The Necks, Drive By, 2003

The Necks lavorano sul suono elaborando sulla scena sculture musicali di circa un’ora.
Dunque è molto limitativo estrarre solo una parte. Tuttavia per provare a farne l’esperienza ecco gli ultimi 10 minuti diDrive By:

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=4591599-177


Recensioni di Drive By:


Nella storia del Jazz spesso si legge che, nei momenti di svolta, gli appassionati ascoltatori dicevano “c’è uno che suona in modo nuovo” e correvano a sentirlo, ovunque fosse. È avvenuto per Louis Armstrong, che con West End Blues (1929) innovava nel Jazz di New Orleans. E ancora con le orchestre di Duke Ellington. Poi con il Bebop di Charlie Parker. Con The Birth of Cool di Miles Davis. E ancora con Olè di Coltrane. E ancora con il Jazz nordico di Garbarek. Ma sono molte le svolte.Ci sono vari modi, non incompatibili, per suonare il Jazz : quello degli Standard (e si può farlo in modo mirabile come il Trio di Keith Jarrett), quello della tradizione (come continua a fare con encomiabile coerenza Winton Marsalis), quello della rielaborazione del Pop (in Italia ricordo Danilo Rea e i Doctor 3). E ancora altri.
Ma oggi la nuova frontiera la stanno percorrendo i The Necks, un gruppo australiano che lavora da 15 anni e che persegue con ammirevole coerenza un progetto musicale unico.
I The Necks hanno qualche precursore, ma pochi imitatori. Il loro è Jazz minimale, è Post-Jazz, è Post-Tutto, come di loro dice Geoff Dyer in un suo articolo.
Drive By è un pezzo unico di circa 60 minuti. Una scultura musicale sostenuta dal tappeto sonoro della batteria di Tony Buck. Non ricordo altro drumming di così grande bravura per precisione e ritmo. La musica sembra appartenere al genere del minimalismo. Ma non è solo così: è continuamente attraversata da altri inserti sonori. Come voci di bambini, lampi notturni, rintocchi acustici, armonie da contrabbasso. La ricorsività e talvolta monotonia del minimalismo qui è vivificata dalla improvvisazione

La musica procede per sottrazione ed estensione. Talvolta Tony Buck è lasciato da solo a tenere l’opera (perché di grande opera d’arte si tratta!), ma poi di nuovo riprendono l’interplay.
Impossibile non essere ipnotizzati da questa musica.
Forse, senza particolari intenzioni terapeutiche, i Necks intercettano le onde cerebrali. Questa esperienza sonora si conclude, infine con una notte stellata in cui cantano i grilli. Le chiusure sono tanto importanti come le entrate. Ma qui siamo al massimo. Sono 10 secondi di vera magia. Chiunque ami non solo ascoltare musica, ma entrare in uno spazio musicale esperienziale non perda i Necks e cominci pure da Drive By. Ma poi cerchi tutti gli altri loro dischi. Ascoltateli: è una esperienza musicale straordinaria. Sembra di stare in uno spazio fatto di note.
O meglio, come dice Dyer, “è musica che contiene lo spazio che attraversa”.

in DeBaser


Alfredo Rastrelli in SandZine

Devo ammetterlo: ho iniziato ad interessarmi qualche anno fa ai The Necks solo perché avevo saputo che ci suonava dentro il batterista dei Kletka Red, Tony Buck ( tra l’altro con trascorsi anche nei Peril insieme ad Otomo Yoshihide e Kato Hideki). Nobile o meno che sia questo mio atteggiamento mi ha dato però l’occasione di entrare in contatto con una realtà e un progetto musicale incredibile e alla fine è solo questo quello che conta. Suonano già da parecchi anni ed hanno anche una bella e corposa discografia alle spalle questi tre australiani che rispondono al nome di Tony Buck, come già detto alla batteria, Chris Abrahams al piano e Lloyd Swanton al basso. Un supergruppo lo si sarebbe chiamato una volta perché i tre personaggi coinvolti non si sono chiusi a riccio nell’esperienza The Necks, ma hanno da sempre intrapreso quella politica che li ha portati a confrontarsi con così tante e diverse entità che sarebbe davvero un’impresa elencare tutte. Hanno costruito una carriera che è un mastodonte capace di ridimensionare e far fuori in un sol botto tutto il cosiddetto post-rock attuale. Hanno un sound unico ma soprattutto una carriera di una coerenza spaventosa. Per questo motivo risulta difficile isolare un loro cd da un altro, perché è l’unione che da loro la forza, e solo abbracciando la totalità della loro opera si può avere qualche chance in più di comprendere la loro musica. Quasi sempre ogni disco è composto da un’unica traccia che si assesta tra i quarantacinque e i sessanta minuti di durata e anche questo “Drive by” non fa eccezione; un flusso sonoro ininterrotto, dai groove ipnotici e minimali, sostenuto da una batteria poderosa e da un piano piuttosto ‘in love’ con certo jazz elettrico. Una musica in divenire, che procede per crescendo e piccole addizioni. Una sintesi perfetta di rock, jazz e dub coniugati in un suono minimalista eppure ‘totale’ che ti lascia dentro quel senso di stupore che si prova quando si è davanti a qualcosa di grande e di inafferrabile. Un gruppo importante che stava avanti già qualche anno fa, figuriamoci adesso, di una bravura tale da rendere obsoleti la maggior parte dei gruppi che tentano oggi di scopiazzare Ui e Tortoise. Fondamentali.


ReR Megacorp

By Nils Jacobson:

In many ancient cultures music is a tool for tranceRepeated figures, varied ever-so-slightly, can beckon you into a form of meditation where the outside world doesnt matter nearly as much as what lies within. Traditional drumming from Ghana, for example, centers itself around rituals relating to birth, spirits, and death. Westerners absorbed this idea in a very ass-backward way when modern classical composers like Steve Reich incorporated minimalism into a framework of repetition. The idea has been taken further by post-rock groups like Tortoise, who make use of studio tools to get it just right.

The Australian group known as The Necks takes advantage of both approaches: marathon cycles of riffs and beats frame intermittent piano swirls, found sound samples, and electronic effects. Drummer Tony Buck serves as the locomotive for this trio, laying down a direct and straightforward groove that persists more than an hour. The title track is the only track on Drive By, so you have to admire the concentration required. If you’re not willing to be hypnotized by this music, chances are youll find it highly annoying or turn your attention elsewhere. Thats your choice, but I strongly recommend surrender.

All of these three instruments (piano/organ, bass, and drums) have the potential to be a percussion instrument, and most of the time that seems to be their primary function. (Acoustic) bassist Lloyd Swanton lays down the most deceptively simple parts of the intertwined whole, often four-note riffs syncopated with snare hits and keyboard figures. The rhythms come in units of three, four, six, and seven, often directly juxtaposed, but you wouldnt necessarily know that unless you screwed on a thinking cap.

The jazz element on Drive By mostly comes from the keys of Chris Abrahams user-friendly organ and pedalled piano. To the extent this music has a melody, youll find it there. But short phrases, swirls, and gentle cascades comprise just about all of it, and in the end their role is more to serve as color and accent for the pulsating whole.

Apparently this group performs this sort of heavy-duty hyponosis live, which requires an act of utter submission and the sort of intuitive understanding that transcends conscious thought. But this studio effort is most effective in its own right: a magnetic document that favors understatement over excess, introspection over extroversion. A psychedelic trip of the highest order.


 

 The latest effort by Australia’s super trio the Necks is a darkly swirling journey into sound that encompasses jazz, rock, and hypnotic grooves,all organically played without loops or samples, to brilliant effect. Like a mirror image of Manuel Gottsching‘s classic E2-E4Drive By is one long track — over 60 minutes. It unfolds gradually. Chris Abrahams keyboards create the pulse that is gradually taken over by Lloyd Swanton‘s bassline. It’s less than a handful of notes that creates the effect, but the layering of Tony Buck‘s drumming, and Abrahams multi-textured keyboards over the framework, is positively mind-bending, this is only ten minutes into the piece! The dynamic is controlled and channeled through the middle, keeping the vibe of the piece moody, dark, and full of a controlled menace that gives way to a dreamy, shimmering gloss of ether and darkness. Great washes of synth sound come undulating through the backdrop intermittently, organ riffs course in contrapuntal rhythmic lines against Buck‘s ever prominent bassline, and a piano slithers through almost imperceptibly, as its seemingly random placement is off-kilter and ever surprising. The sense of relaxed ambivalence grows exponentially in the listener, though very gradually. By the time it ends, there is nothing but a mantra of excess for the pulse itself, and a warped sense of time and space echoing in the listening room, pervading every surface inner, outer, and secret. Sleep isn’t recommended, though an overwhelming sense of dream prevails. This is a remarkable, resoundingly brilliant album: that from such restraint so much flows. There are literally nuanced sonic universes contained here, all of them subtle, all of them uncoiling with elegance and steamy tension; they give way to a release that is unmentionably beautiful and seductively sinister.


PIERO SCARUFFI: 
By 2003, the three members of Australia’s unclassifiable Necks were playing together only a couple of times a year. But the group is still releasing new music, as borne out by Drive By, yet another one hour-long slowly-unfolding chamber piece that relies on both minimalist repetition and jazz improvisation for its dreamy ambience and fluent dynamics.

If 2002’s Hanging Gardens was lively and virulent, and the previous year’sAether was pure understated bliss, Drive By can be said to be the perfect encounter of Miles Davis, Terry Riley and Brian Eno. With a stronger sense of the groove than its predecessor (and a touch of African polyrhythm), the amalgam of Tony Buck’s tribal drums, Lloyd Swanton’s repetitive bass lines and Chris Abrahams’ wavering piano meditations is a classic of casual conversation.

It almost sounds like the counterpart to Soft Machine’s sixth album, which, starting from similar premises, accomplished much more austere and geometric structures. The keyboards are absolute protagonists, yielding the totality of the piece’s diversity, with occasional peaks of pathos. As usual, the meaning is as cryptic as a summer breeze.

Halfway into the track (at 27 minutes), children are heard playing in the background, and the delicate timbres of the piano seem to engage in some kind of counterpoint (while a distorted organ whines on top of it); and at 48 minutes the music is invaded by a loud buzzing sound, as of thousands of bees, and other animal-sounding noises, while the tempo gets funkier, until the music dissolves and only chirping birds are left.

The only drawback compared with its predecessor is that somehow the textures do not achieve the same sense of otherworldiness. The process is, in a sense, too obvious for the spectator to be hypnotized by the clockwork.

http://www.nudeasthenews.com/reviews/1139


Ken Micallef :

Australian instrumental trio the Necks have been called everything from Krautrock copyists to Philip Glass minimalists, but whatever their slowly revolving music implies, these masterful musicians sound like no one else. Over their seven album career the Necks have followed a consistent approach of single track, hour-long recordings marked only by very subtle changes that result in music that is profound, clever and confounding. Is this jewel-like music created for a predawn ritual of sex and sorcery? Or is it Aussie space rock recorded somewhere in the Outback as shooting stars and dope trails light up the sky?

 

The 60:17 long Drive By follows the Necks’ highly acclaimed live recording,Athenaeum, Homebush, Quay & Raab. The arrangements remain the same: Chris Abrahams’s twinkling keyboards create a lone four-note melody which is slowly joined by Tony Buck’s pulsing drums, the pair then enveloped by Lloyd Swanton’s subliminal, rumbling bass lines. Buck’s drums affect the most change, morphing from tribal patterns to hypnotic, tom-laced loops to edgy funk overlays. Abrahams adds incidental swirls of acoustic piano, organ, and sound effects that range from buzzing helicopter blades to apocalyptic explosions. Not only does Drive By create a numbing, surreal atmosphere like a hit of quality codeine, it easily holds your attention with the subtlest of elements. Drum rhythms peak, build and subside, odd sounds move from left to right, all without seeming purpose or obvious direction. It’s like staring at a deep blue sky for an hour with only fluffy clouds and bumblebees to embellish the view until a sinister UFO streaks across the horizon, leaving you anxious and excited. Drive By freezes time and invades your mind.


Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

The latest effort by Australia’s super trio the Necks is a darkly swirling journey into sound that encompasses jazz, rock, and hypnotic grooves, all organically played without loops or samples, to brilliant effect. Like a mirror image of Manuel Gottsching’s classic E2-E4, Drive By is one long track — over 60 minutes. It unfolds gradually. Chris Abrahams keyboards create the pulse that is gradually taken over by Lloyd Swanton’s bassline. It’s less than a handful of notes that creates the effect, but the layering of Tony Buck’s drumming, and Abrahams multi-textured keyboards over the framework, is positively mind-bending, this is only ten minutes into the piece! The dynamic is controlled and channeled through the middle, keeping the vibe of the piece moody, dark, and full of a controlled menace that gives way to a dreamy, shimmering gloss of ether and darkness. Great washes of synth sound come undulating through the backdrop intermittently, organ riffs course in contrapuntal rhythmic lines against Buck’s ever prominent bassline, and a piano slithers through almost imperceptibly, as its seemingly random placement is off-kilter and ever surprising. The sense of relaxed ambivalence grows exponentially in the listener, though very gradually. By the time it ends, there is nothing but a mantra of excess for the pulse itself, and a warped sense of time and space echoing in the listening room, pervading every surface inner, outer, and secret. Sleep isn’t recommended, though an overwhelming sense of dream prevails. This is a remarkable, resoundingly brilliant album: that from such restraint so much flows. There are literally nuanced sonic universes contained here, all of them subtle, all of them uncoiling with elegance and steamy tension; they give way to a release that is unmentionably beautiful and seductively sinister.

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