Astral Spirits / Feeding Tube Records / LP/DL / 2023
The duo of Drazek Fuscaldo (formerly Mako Sica) are prolific musicians who have been playing together for over a decade, and released another very good album this year called June 22. The material for the album was recorded at Chicago’s Electrical Audio studio by Taylor Hales. Przemek Drążek and Brent Fuscaldo were joined on this recording session by brilliant musicians such as multi-instrumentalist Thymme Jones (piano, drums and trumpet), percussionist Hamid Drake, double bassist Tatsu Aoki (who also plays shamisen) and double bassist Joshua Abrams.
The have forged an incredibly strong multi-generational collective of Chicago improvisers, and together they have recorded an exquisite album that delighted me and not only me.
Among other things, their latest album was recognized by Mojo Magazine and the American music website Pitchfork as one of the 30 best albums of the year 2023, in the Jazz and Experimental category. Genre-wise, their music has been difficult to categorize over the years, as they play in different configurations with different musicians. Drazek Fuscaldo move within many genres such as jazz, folk, world music, avant-garde and more. Trans has always been their main musical core from which the atmospheric and free improvisation created by the musicians who play with them was built. The June 22 album is filled with a warm atmosphere, interspersed with scattered abstract jams. This is music with many rhythms, electric and acoustic, lively and ethereal.
Przemek Drążek and Brent Fuscaldo come from the punk scene, where their openness to different music, hard work, talent and many years of development path followed the work of early performers recording for Thrill Jockey and beyond. For me, they are walking a similar spiritual-jazz path started by their great inspiration, namely their older colleagues from the Art Ensemble of Chicago. They follow a similar path, but created in their own way. The paths they chose built such a great MUSIC, which is on the latest June 22 album.
I highly recommend this band, and last but not least, the album is dedicated to the memory of Julie – Thymm Jones’ sister.
Release date: November 17, 2023
Translation: Piotr Sulik