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The Necks – Travel


The Necks started in 1987 as an experiment conducted in private, not intended for public exposure. That changed as soon as the three musicians realised how well their collectively improvised music was working, and with Travel, their 19th studio album, they stay true to the process that has served them so effectively. Unchanging in its essence but never standing still, it has carried its members, two Australians and a New Zealander, from their late twenties to their early sixties on a steadily unfurling wave of creativity, as richly nourishing to their devoted audience as to themselves.

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Consciously or not, there’s a lot of Zen in the way The Necks go about making music, most particularly in the way habits are used as a way of breaking habits. In the improvisations that make up their live performances, one member of the group is designated to begin before the others join in at a time and in a manner of their choosing. To construct Travel, The Necks created four shorter live-in-the-studio improvisations and subjected them to the sort of post-production techniques used on many of its predecessors, overdubbing extra layers of sonic texture, most…

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