After more than 25 years of confusing the heck out of anyone who dares turn up to a concert expecting to hear a run-of-the-mill jazz trio, Sydney mavericks The Necks are set to continue to push the trajectory of jazz out of the stratosphere of convention with their new, incredible album. The Necks 18th album Vertigo is an eventful, kaleidoscopic tone poem set against a darkly shimmering background. Slowly but inexorably moving forward, it crosses many frontiers yet remains true to the mission and mood established in the opening stanzas of this cinematic 44 minute journey. A work able to be viewed either as a whole, or two symmetrical halves, Vertigo sees The Necks once again offer an excursion in sound that reflects both the light and darkness of some preternatural world. Vertigo will be released on 30th October in North America by Northern Spy Records. It follows their acclaimed 2013 album Open, described by SPIN as ‘the most beautiful album of the year’. In contrast to the sustained improvisations that are their live performances, The Necks’ studio albums take shape by way of intricate crafting brought to bear throughout the entire recording and mixing process. “The discussion this time really began in earnest in the session itself, where we started to pursue the idea of having a drone running from start to finish, off which we could hang ideas,” said bassist Lloyd Swanton “But like all Necks albums we ended up in a very different place from whatever our initial notion of it had been.” Maintaining a teetering tension between suspension and collapse, Vertigo draws on a diverse palette of sounds created in the studio by Tony Buck (drums/percussion/guitar), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano/keyboards), featuring everything from homemade instruments, extended instrumental techniques and marathon explorations of sonic textures. One piece, at the same time two. Monochrome, yet multicoloured. Dark, yet incandescent. Expansive and still. Melancholic and exhilarating. The Necks. Vertigo.
“One of the most mesmerizing records of the year: an hour-long, labyrinthine, uninterrupted dream.” — Grayson Currin, SPIN
"Necks albums and performances often stick by a similar set of restrictions – three players, one hour, one piece. Which made it all the more remarkable that Vertigo, their 18th album in nearly three decades conjured such drama, colour and tension. Its single track was as multilayered as its title suggests, with overdubs, echoes and treatments creating a gripping whole. Robert Barry said: “The Glenn Gould of jam bands, theirs is not, in fact, the pristine impetuous utterance authentically preserved in its wondrous singularity, but something far more tailored and honed, edited and overdubbed.” TheWire Best Albums of 2015
“They’ve moved toward their own kind of collectively intuitive, process-oriented minimalism. It’s a music that toys with and questions typical narrative development, at a speed slower than what’s comfortable for most listeners. It frustrates our pattern-recognizing abilities, our need for emotional engagement, our desire for payoff. The music does grow intense, but that’s not the point. It does proceed through changes that sound logical, but that’s not the point, either.” — Ben Ratliff, New York Times
“A deeply immersive record that highlights The Necks’ often-unbelievable instrumental interplay and melodic sensitivity.” — Tyler Wilcox, Aquarium Drunkard