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on 21 October 2011
I was drawn to this by Richard Williams's enthusiasm for The Necks in his book on Kind of Blue. I took a deep breath and invested in this. So what do you get?
A 67 minute improvisation by three guys on piano, bass and drums - in other words a jazz trio. But this isn't trio jazz, it's wholly improvised. Nor is it typical improvised music; it develops/evolves very slowly in front of your ears - no scribbling or trying to drown out the competition, its certainly not Brötzmann for instance (and I like his music). The effect is reminiscent of Terry Riley's In C but with more sense of development (and in the case of this album, less sense of rhythm; there are sections where the metre is much more implied than in your face). The music rises and falls over the 67 minutes in a remarkably organic way.
This music must be extraordinarily demanding to play; the level of concentration these guys must work at is, to me anyway, a little intimidating. There is nowhere to hide, no place for finger flapping. Listening to it as a whole is also demanding - but more because of the duration than the music itself; over longish periods little happens before it starts to mutate into the next shape. Its easy to understand Eno's liking for The Necks.
Do I like it? In the period since it appeared on the doormat I've played nothing else - a very unusual occurrence. It truly is a beautiful piece of music, breathtakingly so.
Will I buy more? You bet.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely.
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on 5 February 2010
I bought this on the basis of a review in the Friday Guardian Arts Review a few weeks ago. And struck gold. This is wonderful. One long gradually evolving piece, it needs to be listened to. At times it has the feel of the minimalist composers (which I love) then a catchy rythmn quietly builds in the background. My wife (kd lang/female vocalists in general fan) thinks it's great. My daughters 17 year old boyfriend (dubstep boy) thought it was cool. Now I have to buy all the other Necks recordings
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VINE VOICEon 4 December 2011
Like Mooseblaster, elsewhere on this page, I first learned of The Necks through Richard Williams' 'The Blue Moment'. John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, there is no end to the influence of Miles Davis. That list is just some of the musicians who felt the heat direct. Tomasz Stanko and others, indirect; so with The Necks. They will not be unconscious of this. As with just a few albums, the first time I listened to this I thought I had tossed my money down the drain. Not so! With repeated listenings it opens up rhythmically, lyrically, thoughtfully, as phase after phase passes through to finally reach a totally satisfying conclusion. They have an interesting web site too. This is music that will last.
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on 13 October 2010
Yeah. As good as they say and then some. Gets even better with repeated listening. A 'journey' (as previous reviewer writes) that spellbinds.
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on 27 February 2010
This 67 minute journey is well worth the ride. I am not sure that I have heard anything quite like this before. This was the soundtrack for a long car journey in the rain; the piece builds and builds but there is no crescendo. Welcome to a strange and barren landscape.
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on 13 January 2013
Have listened to the Necks before so had a reasonable idea what to expect. Very disappointed. A review suggesting that this could be put on at the end of a party to encourage people to leave is spot on. Scratchy cowbells and drip drip drip percussion, quickly become very irritating no matter what the other members are doing. The overwhelming impression is of the noises played by interrogators to break down their captives resistance. The first half in particular is demanding to listen to. It is often said of drummers that they tend to be mad. Well if the drummer on this was sane to begin with, he would have been certifiable by the finish.

Only buy it to give to someone you want to annoy.
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