Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Magnetoception

Album Information:

Released in 2015 on Eremite Records

Recorded live to two-track tape by James Bond at Attica Studios February 2013

Paintings by Lisa Alvarado


Meditative jazz explorations of space, rhythm and textures played with instruments from around the world. Bandleader and bassist Joshua Abrams mostly plays the guimbri, a 3-stringed bass lute, to construct minimal, repetitive bass grooves inspired by the Gnawa ceremonial music of Morocco. This, combined with the polyrhythmic, creeping pulse of congas, tablas and frame drum, form a mutating yet understated rhythmic backbone that leaves plenty of space for the ghostly mosaics of atmosphere and drones created by live ambient guitars, along with harmonium and autoharp. There are a handful of solo ambient tracks featuring Joshua on harp and clarinet that form as peaceful breathers between the longer ensemble performances.

This album is recommended for fans of the ambient jazz of Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way or “He Loved Him Madly”, the cosmic and spiritual explorations of Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders and Mwandishi, and the rhythmic minimalism of Steve Reich or more recent artists like Dawn of Midi. Magnetoception’s lineup features guitarists Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Chicago Underground Quartet) and Emmett Kelley (Cairo Gang), Lisa Alvarado on harmonium, Ben Boye on Autoharp, and master percussionist Hamid Drake, who has worked with Don Cherry, Herbie Hancock, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Peter Brötzmann, and others.


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