No one feathers the ivories like Chris Abrahams. His work with The Necks is prolific and alongside drummer, Steve Heather, bassist, Derek Shirley, and guitarist, Rico Lee, his the Berlin-based project, The Still, focuses on the minimalistic aspects rather than the swelling instrumentation of the Australian luminaries.
2016 saw the release of The Still’s self-titled debut album and while underrated for the most part, it did feature in several end-of-year lists. Most notably in Mojo’s Top 30 Albums.
While The Still was perhaps more immediate in sound, The Still‘s follow-up, Got It, poses as the reserved younger sibling. There’s nothing gaudy about Got It – in fact, its modesty is its most attractive quality.
Got It begins with The Tortoise. Like its namesake, it’s a slow crawl with Abrahams’ illuminating keys providing that light which appears through the cracks.
That light radiates more with The Knot. A cut with syncopated rhythms passing off a sense of listening to the Dirty Three whilst nursing a brutal hangover.
The 54 is a meandering composition, infusing a minimal jazz aesthetic into the likes of something The For Carnation were making at the backend of the ’90s.
The motorik chug of The Chunk is Got It’s most upbeat moment, pulling The Still into the world of conventionality, with Lee’s subtle guitar reverb and (wait for it) guitar riffs! It’s the albums longest piece and perhaps Got It’s most hypnotic, too.
In true fashion, the band return to their natural habitat with the closing encounter, The Spring. An elusive, doomy jazz-laden traipse that perfectly captures these times.
With each artist involved touching on their default positions of long-form and improvisation, on Got It, The Still condense the chaos, finding beauty in brevity through these five compositions. The results are excellent.
Got It is out now via Bronzerat. Purchase from Bandcamp.