Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

305

The Necks: Mosquito/See Through

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Hard on the heels of Pat Metheny's one-track CD suite The Way Up, here's some more writing on the wall for short attention span/instant gratification culture, as the Time Lords from Oz touch down with an even more uncompromising release. This double CD features two supra- minimalist, breathtakingly audacious, hour-long sound and texture nano explorations—each of them hugely compelling and therapeutic listening.

"Mosquito" and "See Through" each last a fraction under 62 minutes and are powerfully reminiscent (you'll have to trust me on this) of sitting on a Welsh mountainside, with a headful of Owsley's finest, watching the sunrise. It's that hyper real, hyper slo mo, hyper clear and pure an experience. Or to put it another way, it's like some giant MRI scanner has sliced a nanosecond of time and space and placed it under a molecular microscope for The Necks to investigate and fine tune.

"Mosquito" opens with what sound like bamboo windchimes being pulled delicately over the head of a hand drum, while a Tibetan prayer bell pulses softly in the background and the double bass plays the simplest one-note ostinato. These elements continue, with subtle variations, throughout the track, becoming the foundation for a repeated sequence of quietly ecstatic piano chords. And that's it. For over an hour. It's awesome, if awesome can be applied to something so miniature and so finely calibrated.

"See Through" is different again, rich and baroque where "Mosquito" is austere and rigorous, and—in its use of silence—even more extreme. A handful of gorgeous piano chords, tamboura-like bass drones and gently splashing cymbals evoke—indeed, get right to the core of—Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders's early astral-jazz workouts. The track is particularly reminiscent of the (for its time) long, drawn-out intro to Sanders' "Upper Egypt And Lower Egypt," but instead of lasting eleven minutes or so, continues with practically zero linear or narrative development for the entire hour. The Necks intensify the magic by contrasting the richness of the vamp with occasional periods of up to four minutes' silence, or near-silence broken only by Aeolian harplike high frequency resonances from piano strings, cymbals, and other objects in the studio.

Totally immersive and astonishing music which will take you out of yourself, and bring you back one or two hours later refreshed and re-energised.

Track Listing: Mosquito; See Through.

Personnel: Chris Abrahams, piano; Lloyd Swanton, double bass; Tony Buck, drums.

Title: Mosquito/See Through | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: ReR Megacorp

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
  • Body by Luca Canini
Radio
Album Reviews
  • Body by Mark Sullivan
  • Body by Mike Jurkovic
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Catching Up With
Live Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
  • Open by Mark Corroto
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Body

Body

Northern Spy Records
2018

buy
Unfold

Unfold

Ideologic Organ
2017

buy
Vertigo

Vertigo

Northern Spy Records
2016

buy
Vertigo

Vertigo

Northern Spy Records
2015

buy
The Necks: Open

The Necks: Open

ReR Megacorp
2014

buy
Open

Open

Northern Spy Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019