Reviews that mention Lloyd Swanton

September 5, 2017

Météo Mulhouse Music Festival

August 22 to August 26, 2017

A consistent French tradition like chewy baguettes, fine Camembert or Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Mulhouse, France’s Météo Festival, now in its 35th year, continues to present exemplary musicians in concert, without the program ever becoming homogeneous. What this means is that while the festival which took place August 22-August 26, was introduced and reached a climax with absorbing and innovative with sets by veteran Imptov saxophonists Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, performances which encompassed minimalism, hard-core Free Jazz, electronics, Rock, notated and folkloric music were part of the schedule. MORE

April 12, 2016

The Necks

Vertigo
Northern Spy NS 067

By Ken Waxman

Members of the Australian trio, the Necks habitually construct mesmerizing CDs consisting of one extended improvisation. As committed to their musical vision as ensembles such as the Beaux Arts or the Lyric Arts trios were to theirs, after three decades as a band pianist/keyboardist Chris Abrahams, bassist Lloyd Swanton and percussionist Tony Buck can still alter the overall interpretation in such a way that it become like an aural kaleidoscope offering novel facets on each playing. MORE

August 16, 2012

The Necks

Mindset
ReR Necks10

Roil

Frost Frost

Bo’Weavil weavil 42 CD

Buried among the resilient, intertwined polyphony which has characterized Australian trio The Necks’ creations over more than a quarter-century is the realization that each member is a first-class originator on his own. That why it’s instructive to compare Mindset, the band’s 16th CD, with Frost Frost, by Roil, a piano trio featuring The Necks’ pianist Chris Abrahams. As soldered as the tremolo patterning and aleatory dynamics of the sometimes-multi-tracked Abrahams are to the solid tempo of bassist Lloyd Swaton and the firm beat and interpolated samples from drummer Tony Buck with The Necks, the Roil CD displays his proficiency in a new setting. MORE

February 6, 2010

The Necks

Silverwater
Fish of Milk/ReR Necks 9

Aptly described as mesmerizing, the sonic currents created by Australian trio The Necks sweep listeners along without complaint during any one of the band’s hour-long, time-suspending performances. The audience at the trio’s Music Gallery show in late January could testify to that. Yet Silverwater – named for an industrial suburb of Sydney – pulses with even more textures, since with overdubbing and granualization multiple and fungible sonic layers can be exposed.

That means that the swelling and jabbing organ tones played by Chris Abrahams that quiver throughout this one-track CD to reach a crescendo of almost visual three-dimensional polyphony, sometimes operate in tandem with knife-sharp piano chording – also played by Abrahams. Additionally, samples and patching split Tony Buck’s percussion skills so that rhythmic tambourine shakes, thick press rolls, ratcheting wood scrapes and a steady backbeat are heard all at once. Holding the bottom are the rhythmically powerful and chromatic spiccato runs of bassist Lloyd Swanton, occasionally doubled by overdubbing. MORE

March 6, 2008

Kapital Band 1

Playing By Numbers
Mosz 017

The Necks

Townsville

ReR Necks 8

With terms such as ambient and minimalist sloppily and frequently bandied about, their correct connotation becomes as blurred as the sound often is during purported performances of the musical genre they’re supposed to represent.

The advantage of CDs such as The Necks’ Townsville and Kapital Band 1’s Playing By Numbers, however is that they’re ingeniously designed by musicians who concentrate as much on the details of creation as the overall structure. The discs also demonstrate that homespun, unfussy and discreet sonic creations should be expansive, not static or flimsy. Furthermore, although each band may be slotted in the same sub-section of musical creation, each pursues a different itinerary to reach its defined objective. MORE

March 6, 2008

The Necks

Townsville
ReR Necks 8

Kapital Band 1

Playing By Numbers

Mosz 017

With terms such as ambient and minimalist sloppily and frequently bandied about, their correct connotation becomes as blurred as the sound often is during purported performances of the musical genre they’re supposed to represent.

The advantage of CDs such as The Necks’ Townsville and Kapital Band 1’s Playing By Numbers, however is that they’re ingeniously designed by musicians who concentrate as much on the details of creation as the overall structure. The discs also demonstrate that homespun, unfussy and discreet sonic creations should be expansive, not static or flimsy. Furthermore, although each band may be slotted in the same sub-section of musical creation, each pursues a different itinerary to reach its defined objective. MORE

January 17, 2005

THE NECKS

The Boys - music for the feature film
ReRNECKS4

HOUSE BAND
Cycle Maintenance
Louie Records 033

Coming from completely different places -- not to mention continents -- because of a similar instrumental make up, these CDs end up with more similarities than differences.

What is even odder, however, is that THE BOYS is a studio amplification of the music Australian trio The Necks improvised for the 1998 feature film of the same name, while CYCLE MAINTENACE resulted from spontaneous sessions from a quartet of Portland, Ore. musicians early in 2004. MORE

April 5, 2004

COOPER-MOORE/TOM ABBS/CHAD TAYLOR

Triptych Myth
Hopscotch 14

THE NECKS
Drive By
Fish of Milk RER NECKS3

Piano, bass and drums combos have been one of the defining configurations of improvised music for more than five decades. But as these two exceptional trio sessions prove, with the right ideas and techniques, there’s still plenty that can be done with this traditional form.

Microtonalists, Australians The Necks do cheat a little bit on DRIVE BY. Using all the resources of a modern studio, keyboard man Chris Abrahams is able to doubletrack himself on piano, electric piano and organ, while drummer Tony Buck adds different percussion and samples. But seemingly tireless bassist Lloyd Swanton still uses his acoustic model to shape the rhythmic foundation of the one, more than hour-long piece that makes up the CD. MORE

February 24, 2003

THE NECKS

Athenaeum, Homebush, Quay & Raab
Fish of Milk FOM 0008

For the uninitiated, hearing performances and CDs by the Australian trio The Necks are somewhat akin to looking at those cartoon quizzes that ask you to find the differences between two nearly identical pictures. Everything sounds very similar. But more contemplative exposure to the band’s work -- like careful examination of those pictures -- reveals a host of singular details, making The Necks’s creations not only exciting, but unique as well.

So it is with this oddly titled, 4-CD collection of live tracks. About 3¼ hours of music, each instant composition takes up one complete disc. Three of the shows were recorded in the band’s native Australia, one in Austria, and were transferred to CD with minimal postproduction and editing work. All can be heard as mesmerizing examples of ritualistic minimalism. MORE

July 13, 2002

THE NECKS

Hanging Gardens
RerNECKS1

THE NECKS
Aether
Fish of Milk FOM 007

Australia’s The Necks seem to occupy a musical space somewhere between the jam band groove of the U.S.’s Medeski, Martin & Wood (MM&W) and the ambient intellectualism of the U.K.’s AMM.

Deft at mood creation, the band’s CDs and live shows are all of a piece, consisting of only one composition that takes about an hour to reveal its many facets. Like AMM’s conception, the time period allows the band members to take a piece through all its possible permutations before it’s exhausted. Unlike the British group, though, they maintain a constant, often foot-tapping beat. While the endproduct isn’t as outrightly intellectual or discerning as AMM’s, it also isn’t submerged into an almost endless, unvarying groove like many of MM&W’s compositions, which often clock in at a radio-friendly few minutes. MORE