The Necks' first album was released in 1989 in Australia and in 1996 on the label Private Music in the U.S. Right from the start, all the elements of the group's sound were firmly in place. The difference between Sex and the many other CDs they would record afterwards is the purity: The trio's hypnotic repetitive piece relies only on piano, bass, and drums; no electronics, extra keyboards, samples, or lengthy introduction. We would have to wait for Piano Bass Drums nine years later before they would come back to these essentials. Apart from the instrumentation, everything here is as one would expect from a Necks album. There is a single hour-long track, a two-bar motif repeated endlessly with minute variations "populating" it. Pianist Chris Abrahams remains self-effaced, keeping things very quiet. The light swing in Tony Buck's high-hat and Lloyd Swanton's bass give the piece a serious jazz feel -- probably the reason why the group continued to be considered jazz, even though their music exists outside standard categories. It all works well, better than in Aquatic. The music here is not as communicative as in Piano Bass Drums, nor as mesmerizing as in Aether or as contagious as in Hanging Gardens. In the end, Sex stands in the Necks' discography as an average example of their work. One cannot point any specific problem, but they did better albums than this one.
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