The Necks' Latest Composition 'Body' Clocks In At Over 56 Minutes

17 hours ago
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A typical album by The Necks contains just one track, one long track - piano, bass, drums, music that stretches out in a jazzy mesmerizing flow. Chris Abrahams, Lloyd Swanton and Tony Buck formed the trio from Australia. And they've been making music together for more than three decades. Their new release is, as usual, one composition. This one clocks in at 56 minutes, 40 seconds. And it's called "Body."

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

CHRIS ABRAHAMS: My name is Chris Abrahams. I play the piano and assorted other keyboards with The Necks.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: I think we all had a similar idea that we wanted to create, like, a group sound that wasn't based around soloing. I mean, you could say, in some ways, we don't take any solos. In the other way, we sort of - all three of us are soloing at once. The first pieces of music we played were these jams that went on for around about 50 minutes. You know, we'd just begin to play. And I found myself being able to listen to what I was playing in a way that I hadn't done before. It felt like I was part of something that I was creating but I was also listening to. And in the act of listening to, I was informing myself about creating. So there was this feedback loop that maybe I hadn't ever really experienced before.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: This opening section, I think, has an ominous feel. I think there's a certain feeling of mysteriousness about it. You know, the hope is that it's slightly psychedelic-sounding piano.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: The opening section has given way to a much sparser section. That's me on Hammond organ there.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: I think there's also a synthesizer there. I'm playing sort of bell-like chords on the piano - slightly impressionistic, I think.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: I think this section is kind of like a bridging section almost between the opening and what will be the sort of quite full-on third section.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: I love this sort of - you could almost say '70s-style piano - bring a sort of metallic dimension and a punchiness to, you know, a straight, sort of, four-on-the-floor rhythm. Tony's playing some really amazing guitar. And this section goes for, like, 20 minutes and does this. And I think, you know, a lot of people will probably be reminded of Neu, the German krautrock group from the '70s. And personally, I'm happy to be in that company.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: This is the concluding section. It seemed appropriate that we would kind of calm down. I'm playing very heavily reverbed piano that, hopefully, sounds like it's coming from a great distance.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: Tony's playing a lot of sort of shimmering cymbals.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

ABRAHAMS: People find our music very emotional, very hallucinogenic. I mean, they hear things that aren't there. To verbalize these things is actually quite difficult. When I listen to something that I think is really amazing, I get a feeling of like, oh, this is why humans make music. Right. I can see now why what I've just seen is necessary and should happen. You know, I'm not sure that happens all the time. So when it does happen, it's very special.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE NECKS SONG, "BODY")

MONTAGNE: Chris Abrahams from The Necks. Their new album is called "Body." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.