Mako Sica headline a showcase of challenging homegrown experimental musicon February 14, 2020 at 7:34 pm

Since it opened two years ago, Sleeping Village has become a hub for some of the city’s best (and most affordable) local shows. A fine example is this concert, headlined by Chicago underground stalwarts Mako Sica. They’ve been at it since 2007, with core members Przemyslaw Drazek (formerly of intense rockers Rope) and Brent Fuscaldo steering the band’s expansive ship. Drummers and collaborators, including legendary percussionist Hamid Drake, have come and gone over their numerous LP releases (via adventurous labels such as La Societe Expeditionnaire, Feeding Tube, and Permanent), but Mako Sica have always retained a certain fluid consistency in their sound. They travel in spacey, often dissonant soundscapes; Fuscaldo’s airy vocals and primordial, rhythmic guitar and bass guide the way, perfectly complementing Drazek’s delayed, psychedelic guitar and trumpet excursions, which can make the music feel like the soundtrack of an obscure, heady film. Mako Sica have recently added drummer Jacob Fawcett, who studied with free-improv legend and former Chicagoan Frank Rosaly, so you can expect a slightly jazzier approach and some new material from these prolific cosmonauts. Opening the show is Natalie Chami, who’s been operating under the sobriquet TALsounds since 2009, exploring electroacoustic sonics in a solo setting or in collaboration with folks such as Brett Naucke and Whitney Johnson (aka Matchess). Using treated voice, synthesizers, and a variety of more mysterious devices, Chami resides at the forefront of avant-garde ambient experimentation. Also on the bill are Traysh, one of many bands to feature guerrilla booker, drummer, synth noodler, and scene mainstay Ben Baker Billington, who also plays as Quicksails and in a trio with guitarists Mark Shippy and Daniel Wyche. Billington is mostly known for his crazed yet nuanced drum-kit attack, and in Traysh he’s joined by bass Svengali Andrew Scott Young and keyboardist Daniel Van Duerm for outre excursions whose gnarly, difficult sounds might test your strength of will. These artists are all leading lights of the local experimental scene, and for a mere $5 ticket you too can contribute to this often overlooked but essential part of Chicago’s musical tapestry. v

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