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The Necks

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Title: The Necks  
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Subject: Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck (musician), Lloyd Swanton, The Boys (1998 film), Australian Jazz Bell Awards
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The Necks

The Necks
Background information
Origin Sydney, Australia
Genres Experimental jazz, minimalist, krautrock
Years active 1980's–present
Labels Fish of Milk, Shock, Spiral Scratch, Private Music/BMG
Members Chris Abrahams
Tony Buck
Lloyd Swanton

The Necks are an Tony Buck on drums, percussion and electric guitar, and Lloyd Swanton on bass guitar and double bass. The band, who are also well known in Europe, play improvisational pieces of up to an hour in length that explore the development and demise of repeating musical figures. The band's 17th album Open was released in late 2013.[1]


  • Live performance 1
  • Soundtracks 2
  • Awards 3
  • Discography 4
  • Awards and nominations 5
    • APRA Awards 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Live performance

Typically a live performance will begin very quietly with one of the musicians playing a simple figure. One by one, the other two will join with their own contributions—all three players independent yet intertwined. As the 'piece' builds through subtle micro-changes, the interaction of their instruments creates layers of harmonics and prismatic washes of sound that lead some to apply the genre label 'trance jazz'. Their live performances can be challenging for those expecting a conventional musical experience.


Their soundtrack for The Boys (1998) was nominated for ARIA Best Soundtrack Album, AFI Best Musical Score and Australian Guild of Screen Composers Award. They have also recorded soundtracks for What's The Deal? (1997) and In the Mind of the Architect (three one-hour ABC-TV documentaries, 2000).


The band won two ARIA awards for the albums Drive By (2003) and Chemist (2006).[1]


  • Sex (Spiral Scratch, 1989 – reissued on Fish of Milk; released on Private Music/BMG in the US) – a single hour-long track of a two-bar motif with variations. This album was notable for the instrumentation of piano, bass and drums being overdubbed in a dual take, unlike later works
  • Next (Spiral Scratch, 1990 – reissued on Fish of Milk) – six tracks: "Garl's", "Nice Policeman Nasty Policeman", "Pele", "Next", "Jazz Cancer" and "World At War"
  • Beyond El Rocco (Vox, 1993) – Soundtrack to Kevin Lucas' documentary on Australian Jazz features one track by The Necks – "Royal Family"
  • Aquatic (Fish of Milk/Shock, 1994) – two tracks, both titled "Aquatic". Additional musician Stevie Wishart on hurdy-gurdy
  • Silent Night (Fish of Milk/Shock, 1996) – a double CD featuring two disc-length tracks, "Black" and "White"
  • Piano Bass Drums (Fish of Milk/Shock, 1998) – a single fifty-three-minute track, "Unheard", recorded live at the Basement, Sydney, with instrumentation restricted to piano, bass and drums. Nominated Jazz Recording of the Year, ABC Classic FM Awards
  • The Boys (original soundtrack) (Wild Sound/MDS, 1998 reissued on Fish of Milk/ReR Megacorp)
  • Hanging Gardens (Fish of Milk/Shock.ReR Megacorp,1999) – a single disc-length track of the same name
  • Aether (Fish of Milk/Shock/ReR Megacorp, 2001) – a single disc-length track of the same name. Notably more ambient than their other works
  • Athenaeum, Homebush, Quay & Raab (Fish of Milk/Shock, 2002) – four-CD box of four live performances, three in Australia and one in Austria (Athenaeum was recorded on 20 January 2001 at the Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne; Homebush was recorded on 26 January 2001 at the Southee Complex, Sydney; Quay was recorded on 31 January 1999 at the Basement, Sydney; and Raab was recorded on 30 March 2001 at Musikschule Raab, Austria)
  • Photosynthetic (Long Arms, 2003) – live in Moscow, 2002
  • Drive By (Fish of Milk/Shock/ReR Megacorp, 2003) – a single disc-length track. Winner of the Best Jazz Album award in the ARIA Music Awards of 2004
  • Mosquito/See Through (Fish of Milk/ReR Megacorp, 2004) – double album with two tracks
  • Chemist (Fish of Milk/Shock?ReR Megacorp, 2006) – three tracks: "Fatal", "Buoyant" and "Abillera". Winner of the Best Jazz Album award in the ARIA Music Awards of 2006
  • Townsville (Fish of Milk/ReR Megacorp, 2007) live album, recorded on 15 February 2007 live in concert at the Riverway Arts Centre in Thuringowa City, Northern Queensland.[2][3]
  • Silverwater (Fish of Milk/ReR Megacorp, 2009) – a single disc-length track of the same name
  • Strade Trasparenti (Staubgold/2011) – Soundtrack featuring one track by The Necks, "Transparent Roads"
  • Mindset (Fish of Milk/ReR Megacorp, 2011) – two tracks: "Rum Jungle" and "Daylights". Their first album to be released on vinyl.
  • Open (Fish of Milk/ReR Megacorp, 2013) – a single disc-length track of the same name

Awards and nominations

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).[4]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
2005 "Drive By" (Lloyd Swanton, Christopher Abrahams, Anthony Buck) Most Performed Jazz Work[5] Won
2006 Mosquito (Swanton, Abrahams, Buck) Most Performed Jazz Work[6] Won


  1. ^ a b Dean Biron (13 December 2013). "Are The Necks the best band in the world?". The Conversation Australia. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Townsville: Music: Necks
  3. ^ The Necks – Townsville
  4. ^ "APRA History".  
  5. ^ "2005 Winners – APRA Music Awards". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "2006 Winners – APRA Music Awards". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 6 May 2010. 

External links

  • The Necks home page
  • The Necks on Set – 25-minute performance for ABC television in 2006. Includes MP3 and streams.
  • The Necks performing at The Factory, Sydney in March 2008
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