The Necks at Funkhaus Berlin / Saturday, 20.10.2018
Australian ambient post-jazz trio The Necks return to Berlin for another of their improvised sound voyages at the Funkhaus this October.
Forming in Sydney Australia in 1986, over the last 30 years The Necks have built an international reputation as masters of their own musical language of long-form improvisation. Each night they step onto the stage with no pre-conceived ideas of what they will play – they and the audience will go on a sonic journey that is created in the moment and in that room. They have produced 18 albums, their most recent Vertigo in 2015, and tour internationally annually, including occasional special projects and collaborations with Brian Eno, Swans, Evan Parker, Karl Hyde, Leo Abrahams, and others.
Typically a live performance will begin very quietly with one of the musicians playing a simple figure. One by one, the other two will join with their own contributions—all three players independent yet intertwined. As the ‘piece’ builds through subtle micro-changes, the interaction of their instruments creates layers of harmonics and prismatic washes of sound that lead some to apply the genre label ‘trance jazz’. Their live performances can be challenging for those expecting a conventional musical experience.
The Australian trio The Necks is among the most advanced improvised music formations to encounter. Especially in Berlin, the exceedingly fertile turf of real-time music, which was established in the 1990s. What pianist Chris Abrahams, drummer Tony Buck and bassist Lloyd Swanton conjure on stage can hardly be described in words. Their music is hypnotizing; the audience perceives the hour-long works as a labyrinth-like, never-ending dream.
“Open”, their youngest CD production, is viewed as a masterpiece by those encountering improvised music with open ears. The seeming simplicity of their music is based on a process in which a complex sound carpet gradually unfolds from a single musical entity both continuously and sometimes barely noticeably until it peaks at the highest intensity. They captivate the listeners every moment they play with the charming groove that accompanies it. Neither entirely avant-garde nor minimal, neither ambient nor solely experimental jazz: The Necks’ music is an exception, a jewel in contemporary music.
The Necks LIVE
Saturday 20th October 2018
Funkhaus Berlin | Nalepastrasse 18 | 12459 Berlin
Photo credit: Camille Walsh