‘One of the most progressive no-wave metal bands ever to come out of Italy…Zu often sounds like a hundred bands in one, although the way they piece together their wild sonic jigsaw is unique to them alone.’ – PITCHFORK
For over fifteen years, ZU’s modus operandi of straddling and abusing musical genres has resulted in over fifteen unique album releases across labels such as Ipecac, Atavistic and Headz (Japan).
Their experimental amalgam of metal, math, no-wave, noise and electronics, led acclaimed composer John Zorn to describe their sound as “a powerful and expressive music that totally blows away what most bands do these days”.
Luca T. Mai, Massimo Pupillo and Tomas Järmyr began as composers and players for theatre performances then formed this atypical trio of drums, electric bass and baritone saxophone to begin their voyage of musical mayhem.
In the running for the title of ‘the world’s hardest working band’, ZU have performed over 2000 shows throughout Europe, US, Canada, Asia, Russia, Mexico and even Africa, touring with the likes of Mike Patton (as the Zu/Patton quartet), sharing the stage with Faith No More, Fantomas, The Melvins, Lightning Bolt, Sonic Youth, The Ex, etc.
They have also collaborated with a vast number of musicians including Mike Patton, The Melvins, Dälek, Jim O’ Rourke, FM Einheit (Einsturzende Neubauten), Peter Brötzmann, Steve MacKay (The Stooges), The Ex, Thurston Moore, Stephen O Malley, Damo Suzuki (Can), Mats Gustafsson, NoMeansNo, Joe Lally (Fugazi) and our very own Supersonic fave, Eugene S. Robinson (Oxbow) also performing at the festival this year.
‘Zu are still on top form when blasting arse-loosening sax cries over grinding math-metal structures…unassumingly loud, and intensely physical, wrestling with the listener in a swarm of noisy sax blasts, gnarly riffs, and often surprisingly catchy math themes.’ – DROWNED IN SOUND
Five years since their last full length on Ipecac, the critically acclaimed Carboniferous, and following a three year hiatus, ZU returned in May 2014 with the release of a brand new EP, Goodnight Civilization (Trost Records) featuring Gabe Serbian of The Locust on drums, and subsequently with an album with Eugene Robinson of Oxbow on vocals called “The Left Hand Path”, also on Trost, and the 2015 full length “Cortar Todo” on Ipecac.
Recorded in the countryside near Bologna, Italy, in the summer of 2014, the album features very special guests including keyboard player Joey Karam (The Locust), Italian guitar maverick Stefano Pilia (who plays with the likes of Mike Watt, David Grubbs and Rokia Traore) and perhaps most unexpectedly a field recording of an indigenous Shipibo medicine man recorded by Massimo during his travels around the Amazon forest.
For a review of Cortar Todo from Line of Best Fit click [here]
And for an interesting article on the intrinsic and fascinating link between indigenous maestros and album, Cortar Todo, click [here]
Cortar Todo revealed new dynamics from the band, the album is more direct, sharp, focussed, more intense and musical than previous Zu releases. And now they’re back with a brand new album. ‘Jhator’ shall arrive on the label in March 2017 followed by an extensive European tour – just in time for Supersonic!
A statement from the band reads: “In making this album we have tried to affirm life, beauty and mystery. We refocus the vision in another direction far from the Western point of view.” The result is an album that “could be the beginning of a new musical direction for Zu, or perhaps an isolated album capturing a particular essence.”
Jhator follows Zu’s brilliantly primordial Cortar Todo, and it’s available for pre-order on CD and coloured vinyl over at the House of Mythology store right now. A new promo video for the album features a short clip of new music. What a tease!
“Wonder is the beginning of philosophy” – Wittgenstein
What wonders will Zu bring to our Supersonic audience this year?
Make sure you’re there to find out.