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Album Review

A bit of a change of pace for Australian free jazz trio the Necks, Townsville is a live album recorded in the fairly remote Australian town of the same name. A single improvised piece (as nearly all of the Necks' live performances are) in the 53-minute range, Townsville is the trio in full-on Erik Satie-meets-Brian Eno mode, with drummer Tony Buck sticking almost exclusively to cymbals and hand percussion, and bassist Lloyd Swanton at times playing so quietly as to be almost inaudible, and at others repeatedly returning to one simple recurring figure. This leaves pianist Chris Abrahams to take the organizational lead, playing wave-like clusters of Cecil Taylor-like chords that tinkle off into near silence before roaring back like surf on an Australian beach. That's pretty much it for the duration of the piece, an extended exploration of a placid mood that meanders pleasantly for most of an hour before quietly petering away. For a trio best known for playing hard-edged jazz with rock intensity, Townsville is an intriguing but inconclusive side trip.


Formed: Australia

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Unclassifiable, the Necks stand aside any other musical act Australia has given birth to. Neither jazz nor rock, this deceptive piano trio has kept a single line of conduct throughout its career. They usually start playing a very basic melodic and rhythmic figure, and then keep going at it for an hour, gradually introducing microscopic changes and variations. Some critics have compared them to Krautrock groups like Can and Faust. Others find similarities in the works of minimalist composers like...
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Townsville, The Necks
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Alternative, Music
  • Released: 15 January 2008

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