By Dave Cantor
Since 2007, Chicago’s Mako Sica—Polish-born guitarist and trumpeter Krys Drazek, guitarist Brent Fuscaldo and percussionist Mike Kendrick—has released an international stew of rock, jazz and noise, culminating in the pending release of “Essence,” its fourth proper disc.
Earning the opportunity to issue music through imprints like Permanent Records, Plus Tapes and La Société Expéditionnaire, it’d be expected the band has amassed significant attention around the city. It hasn’t. But what brought Mako Sica to the attention of those label honchos is a genuine desire to dash its music with monkish moans and skittering guitar, all supported by intuitive percussion.
The band’s latest offering, “Essence,” sports three extended tracks, including a studio version of “Fate Deals a Hand.” The track, which was initially released on a tape simply called “Live at the Subterranean,” is drawn out a bit in its latest incarnation. But the composition also takes on a lighter tone on the newer recording. Fuscaldo says the track’s studio realization came at a time when the trio was properly prepared to get it down on tape. As a living organism, “Fate” groans in and out of its various sections, vaguely jazzy noodling heaped atop of Kendrick’s free-drumming while Drazek’s trumpet inspires visions of Miles cooling out, slumped over with shades on.
It’s on the version opening “Essence” that Mako Sica more easily approaches a shamanistic vibe, something that’s spread out over the course of its recorded career. Here, Fuscaldo harmonizes with his bandmate’s guitar coloring, bells and sundry percussive noises, making the music seem fitting for play at a monastery or any one of Chicago’s DIY venues. Read the rest of this entry »