Silverwater, The Necks’ first studio album since 2006’s ‘Chemist’, demonstrates that after nearly twenty two years, the creative flow of these three master improvisers is as strong and deep as ever.
Silverwater shimmers with an abundance of ideas and exotic textures. The Necks’ ongoing discipline of performing completely improvised music around the globe has only sharpened their ability to conjure and explore sound-worlds of remarkable cohesion and beauty. Drummer Tony Buck says “As we usually do, we went into the studio without anything planned. Lloyd (bassist Lloyd Swanton) showed us an idea he’d had on the way to the studio. It was nothing much, really, but as soon as we started working with it, the ideas started to flow so fast we could barely get them down in time.”
The wealth of ideas influenced the formal structure of Silverwater which, perhaps more than any other Necks album, can be loosely divided into some six or eight distinct episodes, each flowing smoothly and logically into the next. Silverwater, like its title, holds both beauty and menace – named as it is after an industrial suburb in The Necks’ native Sydney, known best as the site of a correctional facility.
South-east Asian textures are to the fore on Silverwater, courtesy of haunting gongs and the evocative bamboo sound of the Indonesian anklung. And picking up from their powerful use of huge silences on 2004’s See Through, there is an utterly transfixing episode of a pulsing electric piano chord, which on concentrated listening conceals a barely-audible funk groove. Silverwater is also testament to the further evolution of Tony Buck as a guitarist of great originality.
“I think this is the album that we’ve been the most excited about making,” says pianist/keyboardist Chris Abrahams. “This one is really special.”
Silverwater is an emphatic statement from three thoroughly original musicians who, at the start of their third decade together, continue to create compelling and inspirational works of art. At the end of the sixty-seven minutes that is Silverwater, you emerge from an exquisite dream state, transformed by the experience.
Since the release of 2007’s live album Townsville, the Necks have been involved in a typically varied and challenging array of creative pursuits including several tours of Europe and Australia (including performances as guests of the Nick Cave-curated festival All Tomorrows Parties), a highly successful debut tour of the US, an acclaimed foray into theatre with Back to Back Theatre’s production ‘Food Court’, and performances with legend Brian Eno in a series of three huge sold-out concerts at the Sydney Opera House..
The Necks will tour Australia February 2010. Silverwater available 23rd October, 2009