The Necks

Written by Michael Carr

Silverwater is a one hour and seven minute long piece of ambient jazz bliss. Trying to describe it is difficult so bear with me.

If you’ve been a fan of The Necks for a while this album will probably already have made you wet your pants, both in anticipation of it’s release and in surprise at the sound.

What is so surprising about this album is how polished it sounds, due to the fact that this is the first time The Necks have used digital recording techniques instead of only playing live to tape. While I was a little apprehensive of the idea at first, the result is sublime.

Layers upon layers of different instrumentation glide in and out of focus, with no one instrument really taking charge. The variety of textures is breathtaking, moving from the traditional with piano and drums to the exotic with the use of world percussion and what I assume to be electronic stuff I can’t fathom.

The beginning has a bit of a Radiohead ’round Kid A and Amnesiac feel to it and there are some other moments on the album that sound straight out of a Cinematic Orchestra album. However, for whatever sounds there are that are reminiscent of music I’ve heard before, there are twice as many new ones and whichever sound the band is embracing at any one point in time, they don’t let them stagnate, instead injecting life into all aspects of the album with their minute variations.

Go out and buy this, then give it to someone and buy another copy. The Necks are amazing and they deserve your money much more than the latest group of sensitive muso types touted by Dick Kingsmill over at triple j.

(btw click here to read my interview with Pianist Chris Abrahams.)

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