Album Review

Zu & Takemura, Nobukazu – “Identification With The Enemy : A Key to The Underworld ” – [Atavistic]

Max Level   2/26/2007   A Library, CD

Italian bass/drums/sax trio Zu are known for their loud, radical, often sludgy, prog-math-jazz. In addition, they are always up for an inspired collaboration. Their partner this time is DJ/re-mixer/noise expert Takemura (his discography includes work with Steve Reich, DJ Spooky, Yo La Tengo… need I go on?). Zu do what they do best, hitting hard with metallic, overdriven bass, crazed drumming, and squealing baritone sax. Takemura adds strange electronic flavors; low buzzing ambience, percussive glitchiness, and things like that. Just a guess, but some of the source material for his electronic manipulations may have been Zu-generated; I hear things that might possibly be bass, drums, and/or sax severely processed into near unrecognizability. This is a great release, and for me the best parts are when the Zu crew aren’t playing at full volume. Takemura adds something completely new to Zu when they leave him space to work. There are also some sections that sound like they are pretty much just him, and those are also good but in a different way.

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