|Genres||Math rock, noise rock, punk jazz, grindcore|
Zu is an Italian instrumental experimental music group from Rome. While their line-up of baritone sax, bass guitar and drums is typical of a jazz trio, their aggressive and hard-driving music shares much in common with extreme metal for a style that Allmusic says "defies easy categorization." Zu are also known for collaborating with a wide variety of musicians, and have been described as "masters at adapting to their guests' musical backgrounds".
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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 Tomas Järmyr 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 supergroup which is a fusion of Fantômas and the Melvins.
Although difficult to define, Zu's style could be characterised as a fusion of math rock, heavy metal and noise rock. The music is instrumental, and features virtuosic drumming, powerful bass and distorted saxophone.
One constant element in Zu's music is collaboration, and many of the band's albums are billed as collaborations with a guest musician (such as Mike Patton, Buzz Osborne, Mats Gustafsson and Nobukazu Takemura). Often, a collaborator will join them at live performances as well. Members of the band also collaborate with other musical projects, most of which exist only as live performances.
John Zorn described the band as creating "a powerful and expressive music that totally blows away what most bands do these days".
- Luca T. Mai – baritone saxophone
- Jacopo Battaglia – drums
- Massimo Pupillo – bass
- Tomas Järmyr – drums
- Gabe Serbian – drums
- Eugene Chadbourne – guitar on The Zu Side of the Chadbourne and Motorhellington
- Jeb Bishop – trombone on Igneo
- Mats Gustafsson – saxophones on How to Raise an Ox
- Xabier Iriondo – on Zu/Iceburn
- Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello on The Way of the Animal Powers
- Nobukazu Takemura – electronicson Identification with the Enemy - A Key to the Underworld
- Spaceways inc. – on Radiale
- Mike Patton – vocals on some live dates and Carboniferous
- Ken Vandermark – saxophones on Igneo and Radiale
- Buzz Osborne - on Carboniferous
- Balázs Pándi - drums on 2011 tour
- Eugene Robinson – vocals on The Left Hand Path
- David Tibet – vocals on Mirror Emperor
- Damo Suzuki – vocals on some live dates
- Okapi – electronicson Zu / Dalek / Okapi and on some live dates
- 1999 - Bromio
- 2000 - The Zu Side of the Chadbourne
- 2001 - Motorhellington
- 2002 - Igneo
- 2003 - Live in Helsinki
- 2004 - Radiale
- 2004 - Eccentrics, Issue #1 Hinterlandt / Zu / Can Can Heads
- 2005 - The Way of the Animal Powers
- 2005 - How to Raise an Ox
- 2005 - Zu/Dälek feat Økapi
- 2006 - Rai Sanawachi Koe Wo Hassu
- 2006 - Zu/Iceburn - PhonoMetak 10" Series No. 1
- 2007 - Identification with the Enemy: A Key to the Underworld
- 2008 - Il Teatro degli Orrori/Zu
- 2008 - Zu/Xabier Iriondo/Damo Suzuki - PhonoMetak 10" Series No. 4
- 2009 - Carboniferous
- 2014 - Goodnight Civilization EP
- 2014 - Zu & Eugene Robinson - The Left Hand Path
- 2015 - Cortar Todo
- 2017 - Jhator
- 2018 - ZU93 Mirror Emperor
Singles and music videos
- Carbon (2009)
- Soulympics (2009)
- Goodnight, Civilization (2014)
- Cortar Todo (2015)
- "Welcome Tomas Järmyr!". zuism.net. 2015-06-05. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
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