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mwalker on 03/23/2010 at 10:00AM

piano, bass, drums

The Necks, photo by Tim Williams

So, figuring a two-month break provided just about enough space and time to digest that first meaty offering from The Necks’ four-set stint at ISSUE (back in January), we’ve decided to roll out another endlessly-rewarding slab of mesmerizing improv from the legendary Australian trio. 

Serving as the conclusive final performance from their two-night stand, this 50-minute stream of continuous sound accumulation/evolution/reconstitution undoubtedly dealt the most visceral blow to the senses and soul – leaving a transcendent crater of impact where the mind once rested. In his write-up on the previously shared set, Andrew suggested the consequence of repeated sounds (filtered, of course, through processes of continuous, subtle variation) was the lingering residue of ghost spots in the ear, in much the same way that “staring at the sun for too long will leave a spot in your eyes, where the eyes expected the sun to be.” Here -- thanks in no smaller part to master percussionist Tony Buck’s primal/cerebral quiet-storm-cum-impenetrable-maelstrom  -- the body itself acquires a build-up of imposed phantom forms: cyclones of pulsing sound waves continue to quiver and vibrate through the head and chest, long after the rhythmic streams have shifted, transformed, and departed the audible space.  

At the peak of the proceedings, a near-overwhelming array of asynchronous channels throb with vicious intensity: a thick, tangled mass of strung-together bits of hollow wood rises and falls as dead weight onto a single tom-tom with hyper-Sisyphean persistence; deeply resonant clangs boom and rattle in spidery fragments in the lowest depths of Chris Abrahams' piano; Lloyd Swanton’s plucked double-bass powers through the middle-register with calm insistency, filling the cracks and crannies of the open space like unstoppably purposed oozing of liquid concrete. And that’s just one patch in a vast geography – the come-up/come-down surrounding this pinnacle elicits equal levels of beguiling hypnosis. Enjoy.



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