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ZU

RIO/Avant-Prog • Italy


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Zu biography
The Band Zu comes from a deep Italian Prog/Avant-Garde feel. The Band is from Rome. They started the band in 1997 compiling the the ideas from composing and theatrical play. The trio consists of: Luca Mai - baritone Saxophone, Massimo Pupillo - bass, and Jacapo Battaglia - drums. 13 albums into their carreer the trio got to tour with the Fantomas-Melvins supergroup. With their genre inculding hardcore punk, noise rock, and free jazz, the band was sure to turn heads and be innovative. Even John Zorn complimented the band by saying, "You have created a powerful and expressive music that totally blows away what most bands do these days". Zu has 11 cd's along with 2 splits.

Bio written by The Shf (fungusucantkill)







Discography:
Bromio - 1999
The Zu Side of the Chadbourne - 2000
Motorhellington - 2001
Igneo - 2002
Live in Hellsinki - 2003
Radiale - 2004
The Way of the Animal Power - 2005
How to Raise an Hox - 2005
Zu v/s Dälek (split) - 2005
Rai Sanawachi Koe Wo Hassu - 2006
Zu/Iceburn (split) - 2006
Identification with the Enemy - A Key to the Underworld - 2007
7" Picture Disk - 2007

Zu official website

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Buy ZU Music


Cortar TodoCortar Todo
Ipecac Recordings 2015
Vinyl$8.99
$25.00 (used)
Goodnight CivilizationGoodnight Civilization
Trost 2014
Vinyl$14.27
$100.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
DUO TAL & GROETHUYSEN-KLAVIERMUSIK ZU 4 HÄNDEN VOL.7 CD 11 TRACKS SCHUBERT NEW+ USD $14.39 Buy It Now 52m 32s
DUO TAL & GROETHUYSEN -KLAVIERMUSIK ZU 4 HÄNDEN VOL.6 CD 9 TRACKS SCHUBERT NEW+ USD $14.39 Buy It Now 52m 40s
DUO TAL & GROETHUYSEN -KLAVIERMUSIK ZU 4 HÄNDEN VOL.5 CD 6 TRACKS SCHUBERT NEW+ USD $14.39 Buy It Now 52m 49s
DUO TAL & GROETHUYSEN -KLAVIERMUSIK ZU 4 HÄNDEN VOL.4 CD 7 TRACKS SCHUBERT NEW+ USD $14.39 Buy It Now 52m 57s
DUO TAL & GROETHUYSEN - KLAVIERMUSIK ZU 4 HÄNDEN VOL.3-CD 9 TRACKS SCHUBERT NEW+ USD $14.39 Buy It Now 53m 5s
DUO TAL & GROETHUYSEN - KLAVIERMUSIK ZU 4 HÄNDEN VOL.2 - CD FRANZ SCHUBERT NEW+ USD $14.39 Buy It Now 53m 16s
Zu Zu Soiree - Dr. John (2011, CD New) USD $12.35 Buy It Now 1h 6m
CARSTEN WIEBUSCH - BILDER EINER AUSSTELLUNG/VORSPIEL ZU PARSIFAL/+ CD NEW+ USD $23.42 Buy It Now 1h 35m
Reinheitsgebot-Scheint ihr Noch Zu Glauben CD on hammer records RARE O.O.P. USD $9.35 [0 bids]
1h 41m
ZU ZU SHARKS - Eyes Of The World - Scarce 1984 UK 7" USD $15.59 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Nockalm Quintett : Von Weihnacht Zu Weihnach CD USD $5.67 Buy It Now 2h 38m
Freue Dich Du Tochter Zion-Barockm Zu Weihnachten [CD New] USD $15.43 Buy It Now 2h 39m
DAS KÖLNER KLAVIER-DUO - KLAVIERWERKE ZU VIER HÄNDEN CD NEW+ USD $23.42 Buy It Now 2h 39m
ROY BLACK mein schonster traum/ ich hab getraumt das gluck kam heut zu mir 45 USD $3.49 Buy It Now 2h 46m
Dr. John - Zu Zu Soiree [CD New] USD $11.95 Buy It Now 3h 10m
KOGAN / MENUHIN / OISTRAKH / MILSTEIN - Stradivaris HOR ZU.GERMANY USD $45.00 Buy It Now 3h 13m
Unknown Artist Sei Lieb Zu Mir CD USD $5.32 Buy It Now 4h 38m
HERBERT VON KARAJAN "Grammophon" BEETHOVEN Ouverture zu MI2020 LP BC1186 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
5h 26m
ILEANA/BOSKOVSKY/SD/+ COTRUBAS - MUSIK ZU ROSAMUNDE/+ CD NEW+ USD $15.53 Buy It Now 6h 14m
HEINZ ERHARDT - DA GIBT'S GAR NICHTS ZU LACHEN 2 CD 45 TRACKS COMEDY NEW+ USD $26.87 Buy It Now 7h 8m
Hans Leo Hassler: Geistliche Chormusik Aus Dem Hohen Dom Zu Mainz 4037408060974 USD $22.74 Buy It Now 8h 13m
HEINO 45 RPM record & picture sleeve TAMPICO / ES IST NIE ZU SPAT ... German NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
ROY BLACK"WEIHNACHTEN BIN ICH ZU HAUS(ORIGINALE)"CD NEW+ USD $14.96 Buy It Now 9h 40m
KIDZ & FRIENDZ "DER TAG GEHT ZU ENDE ..." CD NEW+ USD $12.69 Buy It Now 12h 33m
DIE SCHÖNSTEN KINDERLIEDER-ZU WEIHNACHTEN CD NEW+ USD $13.26 Buy It Now 12h 35m
STAUBKIND - WO WIR ZU HAUSE SIND CD 15 TRACKS CLASSIC ROCK & POP NEW+ USD $13.26 Buy It Now 13h 25m
Unknown Artist Mozart: Jupiter Symphonie Zu "Figaros Ho CD USD $9.22 Buy It Now 13h 29m
DETLEV JÖCKER - HALTE ZU MIR,LIEBER GOTT CD 16 TRACKS KINDERLIEDER NEW+ USD $19.50 Buy It Now 13h 41m
CHARLIE GLASS - DIE SCHÖNSTEN KINDERLIEDER ZU OSTERN CD 20 TRACKS NEW+ USD $14.96 Buy It Now 13h 42m
MOZART OUVERTURE ZU FIGAROS HOCHZEIT KARL BOHM & SACHSISCHEN STAATSKAPELLE USD $7.79 Buy It Now 14h 4m
THE ROLLING STONES ORIG 1969 GERMAN LP GOT LIVE IF YOU WANT IT HOR ZU EX USD $62.40 Buy It Now 15h 57m
10" 78RPM - WILL GLAHE - ALLES HORT ZU [SCHLAGERPOTPOURRI] (HMV E.G.6381) E USD $12.48 Buy It Now 17h 6m
Die schönsten Trompetenklänge zu Weihnachten (14 tracks) : Walter Scholz, Roy Et USD $3.56 Buy It Now 17h 24m
THE BEATLES ORIGINAL 1966 REVOLVER GERMAN STEREO ODEON HOR ZU PRESS SHZE 186 USD $187.26 Buy It Now 18h 32m
SCHWANN REGER SYMPHONISCHER PROLOG ZU EINER TRAGÖDIE OP.108 RSO BERLIN ALBRECHT USD $3.24 Buy It Now 21h 29m
ROGERS - NICHTS ZU VERLIEREN (SPECIAL EDITION DIGIPACK+PATCH) CD NEW+ USD $21.78 Buy It Now 23h 11m
Wisdom's Pearls - Lorraine & Bill L (2007, CD New) Feat. Frank Vignola & Rich ZU USD $8.61 Buy It Now 23h 14m
* HÖR ZU - ODEON - SHZE 186 - THE BEATLES - REVOLVER *? USD $28.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Vol. 4-Klaviermusik Zu 4 Handen - Duo Tal & Groethuysen (2009, CD New) USD $8.06 Buy It Now 1 day
Und Wir Gingen Auf Uns Zu (2009, CD New) USD $6.68 Buy It Now 1 day
16-17 Gyatso CD Swiss avant jazz-core alboth ZU painkiller flying luttenbachers USD $14.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Oldschoolformat Der Zu - Christ Of Kather/Mar (2012, CD New) USD $15.87 Buy It Now 1 day
Zu Allem Bereit - Mario & Christoph (2012, CD New) USD $8.02 Buy It Now 1 day
Auf Dem Weg Zu Dir/Dich Zu (2 Original Albums Klas - Roland Kaise (2013, CD New) USD $8.89 Buy It Now 1 day
Trackshittaz - Zruck Zu De Ruabm (CD New) USD $4.21 Buy It Now 1 day
Von Zeit Zu Zeit - Rainhard Fendrich (2010, CD New) USD $8.25 Buy It Now 1 day
Zeit Zu Leben - Klaus Hoffmann (1993, CD New) USD $9.49 Buy It Now 1 day
KARL BOHM Sachsischen Staatskapelle Ouverture Zu Figaros 12" 78 HMV DB4692 USD $20.27 Buy It Now 1 day
Live Zu Begreifen - 2 DISC SET - Phrasenmaeher (2012, CD New) USD $21.08 Buy It Now 1 day
Zu Nah Am Feuer-Seine Grossten Hits - Stefan Waggershausen (1997, CD New) USD $8.01 Buy It Now 1 day
Er Gehort Zu Mir - Marianne Rosenberg (1994, CD New) USD $5.05 Buy It Now 1 day
Vol. 3-Klaviermusik Zu 4 Handen - Duo Tal & Groethuysen (2009, CD New) USD $4.46 Buy It Now 1 day
78 By Margarete Teschemacher, "Nur Zu Fluchtig" on HMV USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Zu Gut Fuer Diese Welt - Ruben Cossani (2012, CD New) USD $16.28 Buy It Now 1 day
Zu Zweit Allein - Marsimoto (2008, CD New) USD $8.36 Buy It Now 1 day
GERMANOTTA YOUTH The Final Solution 7" EP Italian prog-grind ZU the locust NEW USD $10.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Viel Zu Lang Gewartet - 3 DISC SET - Howard Carpendale (2014, CD New) USD $24.27 Buy It Now 1 day
Wir Kommen Um Ihn Zu Holen - Stefan Raab (2014, CD Single NEUF) USD $4.06 Buy It Now 1 day
Mross,Stefan - Greif Zu (CD New) USD $8.13 Buy It Now 1 day
Meine Art Liebe Zu Zeigen - 2 DISC SET - Daliah Lavi (1997, CD New) USD $15.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Vol. 7-Klaviermusik Zu 4 Handen - Duo Tal & Groethuysen (2009, CD New) USD $8.09 Buy It Now 1 day
Reise Zu Den Sternen - Berluc (2010, CD New) USD $7.96 Buy It Now 1 day
Alles Aus Liebe Zu Dir - Tom Mandl (2010, CD New) USD $8.02 Buy It Now 1 day
Musik Die Schwer Zu Twerk - Electric Wurms 093624936091 (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $18.23 Buy It Now 1 day
ROGERS - NICHTS ZU VERLIEREN VINYL LP + CD NEW+ USD $26.30 Buy It Now 1 day
GROVER KEMBLE & ZA ZU ZAZ, "TOO MANY THINGS ON YOUR MIND" USD $1.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Madam Zu & Jon Doe / 999 Matrix (The Red Pill) ORIGINAL 1999 UK MOHAWK RECORDS USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
(AT930) Platin, Ich Lieb' Dich Viel Zu Sehr - CD USD $8.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Howard Carpendale - Viel Zu Lang Gewartet [CD New] USD $23.58 Buy It Now 1 day
Stefan Raab - Wir Kommen Um Ihn Zu Holen [CD Single New] USD $7.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Mario & Christoph - Zu Allem Bereit [CD New] USD $7.96 Buy It Now 1 day
Christ Of Kather/Mar - Oldschoolformat Der Zu [CD New] USD $15.58 Buy It Now 1 day
Ruben Cossani - Zu Gut Fuer Diese Welt [CD New] USD $15.88 Buy It Now 1 day
Phrasenmaeher - Live Zu Begreifen [CD New] USD $19.08 Buy It Now 1 day
Trackshittaz - Zruck Zu De Ruabm [CD New] USD $7.41 Buy It Now 1 day
Roland Kaiser - Auf Dem Weg Zu Dir/Dich Zu (2 Original Albums Klas [CD New] USD $8.88 Buy It Now 1 day
HOR ZU Tanz Mit LP GERMAN IMPORT CHEESECAKE NEAR MINT VINYL USD $12.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Daliah Lavi - Meine Art Liebe Zu Zeigen [CD New] USD $13.57 Buy It Now 1 day
Marianne Rosenberg - Er Gehort Zu Mir [CD New] USD $5.19 Buy It Now 1 day
Rainhard Fendrich - Von Zeit Zu Zeit [CD New] USD $8.03 Buy It Now 1 day
DUO TAL & GROETHUYSEN - VOL. 4-KLAVIERMUSIK ZU 4 HANDEN [CD NEW] USD $7.21 Buy It Now 1 day
Tom Mandl - Alles Aus Liebe Zu Dir [CD New] USD $8.58 Buy It Now 1 day
Duo Tal & Groethuysen - Vol. 7-Klaviermusik Zu 4 Handen [CD New] USD $9.06 Buy It Now 1 day
STEFAN MROSS - GREIF ZU [CD NEW] USD $8.88 Buy It Now 1 day
Marsimoto - Zu Zweit Allein [CD New] USD $7.73 Buy It Now 1 day
Stefan Waggershausen - Zu Nah Am Feuer-Seine Grossten Hits [CD New] USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Duo Tal & Groethuysen - Vol. 3-Klaviermusik Zu 4 Handen [CD New] USD $8.41 Buy It Now 1 day
UND WIR GINGEN AUF UNS ZU - UND WIR GINGEN AUF UNS ZU [CD NEW] USD $6.74 Buy It Now 1 day
Berluc - Reise Zu Den Sternen [CD New] USD $8.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Klaus Hoffmann - Zeit Zu Leben [CD New] USD $9.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Rare FRIEDRICH GULDA Vienna So Blue HÖR ZU Black Label Jazz LP, Albert Golowin USD $39.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Zu - Carboniferous CD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Er Gehort Zu Mir - Marianne Rosenberg (CD Used Very Good) USD $3.19 Buy It Now 1 day
Meine Art Liebe Zu Zeigen - Daliah Lavi (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.57 Buy It Now 1 day
Vol. 3-Klaviermusik Zu 4 Handen - Duo Tal & Groethuysen (CD Used Very Good) USD $6.41 Buy It Now 1 day
Greif Zu - Stefan Mross (CD Used Very Good) USD $6.88 Buy It Now 1 day
Dr. John - Zu Zu Soiree NEW 2 x CD USD $12.70 Buy It Now 1 day
Staubkind - Wo Wir Zu Hause Sind Akustik Tour Live NEW CD USD $24.50 Buy It Now 1 day
DR JOHN Zu Zu Man TOPLINE UK 1st Press A1/B1 LP EX USD $14.04 Buy It Now 1 day
Die Grosse Silbermannorgel Des Domes Zu Freiberg CD (Hans Otto) JAPAN release USD $4.60 Buy It Now 1 day


More places to buy ZU music online Buy ZU & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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ZU shows & tickets


  • A L'ALARME on 5 Aug 2015
  • Little Festival - festiwal muzyki kreatywnej on 13 Aug 2015
  • Zu at Carroponte, via Granelli 1, Milano on 25 Aug 2015
  • Zu at Carroponte, Sesto San Giovanni on 25 Aug 2015
  • Freakshow Festival 2015 on 28 Aug 2015
  • Zu at Magasin 4, Brussels on 18 Nov 2015

ZU discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ZU top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 11 ratings
Bromio
1999
2.71 | 15 ratings
Igneo
2002
4.04 | 8 ratings
Radiale (with Spaceways Inc.)
2004
3.50 | 6 ratings
How To Raise An Ox
2005
3.88 | 8 ratings
The Way of the Animal Powers
2005
4.50 | 6 ratings
Identification With The Enemy: A Key to the Underworld (with Nobukazu Takemura)
2007
4.09 | 59 ratings
Carboniferous
2009
3.50 | 2 ratings
Cortar Todo
2015

ZU Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Hellsinki
2003
3.10 | 2 ratings
Rai Sunawachi Koe Wo Hassu
2006

ZU Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ZU Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ZU Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Il Teatro degli Orrori + Zu (split)
2008

ZU Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Carboniferous by ZU album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.09 | 59 ratings

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Carboniferous
Zu RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars 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. 4.5 rounded up

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 Radiale (with Spaceways Inc.) by ZU album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.04 | 8 ratings

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Radiale (with Spaceways Inc.)
Zu RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Really interesting album of collaboration between Italian free-avant trio ZU and Chicago-based and reeder Ken Vandermark-led Spaceways Inc. Part of compositions are free improvs, but some come from free-funk classics, as Parliament's "Trash A-Go-Go" , the Art Ensemble's "Theme de Yoyo" or Sun Ra's "We Travel the Spaceways" and "Space Is the Place".

It's great to hear how sound two experimental bands from different roots playing together free improvs and great classics. Doesn't the sound is radically different - it's still same free jazz improvisation based music, but for everyone familiar with ZU original works strong influence from American band's music shows the former trio in new light. In fact, music became more jazzy, often - just pure free jazz, and Ken Vandermark's sax soloing is more funky and far not so brutal, as Luca Mai's bariton's.

From another hand, Italian's more heavy and dark, rock influenced sound with distorted bass and a aggressive drumming did bring some modern avant flavor for free jazz sound of American musicians. Most interesting is still the second part of album, where both teams working hard on free funk standards.

Recommended album for ZU fans, it shows really interesting more jazzy influenced side of the trio.

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 Rai Sunawachi Koe Wo Hassu  by ZU album cover Live, 2006
3.10 | 2 ratings

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Rai Sunawachi Koe Wo Hassu
Zu RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Second Italian leading avant prog band's Zu live album was recorded in Paris in March 2005 and released on obscure Japanese label Macaroni Records. All the material comes from one day's recording and contains mainly energetic and dark improves.

Zu's trademark sound is bariton sax free improves filling all the space and there you will hear it plenty. Happily, on live release trio had even more space for explosive jamming and unlimited improvs, so this album is full of both.

I really like Luca Mai's low tenor sax fast and sharp improvs sound, rhythm sections do a great support to him, so believe me - the music is noisy there! Not the kind of brutal Japanese noisy hardcore or radical Naked City's one, but similar Italian version of it - still more rounded, a bit more melodic (if it's possible to speak about melodies in such music at all) and not such radically cacophonous. But I am speaking about nuances inside of the same musical genre - no special structure,order or pre-recorded composition could be found there in this music.

The main value of this release is great musicianship level of all three musicians, excellent sax fast and angular soloing, noisy and heavy support from rhythm section and very specific free sound atmosphere of the concert. If you like such music, this album is really interesting one for you, for unprepared listener the reaction could be quite unpredictable.

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 Carboniferous by ZU album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.09 | 59 ratings

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Carboniferous
Zu RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When you think of a "Power Trio" you usually imagine bass, drums and guitar or bass, drums and organ right ? Well this Italian band hits us with bass, drums and sax. The sax is disturbed I might add. Hey this is Rio / Avant so that's not so surprising. I've read some complaints about the sound quality, mainly because there is often so much distortion it comes off simply as being noise. It's not pleasant. I personally can't get into most bands that I would classify as noisy, it's just not my scene. If it wasn't for the last two tracks I would have a hard time giving this 3 stars.

"Ostia" opens with pounding drums and low end noise. It picks up then we get some dissonant sax a minute in.Then it gets even noisier.Themes are repeated half way through. "Chthonian" turns noisier and heavier before a minute. A lot of distortion here. It picks up 2 minutes in. I feel a headache coming on. It settles 5 minutes in thankfully but it's not for long. "Carbon" features this distorted beat. It settles before 1 1/2 minutes and some weird sax joins in. "Beata Viscera" is better.The drums and bass sound fairly normal as the sax joins in.

"Erinys" has some killer drumming in it. Too much noise though. "Soulympics" has a good rhythm as creepy vocals join in. "Axion" is loud, dark and noisy. I like the sax 3 minutes in with that powerful under-current. "Mimosa Hostilis" is uptempo. A repetitive beat before 2 minutes comes in. Screaming sax late. "Obsidian" is an excellent track. I like the sound after 3 minutes. It ends in a spacey way. "Orc" opens with atmosphere as different sounds come and go including birds, water, dogs and so on. Sounds are building 2 1/2 minutes in. It settles back to a very atmospheric mood to end it.

I'd love to hear an album full of tunes like the last two tracks.This is just too noisy for me.

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 Carboniferous by ZU album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.09 | 59 ratings

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Carboniferous
Zu RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Zu is a three-piece band making music bred from the experimental combination of several genres including, among others, technical metal and free-jazz. This blend of styles creates a mind-blowing and intense sound more menacing and striking than most music I've ever heard. As I write this review, Carboniferous is the band's most recent creation.

Notable is the somewhat unconventional lead here, which is Luca Mai's baritone saxophone that proves to be very suitable to this kind of heavy music, performing some fierce shrieks and deep, heavy growls. The rhythm section as well is important for the distinctive sound created here. It's a very strong one, consisting of Jacopo Battaglia's aggressive drumming and Massimo Pupillo's bass playing, which often has a thick sound and frequently is distorted. Apart from playing the drums, Jacopa Battaglia also is responsible for the electronics and even some mellotron, that manage to give the album a somewhat amospheric feel.

Zu's intense sound can already be heard in the first riff of the heavy opener "Ostia", with it's distorted bass and dissonant saxophone playing, reminding one of free-jazz. The majority of music on the album is in this vein, dynamic and intense, though it still maintains a diverse feel and keeps me completely interested even after the many times I've listened to it. Also worth mentioning are the collaborations with other musicians on this album, among them Mike Patton's vocal performance on "Soulolympics" and King Buzzo's (Melvins) guitar playing on "Chthonian".

After the many times I've listened to Carboniferous it still manages to amaze me. This might have something to do with the energetic and intense sound Zu creates here, which is an unique and distictive one. I'd recommend this album to those who might enjoy a combination of the dissonance of free-jazz and the monstrous power of a heavy rhythm section.

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 Igneo by ZU album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.71 | 15 ratings

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Igneo
Zu RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars When listening to this Zu album, I thought what their music is like. First influence is very clear - it's John Zorn. Not Masada, or Filmworks, but more Painkiller or Naked City. Sounds attractive?

Italian trio from Rome is playing very unusual music for Italy. I don't mean RIO/avant in whole, but I am speaking about THEIR kind of experimental music. We all awaiting high level of musicality from any Italian band. There is wrong example on this album. They are playing free-jazz heavily mixed with punk, hardcore, noise and whatever else you want.

Musicians are all highest class, plus they have special American guests on few tracks: Jeb Bishop (trombone) and Ken Vandermark (sax). Brutal combination of punkish drums attacks and brass cacophonic solos instead of soloing guitars. Sound games as well.

For sure this kind of music is known. John Zorn in some his works demonstrated great success in this field. But the big difference is musicality. Zorn's genius bring musicality even in his playing noise and chaos. There you wouldn't find musicality. Almost no traces.

Is it so bad? Don't think so. This album is radical experimental work in the hottest field of modern jazz - punk-free-jazz. And some moments there are interesting enough. But - I am saying interesting, no way great. There are many interesting figures, experimenting with similar music ( and I like Mats Gustafsson or Barry Guy really more), but very a few of them can produce music, not pure experimental sound.

Radical experimental album, could be in interest of free-jazz and experimental jazz lovers. Can shock those thinking that musical composition should have melody, structure or any other form.

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 Carboniferous by ZU album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.09 | 59 ratings

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Carboniferous
Zu RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Jadittir

4 stars I was out looking for the upgrade cable for my middle-aged servant Sennheiser HD-650 headphone on the internet. The cable manufacturer named Zu Cable. I, instead, randomly clicked and found this album. I decided to check it out.

To my pleasant surprise, the band plays Avant-garde jazz with a serious flavor of metal music. Without guitar distortion, they use a distorted keyboard synthesizer and distorted bass to create a heavy sound. Incorporated with wild Saxophone, complex drum and wild idea of jazz metal, they sound quite serious and avant.. Thick layer of heavy sound with avant jazz component-- pretty much like John Zorn on steroid. So rich with complexity and yet as dark as post metal style. The distorted synth and bass play out like heavy guitar riff. The musicians are all fantastic. I love it!

If you are a fan of John Zorn type of music. This album is the must. Superb!

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 Bromio by ZU album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.20 | 11 ratings

BUY
Bromio
Zu RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by fungusucantkill

4 stars This is the first album put out by Zu and personally its one of their best. Their blend of Speed Jazz with Henry Cow and Frank Zappa would be for anyone who loves Avant Garde Music. As a bass player, i listened to Massimo Pupillo very closely and i was pretty amazed at what he does. He blends with the rest of the band and doesnt overshadow the incredibly talented sax player, Luca T Mai. Zu pleases crowds. Their tour on this album consisted of a broken down mini van (as do all first timers) and lost of good memories.

Key tracks on the album are Zu Circus, Testa di Cane, and Erotomane. This is indeed one of their best works and its sure not to dissapoint. 4.5 stars.

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Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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