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Album of the Week – ‘Vertigo’ by The Necks

‘Vertigo’ by The Necks is Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week.

To even begin to break down the entire 44 minutes of pure Necks improvisation is not only a near impossible task, it would spoil your listening experience. It would also be recommended that you dedicate time to this track in the form of repeated listening sessions as I can assure you that you will come away hearing something new, different and unheard before and during previous listenings.The track introduction is set to disorientate, disrupt and command attention from the get go. Highly dissonant and percussive, not only in the traditional sense utilising varying drum instruments, but playing the piano in a heavily staccato and aggressive manner. Slowly and subtly we begin to hear the sounds of a semi untuned wind chime like instrument pierce through the sound wall, leading to a series of oriental inspired phrases with the chimes now in full volume leaving only the echos of the latter half of the piano keys in their wake swelling in the background.


Further into the track these phrases suddenly become threatened by the return of the menacing lower octave piano rumblings, a theme that the work continues to contemplate and explore. The album is truly a showcase of the extreme limitations of their instruments. Although it seems a large decent away from their previous works and lacking may of their hallmarks fans have come to know and love over their thirty-year professional career together, it’s not an album those same fans will long for the past, rather that they will enjoy this potentially enduring new direction. Why you might ask, because the album is a celebration of the instruments themselves played and conducted by musicians that have spent their careers gaining a deep affinity with and understanding of their ins and outs, to the point where they were able to create a cohesive 44 minute track that showcases these relationships. It is in their departure from the traditions of melodies, form, climax and structured composition that they allow these instruments to breath effortlessly and natural, at times clashing and smashing into each other, however sometimes suggesting a faint sense of resolution.


Reviews of The Necks:

“At around the 100-year point in jazz’s evolution, conjuring new spirits out of old spells is a difficult mojo to work. But people are doing it – a case in point is The Necks” JAZZ TIMES (USA)

“I think the new music I would find it hardest to do without, fifty years after Kind of Blue, is that produced by The Necks… A piano trio, but not like any other piano trio you have heard… There is a great deal of joy in The Necks’ music, and it is the more rewarding for being hard-won… Kind of Blue’s legacy is apparent in the ease with which The Necks exploit the spaces that were opened up for them all those years ago: spaces in harmony, rhythm and melody, but also spaces in the mind” RICHARD WILLIAMS – THE BLUE MOMENT: MILES DAVIS’ KIND OF BLUE AND THE REMAKING OF MODERN MUSIC


Artist Listing:

Lloyd Swanton

Tony Buck

Chris Abrahams

Track Listing:

1. Vertigo

For more information click about The Necks, head to www.thenecks.com.

The album will be given away throughout the week. For your chance to win, you must be a supporter so make sure to sign up at http://eastsidefm.org/support-us-2/. Don’t forget you can also stream the station at WWW.EASTSIDEFM.ORG



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