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 and post-production) feel closest to their 30 years of celebrated live performances.
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.
Produced by The Necks
Recorded by Tim Whitten, Studios 301, Alexandria, Australia
Mixed by Tim Whitten, Forbes Street Studios, Woolloomooloo, Australia
Mastered by Douglas Henderson, micro-moose-berlin, Germany
Photographs and design by Traianos Pakioufakis
Thanks to Jordan Verzar, Regina Greene, Lee Paterson