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Chris Abrahams
(Room 40)

Although Chris Abrahams is best known for his work as a member of the ambient jazz trio The Necks, he has also released three solo albums, released five albums with Melanie Oxley, played on albums by a slew of different artists, and has worked extensively in sountrack composition for films and documentaries. In addition to all that, he has produced or co-produced almost twenty-five albums and in general music occupies a large portion of his life.

Thrown is the fourth full-length album from Abrahams and on the release he plays piano, forte piano, positive organ, and DX 7. The nine track album inhabits a completely different space than his work with The Necks, and despite the slow and steady and almost improvisational feel of their work, the tracks on Thrown are even more sparse and experimental. Much of the album feels more like weird atmospheric sketches rather than full tracks, and "Bellicose" sets the course with droning flute sounds that are punctuated by quick notes that also sound like flutes. There's no real progression to the track during the five minute running length, nor any sort of structure, and several pieces ("Horsenel," "Coins In Vinegar") on the release unfortunately mimic nearly this exact sound.

Elsewhere, the album twinkles with some John Cage-esque treated piano pieces, as on the shimmering "Can Of Faces," in which prickles and plucks of piano strings ripple warmly until a sharp, harsh tone cuts through the mix, rendering any soothing effects obsolete. "Remembrancer" rushes in with warm and reverbed cascades of piano as easily one of the more memorable tracks on the entire disc, but it too loses most of its potency by simply doing the same thing for the entire duration of the track.

In all honesty, this is just one of those albums that befuddles me. There are moments where Abrahams seems to stumble onto something good, but then simply does the same thing over and over again, and a good portion of the rest of the release is so stark and random that it could be just about anyone behind the improvisation (which unfortunately lacks in the areas of dynamics and surprise). If you like the work that Abrahams does with The Necks, stick to their work, because this one is only for the serious, serious avant drone fanatics.

Rating: 2