Album: The Necks, Silverwater (ReR)

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The Independent Culture

Everyone's favourite Australian improvising trance-jazz trio return with a piece supposedly named after an industrial suburb of Sydney best known for its prison.

The cover design suggests a more natural influence, Silverwater being evocative of running water, reflecting the progress of a river from its trickling source – represented by the opening organ figure and glistening high tones – through a youthful turbulence marked by the sustained torrent of small percussion, to a gently meandering maturity. It's a significant departure from the group's hypnotic style, in that Tony Buck, the drummer, is the dominant contributor, his froth of wooden percussion conjuring a babbling brook of foaming white water, after which a measured passage of languid drum-rolls effects a transition to a mature stage, accompanied by undulating shimmers of organ. Meanwhile, the occasional tolling of a bell implies a longer sense of time than that suggested by the surface activity. The addition of a rhythm guitar figure to their bass/drums/keys palette helps establish purpose, before elements are stripped away to leave a gently shuddering keyboard pad, heralding a passage of calm. It's a vibrant piece, with more dynamic changes than is usual with The Necks, but the impression of musicians keenly aware of each others' intentions remains a precious characteristic.

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