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AMONG THE WIRE'S BEST OF 2010! Joshua Abrams in an infectious groove-based album built around the guimbri, a 3-stringed animal hide bass used by the Gnawa of North Africa. "Bassist & composer Joshua Abrams has been in the thick of Chicago's vibrant music scene for fifteen years, playing & recording as leader & sideman in projects across the genres. He co-founded the 'back porch minimalist' band Town & Country (Thrill Jockey/Box Media), & with Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor, the trio Sticks & Stones (Thrill Jockey/482 Music). He has released four records under his own name as well as two under the moniker Reminder that navigate the realms of jazz & improvisation, electro-acoustic composition, beatmaking, minimalism and field recordings (Eremite/Delmark/Eastern Developments/Lucky Kitchen).
Natural Information, Abrams' 1st record for Eremite, is another fascinating entry in a solo discography of recordings that gather aesthetic input from all over the map into vivid personal statements. At the heart of Natural Information is the guimbri, a three-stringed animal hide bass traditionally used by the Gnawa of North Africa in healing ceremonies. Combining solo, trio & quartet formats with adroit use of sampling techniques, Abrams creates intricate psychedelic environments that join the hypnotic, trance-like character of Gnawa guimbri music to more contemporary musics & methodologies. Brown Rice-era Don Cherry, Sandy Bull's 'Blend' recordings & Can's 'Magic' albums are super-heavy but in this case earned & appropriate points of historical reference."-Eremite