Travel, the 19th studio album by Australian improvisational trio The Necks, documents their recent practice of starting each day in the studio with a 20-minute trio improvisation.
The recordings offer some of their most ecstatic and captivating music cut to tape. As bassist Lloyd Swanton puts it: “It’s a really nice communal activity to bring us together in focus each day, and some lovely music has resulted from it.” Although a straight “live” improvisation has never been recorded in the studio by the band, these tracks (save for some light overdubs/post-production) feel closest to what they’ve been doing live for more than 30 years now.
In 2017 Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ label released the band’s lauded Unfold, which first offered up this uncharacteristic studio work: four sub-20-minute pieces – instead of the typical 60+ minute arc for which the band is known – along with an obfuscated track list which leaves play order to the listener’s hand. The album quickly sold out, and persists as a treasure in collections or as a high-priced ‘Want’ on Discogs. Travel marks a return to this double-LP format, offered in a beautiful gatefold package that features photography by Traianos Pakioufakis and impeccable mastering by Doug Henderson.
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