Joshua Abrams developed his voice in the rich ferment of the 1990s Chicago music world, participating heavily across the city’s jazz, experimental & rock scenes. He co-founded the ‘back porch minimalist’ band Town & Country &, with Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor, the trio Sticks & Stones. In a very busy two decades Abrams recorded & toured with a remarkable range of artists including extended engagements with Fred Anderson, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Hamid Drake, Theaster Gates, Neil Michael Hagerty, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Mike Reed, Matana Roberts, & The Roots. Abrams appears on over one hundred recordings. A film composer, Abrams has scored the music for seven feature length films including the award-winning films Life Itself, The Interrupters and The Trials of Muhammad Ali.
Since 2010 Abrams has toured North America & Europe with a shifting-line up of musicians as ‘Natural Information Society’. The band’s most recent album,Magnetoception, was selected by The Wire Magazine as the #3 record of 2015 & by Pitchfork as the #2 experimental record of 2015. Abrams assembled Natural Information Society around his interests in the Moroccan instrument the guimbri. The band uses traditional & conventional instrumentation to create long-form intricately psychedelic environments, composed & improvised, which join the hypnotic qualities of Gnawa guimbri music to a wide range of contemporary musics & methodologies including jazz, minimalism & krautrock. Current & former band members include Lisa Alvarado, Jason Adasiewicz, Mikel Avery, Ben Boye, Hamid Drake, Emmett Kelly, Jeff Parker, Frank Rosaly & Chad Taylor. Natural Information Society teamed up with Bitchin Bajas on the collaborative album ‘Automaginary,’ released by drag city in 2015.
Frank Rosaly (Francisco Javier Rosaly Amoros b. 5/30/74 Phoenix, AZ) is a Chicago drummer and composer who has been involved in the improvised and experimental music community for 10 years. He has developed a unique approach to creating music and sound with a visceral, energetic stature behind the drums. Frank has become an integral part of the Chicago music scene navigating a fine line between the vibrant improvised, jazz, rock, and experimental communities. He contributes much of his time to performing, composing, as well as organizing musical events, while also touring domestically and internationally on a regular basis.
Since the mid-’90s, Mark Sanders has been one of the most active percussionists on England’s jazz scene, “jazz” encompassing everything from free improv to Jah Wobble’s dub excursions. Resolutely a sideman, Sanders is gifted with a superior technique paired by acute listening abilities. Add to these flexibility and a lot of enthusiasm and its easy to understand why he became the favorite drummer of so many artists. Despite his impressive discography (appearances on over 50 titles), Sanders has yet to make his first record billed to his name. Sanders began to impose himself on the London scene around 1995. Steve Beresford, Simon H. Fell, Georg Graewe, and Evan Parker were among the first to put his talent to the test on a regular basis. The latter in particular has made the drummer part of many of his projects, including a trio with bassist John Edwards (documented on The Two Seasons, 2000). The first occurrence of the Edwards-Sanders free improv rhythm section was Veryan Weston’s idea (Mercury Concert, 1999) and the two have kept working together. Paul Rogers is another regular partner. The drummer also performs and records with Paul Dunmall’s quartet and appears in the projects of Elton Dean, Gail Brand (the group Lunge), Dudu Pukwana, and the Chris Batchelor/Steve Buckley quartet. He is also a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra. But his most high-profile engagement came from Jah Wobble to participate in his world-dub project that included Bill Laswell and musicians from Laos. That tour took him around the world and introduced his playing to a different audience. He also appeared on a couple of tracks by singer David Sylvian.