Many stones have been unturned in the quest to throw somethin' nu on the No Neck Blues Band fire. Without much being really, truly known about these Harlem cats there's been a lotta speculation, waxing and anecdotal tribal bullshit out there -- though it all trickles down to that the clan is rarely off n' almost always right on. A few weeks ago I was beginning the early stages of packing up for our next move and pulled out NNCK's "Math of Crack" b/w "The Mouth of Gack" 7" (New World of Sound, 1995) along with some contemporary-from-the-era Shadow Ring and Tower Recordings disks. Been years since I spun any of them instead just repacking and moving from one house/state and back. The Crack and Gack were the drumless, machinery groan that the NNCK birthed from. I remember thinking of its warbled screech when reading Adam Lore's run-through of the discog in Ba Da Boom Gramaphone a few years later. Quite a deal of skin was stretched between there and the A Tabu Two 2 LP set and the double CD Letters From the Serth -- as someone said before, the NNCK locomotive was in full swing by then. It almost seems as its taken 10 years for them to warm up to their free swinging operandi of now. Catching them last summer in Chapel Hill they spent the first 20 minutes of small, inconsequential build up that seemed headed for the door. Before any crust gathered, clothes were shed, liquids poured and the finest, throbbing NNCK performance took place in front of me.
While I'm still sitting on last year's Qvaris 2LP, the brand new EmbryoNNCK collab with, you guessed it, Embryo has been knocking my knee socks right off. No simmer here, the two groups jack directly into waves of percussion fields -- alternating from gaterhing poppy dust and bass movements. While it has that near funky element of the Revenant disk, the abstraction is deeper though the groove (and smart editing) bring a focus that, really, hasn't been cut since "Math of Gack." Check it out.
Wieder das Erste Mal