Releasing sixteen albums is an achievement in itself. What’s impressive about Mindset, the latest soiree into improvised musical from those wonderful Australians The Necks, is that it shows that the band are still looking to expand their sound more than 25 years after they kicked things off. The two lengthy piano-bass-drum swells that each make up a side of Mindset draw from Sun Ra, Chick Corea, Alice Coltrane and so much more without ever sounding much like any of them.
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Vinyl LP £15.49 VNECKS10
Repress LP on ReR Megacorp.
The Necks are a legendary experimental trio who, via the use of just piano, bass, and drums, create swirling cacophony through haunting, sparse arrangements. Their twelfth album 'Mindset' is being repressed by ReR Megacorp and is as worthy as anything of a revisit.
'Mindset' seems to owe more to krautrock and techno than to free jazz. The grinding pummel of 'Rum Jungle' reminds me of Perc or Mickey Nox in its intensity. Second piece 'Daylights' has a skittering hi-hat groove that sounds a bit like Venetian Snares or Squarepusher* as well as a fat repetitive bassline. Despite being made up just these two pieces, 'Mindset' is still wholly engaging and interesting. Albums made up of a few extended tracks can often fail merely by dint of this, but the Necks always keep things interesting.
Their performance for NTS at Cafe Oto in London s a must-watch for anyone who wants to get a sense of the Necks' capability as performers and improvisors. 'Mindset' shows why they remain a wholly innovative and exciting group of musicians.
*Later research informs me that drummer Tony Buck is a Squarepusher fan.
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