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 Osbourne, 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.
Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt Zion)
Jessica Moss Is best known for playing violin and singing backing vocals in the Canadian post-rock band Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band since 2001, and is a founding member of Black Ox Orkestar.
In addition, Moss has also been a guest player on many albums produced in Montreal and Toronto, including albums by Frankie Sparo, Arcade Fire, and Broken Social Scene.
Mining influence from jazz, hardcore punk and contemporary classical music, Robocobra Quartet sound like little else.
Originally formed at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the group operate as an expanding, contracting and ever-changing collective. A no-holds-barred approach centred on a howling drummer-vocalist and menacing saxophones takes them to festivals such as Electric Picnic, SXSW & Brilliant Corners Festival of Jazz and has seen them support Melt Yourself Down (UK), Girl Band (IRE), El Ten Eleven (USA) and Get The Blessing (UK).
Bolstered by support from the PRS Foundation, Robocobra Quartet's debut on 12" LP 'Music For All Occasions' has received accolades by the likes of The Quietus and BBC Radio 6. In support of the release, the group have toured throughout the UK & Ireland including appearances at jazz festivals, the back room of a pizza parlour in Liverpool and an in-store performance at Rough Trade Records.
"Fugazi meets Mingus." - Drowned in Sound
"Barely of this world." - DIY Magazine