Zu, Yakuza, Rempis Percussion Quartet | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Zu, Yakuza, Rempis Percussion Quartet Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Sun., Nov. 2, 9:30 p.m. 2008

Zu has achieved an impressive level of international fame—at least for an avant-garde punk-jazz trio—thanks to a stream of noteworthy collaborations. Since its 1997 inception in Rome, this electrified combo of sax, bass, and drums has made two albums with Eugene Chadbourne, one with Nobukazu Takemura, and a ten-inch with Damo Suzuki, and it’s got a release with Mike Patton in the pipeline. Chicago’s own Jeb Bishop, Ken Vandermark, and Fred Lonberg-Holm even turn up on 2002’s Igneo. The band’s explosive but surprisingly expressive music combines smothering brutality and nuanced inventiveness a la Borbetomagus, sometimes churning and roiling like lava and sometimes splintering like a dropped wineglass in super slow motion—and when there’s a guest player aboard, the flow of noise bends smoothly around his gravity well to leave room for whatever he’s doing. When it’s just the trio, though, like it will be here, Zu roars with the ferocity of an enraged cattle-mutilating machine. Yakuza and the Rempis Percussion Quartet open; see also Monday and Wednesday. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $7

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