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På skive


«Like One Long Dream»

MO’FAYA! is an ad-hoc collision of powerful and like-minded musical personalities – American, Amsterdam-based sax player John Dikeman (of Cactus Truck, Universal Indians and Spinifex as well as many free-improvised collaborations, including with William Parker and Hamid Drake, Joe McPhee and Luis Vicente), fellow-American trumpeter Jaimie Branch (leader of her own band Fly or Die), double bass Luke Stewart (known from Irreversible Entanglements and James Brandon Lewis) and Serbian, Groningen-based drummer Aleksandar Škorić (who collaborated before with Dikeman in a trio with Israeli bass player Shay Hazan, «New Sadness», Kloptec, 2018). Dikeman arranged the live recording session of this quartet at De Roze Tanker art space in Amsterdam in November 2019. Branch did the artwork for the debut album of MO’FAYA!, «Like One Long Dream». Dikeman and Škorić continued to work under the name of Mo Faya! and recorded a live duo under the name of Mo Faya! In January 2020 (DOEK Raw, 2020)  

The title of the album and two of the three pieces may be related to the resistant position of these four musicians to the political climate in the United States, while the agent orange was still the president or the stale European politics. The music is fiery, tight and restless, highlighting the strong independent voices of the four musicians. The dynamics of this performance are supportive and democratic with no distinct leader. The opening piece, the 28-minute of «Your Country», burst out instantly like a loose cannon, stressing a dense and intense, fast and heated conversational interplay between Dikeman and Branch, colliding with the massive rhythm section of Stewart and Škorić, with brief segments of abstract sonic searches. The focus here is on Brötzman-esque energy, raw, nervous and turbulent energy, that eventually sketches an infectious melodic theme and driving pulse.

The second piece, the 18-minute «The Tank» offers a completely different atmosphere. Stewart and Škorić introduce it with sparse and reserved playing that highlight their resourcefulness. Dikeman and especially Branch explore lyrical veins within this open, slow-cooking dynamics, until this piece settles on ecstatic and playful, rhythmic mode. This performance ends with the furious and climatic «Wake Up!» that exhausts all the energy reserves from this powerful and exciting quartet but also stresses the emphatic, rhythmic playfulness of it and the nuanced conversations of Dikeman and Branch.

Eyal Hareuveni           

John Dikeman (s), Jaimie Branch (tp), Luke Stewart (b), Aleksandar Škorić (dr)

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