The self-titled album is out now on Drag City Records. Mind Maintenance is the new duo consisting of Joshua Abrams (Natural Information Society) and Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground Duo, Chad Taylor Trio). This is where the music begins, but Mind Maintenance can’t be described simply as a summation of its parts and players. When you put on the sound, you’ll know what we’re saying - you'll notice how immediate and meditative it is; how simple, how "in the room," and how the natural buzz of each instrument sits remarkably well against the other. The percussive qualities of the guimbri and the mbira, so raw and unadorned individually, form with their shared resonance a soothing, sonorous whole. It’s not about world music, it’s not about jazz. It’s about mind maintenance.
The songs of Mind Maintenance exist in a zone somewhere between composition and improv. Based in melodies that unspool over time, they benefit from Chad and Joshua's intimately enmeshed sensibility and the intensity with which they listen to each other. Chad and Joshua have been playing together forever — or, if you need to think of it more tangibly, since around 1994. Based on our research, the pairing of guimbri and mbira is more than unusual — it appears to be without precedent! This is incredible if it’s true, but more important to the music of Mind Maintenance is the shared ground of inspiration that both instruments occupy.
Mind Maintenance pursue their inspirations on these instruments down similarly transformative paths. If some part of the 21st century isn’t focused on destruction, but instead, locating a place where our traditions can work together in new ways to entertain and even ensure well-being, then that’s just one more incentive for all of us to consider Mind Maintenance.
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