minute course and, deliriously, deliciously, Silverwater will drown you."
NICE REVIEW FROM KNOXVILLE
It was great to return to play at the beautiful Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee. Here's what reviewer Matthew Everett of Metro Pulse had to say about the show:
Best long-form improv not found in the UCB Theater: The Necks at REDCAT. "Using piano, bass, drums and a whole lot of concentration, this category-defying trio from Australia delivered a spellbinding, all-improvised set early in 2009, somehow making two ever-evolving, 45-minute creations glide by in what felt like minutes. Come back soon, please."
All About Jazz New York: Best of 2009: Performances of The Year:
THE NECKS, Le Poisson Rouge, February 10th
AQUATIC BACK IN PRINT
One of our most popular releases, 1994's Aquatic, which has been out of print for some time, is available again, with a new cover by Berlin designer Asi Foecker, who has done most of The Necks' beautiful album covers in recent years.
Aquatic was glowingly analysed in Richard Williams' book "The Blue Moment", about modern music in the 50 years since the release of Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue".
FIVE STAR REVIEW IN THE GUARDIAN
Thanks to everyone who came along and helped to make our nine country, nineteen date European tour our biggest and most successful yet. It was capped with the five wonderful UK concerts presented as a double bill with Harold Budd.
Here's a great review in The Guardian of one of our sold-out London shows.