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Baker's Dozen

Burn Again: Lawrence English's Favourite Albums
Kate Hennessy , November 19th, 2015 10:52

After celebrating Room40's 15th birthday, the label head and ambient composer pauses in his hometown of Brisbane to go from Swans to Japanese court music in taking Kate Hennessy through his 13 "foundational" records


The Necks - Aether
I can say without hesitation that The Necks are the greatest band Australia has ever produced. I'd even say they are one of the best bands in the world right now. By this, I mean a band as a group of people making music that is transcendent and transfixing. Both these are characteristics of every concert I have seen by The Necks. I'm guessing I have seen them about 20 times and have never left feeling anything less than elated.

Aether wouldn't be everyone's favourite album by The Necks - if such a thing exists. For me, though, it comes closest to the sensation I get from them in concert. I appreciate that a live setting and a record are two entirely different beasts, but Aether transposes the effect of The Necks live into a studio context and the results are breathtaking.  

This album is like floating in the air. It has a pace and a sense of space that is not just space in time but space in breadth. At times it's like the album is breathing. These great lungs in a gentle heave of harmony. The heavy fades of the first section [feel] like some kind of rapid eclipse of sound. Everything about this record is lush and surrounds you in the best way possible.

I realise nothing is forever and if the time comes when The Necks can be no longer, this world will be poorer for it.