ZU

Jazz Related Rock / Jazz Related Improv/Composition • Italy
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Hailing from Ostia, a town near Rome, Zu are an atypical trio made of drums, electric bass, baritone saxophone and electronics. Formed in Rome in 1997, they began as composers and players for theatre performances. The band is composed of three members: Luca Mai on baritone saxophone, Massimo Pupillo on bass and Gabe Serbian on drums. Zu have released fourteen albums, including two live album and two splits, and played in festivals in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. In 2006 the band toured with the Fantômas Melvins Big Band, a superband which is a fusion of Fantômas and the Melvins.

The band are members (except for Serbian) of the Italian folk-jazz group Ardecore.

Although difficult to define, Zu's style could be characterised as a fusion of math rock, heavy metal and noise rock, but with the caveat that it does not respect boundaries or genres. The music is instrumental, and features virtuosic
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CarboniferousCarboniferous
Subsound 2019
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Terminalia AmazoniaTerminalia Amazonia
House of Mythology 2019
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JhatorJhator
House of Mythology 2017
$13.36
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Ipecac Recordings 2015
$10.03
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ZU Discography

ZU albums / top albums

ZU Bromio album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Bromio
Jazz Related Rock 1999
ZU Zu & Eugene Chadbourne ‎: The Zu Side Of The Chadbourne album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Zu & Eugene Chadbourne ‎: The Zu Side Of The Chadbourne
Jazz Related Rock 2000
ZU Zu + Eugene Chadbourne ‎: Motorhellington album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Zu + Eugene Chadbourne ‎: Motorhellington
Jazz Related Rock 2001
ZU Igneo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Igneo
Jazz Related Rock 2002
ZU Zu / Spaceways Inc. : Radiale album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Zu / Spaceways Inc. : Radiale
Jazz Related Rock 2004
ZU The Way Of The Animal Powers album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Way Of The Animal Powers
Jazz Related Rock 2005
ZU Zu / Mats Gustafsson ‎: How To Raise An Ox album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Zu / Mats Gustafsson ‎: How To Raise An Ox
Jazz Related Rock 2005
ZU Zu & Nobukazu Takemura ‎– Identification With The Enemy: A Key To The Underworld album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Zu & Nobukazu Takemura ‎– Identification With The Enemy: A Key To The Underworld
Jazz Related Rock 2007
ZU Carboniferous album cover 4.45 | 2 ratings
Carboniferous
Jazz Related Rock 2009
ZU Zu & Eugene S. Robinson : The Left Hand Path album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Zu & Eugene S. Robinson : The Left Hand Path
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2015
ZU Cortar Todo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cortar Todo
Jazz Related Rock 2015
ZU Jhator album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Jhator
Jazz Related Rock 2017
ZU Zu / Mats Gustafsson  :  How To Raise An Ox album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Zu / Mats Gustafsson : How To Raise An Ox
Jazz Related Rock 2018

ZU EPs & splits

ZU Goodnight Civilization album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Goodnight Civilization
Jazz Related Rock 2014

ZU live albums

ZU Live In Helsinki album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Helsinki
Jazz Related Rock 2003

ZU demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ZU re-issues & compilations

ZU singles (0)

ZU movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

ZU Reviews

ZU Carboniferous

Album · 2009 · Jazz Related Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
ZU is an atypical power trio emerging from Rome, Italy in the 90s delivering some energetic and unconventional hybrid music. I was totally unfamiliar with this group before their 11th studio album CARBONIFEROUS and I have not heard any other albums before this but from what I have read they have taken on a more heavy and distorted take on their RIO / Avant-prog meets math rock music. There are a several groups this band reminds me of. They have a musical delivery approach like the avant-jazz French group Jean Louis but the heaviness and chord changes have a Fantômas feel as well which is particularly true on the two vocals tracks that have Mike Patton making a cameo appearance. This could be due to the fact they toured with Fantômas and Melvins in 2006. ZU also has a groove on some tracks similar to another strange band called Chrome Hoof. This is especially noticeable on the first track “Ostia.”

Any way you slice it ZU is an RIO band in structure with an avant-jazz-metal veneer consisting of the unconventional trio of instruments that includes bass, drums and baritone saxophone. We do get a couple guest guitarists lending a hand on “Chthonian” and “Obsidian” but Massimo Pupillo's extremely heavy fuzzy bass pretty much delivers as much distortion as the music can handle and Luca Mai's sax playing takes the place of the traditional guitar. He handles rhythmic duties for the most part but also contributes some sizzling solos that bring John Zorn to mind. Jacopo Battaglia has a jazz drummer's method of dancing around the strange chord progressions and contributes more of a complementary sound than an expected backbone of the band. The musicians spend their time weaving around each other in a way that makes it hard to focus on any one particular instrument that stands out but there are times when solos are thrown in.

This music is highly addictive. It was love at first listen for me but it only got better the more I listened to it. The band makes full use of tones and distortion as a key part of the musical structure and the musicianship is top-notch. By blending various aspects of math rock, noise rock, punk, jazz, grindcore and a touch of repetitive drone doom at times, they have created a very intricate and disciplined style of music that doesn't come off as being as complex as it is. A true treasure tucked away under the various categories of RIO, avant-prog, avant-garde metal, or free jazz, but nomenclature aside it is simply a unique sound that fans of adventurous, energetic and unorthodox fusion will find most satisfying.

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