Natural Information Society


On their last album, Natural Information Society opened their circle and let the blistered energy of Evan Parker into the fold. For their latest, the band widens the circle ever further, augmenting their usual quartet with another luminary, this time inviting the sax of Ari Brown to inhabit their world alongside Hamid Drake (percussion), Josh Berman & Ben Lamar Gay (cornets), Nick Mazzarella & Mai Sugimoto (alto saxophones & flute), and Kara Bershad (harp). Though the personnel changes, the mantra remains the same. The band, lead by the hypnotic pulse of Joshua Abrams’ guimbri, stretches the ideas of evolution, ebb, and flow. The pieces on Since Time Is Gravity encircle the listener in waves, winding tighter with each passing moment. It’s the hug of a constrictor that holds its quarry tight, yet only so tight that the head might swim, never sink.

The band’s mastery of hypnotic, meditative works holds fast, letting their collaborators etch ecstatic tattoos upon the listener’s soft tissues as they thread the thrum that steers NIS steady. The core kernel of players build on minimalism, rising and falling with an eupnea that feels in tune with tides. Their sound blooms out of a drone that feels coded in the deepest fibers of player and listener alike. It’s a cosmic anchor that grounds the us to the Terran temperament even as Brown and Sugimoto’s saxes push towards the precipice, tipping further and further into the electricity of the surrounding air. The subtle tug and twist of the band’s undulations entrance the listener, performing the alchemy the title promises. Since Time Is Gravity lets the walls of the world bleed away, the listener bound only by the moment the record begins and the moment it releases them from it’s magnetic hold. It’s an hour and a quarter if you’re bound by four dimensions, an eternity in flux if you let the mind go free.

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