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The Necks – Mindset

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The Necks seem to have been around forever and they’re still boiling the elements of jazz down, adding their signature dabbles and occasional electronic bursts, collecting and sieving through new sounds, gold panning their way into new forms. This album collects two 20 minute-plus tracks that shadow each other like long lost relatives at a wake. Not that this is dark music as such (though the bass rumbles) but rather that the two tracks circle each other, as if wary. They clearly know each other, share a few drops of the same gene pool, but they are rough twins, twins brought up by different brothers.

The first track “Rum Jungle” is the relentless one; drums tumbling almost into the late period jungle-jazz rhythms of Omni Trio. It’s all about the interweaves; the pulses are constant but shifting, the cymbals flicking against each other, urging the track forward. Here, the drums are the bad leader, the organ drones and piano tinkles and bass sounds following, adding their own comments but keeping to the drum’s pace, not outstripping. Best listened to in the midst of a serious caffeine binge. This is fidgeting, made music. It gets claustrophobic, very claustrophobic. You’ll find yourself searching for space, expecting it, but it doesn’t come. There’s no space at all until…

The second track “Daylight” is formally more contemplative, the sounds given more room to breathe. It’s not just softer, more airy; it’s necessarily softer and more airy. Sometimes it seems like a jazz transcription of some lost modular electronics classic; the pops and scratches and lightness (albeit lightness in a very Noir setting; lightness as the first whisky of the day, after a long evening of malice) giving way eventually to a more consuming, denser sound. You’ll need both tracks. One will pull you into a hole, the other just about pulls you out again.

For those out there who already hate jazz; this isn’t what you think it is. The Necks are their own genre.

-Loki-

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