Boomkat Product Review:
Chris Abrahams of The Necks gets right under the skin with a new album of spectral electro-acoustic minimalism that tingles and prods like little else - all subdued piano flourishes and low-lit mood music from one of the Antipodes’ most important experimental jazz musicians.
Back in his spiritual home at Room40 two years after ‘Appearance’, Abrahams’ returns to liminal spaces of musical thought, where silvery lines of solo piano and distant pulses weave through detuned bells and organ swells with a dreamlike quality. Where his last album was a more clear-minded solo piano rendition, ‘Follower’ is enhanced with minimalist electronics and loose percussion that lends proceedings an impressionistic quality that calls to mind the otherworldly seduction of Tarkovsky scores or the kind of liminal melancholy Ryuichi Sakomoto has been perfecting for years.
Abrahams’ keys are most elegantly mixed somewhere in the middle-distance against an ultra-fine patina of electronic pointillism and timbral sheen in ‘Costume’, a 13 minute panorama punctuated by spiralling percussive trills that leave an indelibly woozy mark, before the track dissolves into a nervy wash of feedback and distortion. ‘New Kind Of Border’ is more blue and ambiguous, offsetting rattling percussion over a lone parlour jazz pianist in an off world lounge, while ‘Sleep Sees Her Opportunity’ opens with resonant chords x pump organ drone giving way to almost Feldman-esque keys and a rushing bass-pulse heartbeat that connotes a lurking sense of dread in balance with the sublime.
The closing ‘Glassy Tenseness Of Evening’ runs like a companion to Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto’s prized run of collaborations, all precise, rattling electronics cut through with the most pristine, glistening piano motifs - a wistful resolution that gradually ramps up the emotional - and low end - pressure.
Masterful and incredibly beautiful music - late night / solo-immersion highly recommended.