by / January 11th, 2010 /

The Ex & Brass Unbound, Zun Zun Egui – Black Box, Belfast

with Mats Gustafsson, Roy Paci, Ken Vandermark & Wolter Wierbos

+ support ZUN ZUN EGUI

UK tour dates: 29 January – 6 February 2010

The Ex have hooked up with one of the most powerful horn sections imaginable for this one-off UK tour and sparks are sure to fly. Since 1979 this inspired, intrepid and seminal bands have consistently pushed the envelope, plotting a restless course from their anarchist punk origins to embrace everything from fractured noise to Ethiopian groove. Their thrillingly raw and rhythmic rock sound is born from their ideals, musical friendships/networks and work ethic. Alive to the moment, they are sometimes described as ‘experimental trance-dance avant-afro-punk improv music’ – and no one knows what descriptions this metamorphosis will conjure up.

On this tour The Ex plan to unleash a new wild and combustible show in collaboration with four of the world’s most powerful and performative horn players for some in-the-red swing time. Brass Unbound comprise Swedish force of nature Mats Gustafsson (saxophone), Chicago jazz heavyweight Ken Vandermark (saxophone), Italian wild card Roy Paci (trumpet) and boundary busting classical/futurist Wolter Wierbos (trombone). The line up is dexterous and dangerous; as players, improvisers and entertainers this group are nothing short of phenomenal. Expect fireworks.

Zun Zun Egui storm in as support act. This Bristol based act have a heady mix of amped-up East African guitar, tearing Japanese synth action and a bounce-down rhythm section that crosses musical boundaries and physical borders with sheer delight.

The Ex have been involved in a steady stream of boundary-breaking collaborations, releases, tours and films that have established them as a unique but under-acknowledged force in rock music, who are always on the move, but always sound like The Ex. 30 years into their career this hugely adventurous band are finally getting their dues, aligning them with contemporaries like Sonic Youth and Fugazi or current bands such as Battles and Zu.

‘Once seen, a live performance by … The Ex is never forgotten. Imagine two men in short pants and army boots, guitars slung impossibly low, careering round the stage like demented dodgem cars, backed by a veritable arsenal of precision-honed polyrhythms’ – The Wire
‘A joyous, messy blast of loping percussive punishment, bristly second-hand guitar abuse, anti-consumerist diatribes and flame-throwing saxophony’ – Rock-A-Rolla

Warming things up to tropical levels each night, Zun Zun Egui conjure up bona fide rebel music that is full of body, raw in spirit and totally free of precedent. A heavy, heavy dance/rock band, they fire up mighty, eternal grooves worthy of some dust-caked Lagos street jam, but don’t just settle for that: tropical melodies, thrilling stop-start time switches, scorching psychedelics and robust underground rock flourishes are gathered up as the momentum swells towards frenzied, ecstatic finales. East African guitar practice is inflamed by multi-lingual incantations (in French, English, Creole, Japanese), sinuous prog gets a big bass undertow. It’s roll and roll, a rainbow blaze of rhythm and sound that pulls both the rockers and the writhers into its heart.
‘Repeated cells of joyous juju groove and a hefty dose of ink mathematics, topped off by a bearded bespectacled bloke with the voice of a Thai pop princess exultantly singing in tongues.” – The Wire
‘They are the Mars Volta wrestling with the Boredoms, and they’ve just made this weekend a whole lot more interesting. Hell, we could’ve cut that sentence off early: they’ve just made this weekend.’ – The Fly (End Of The Road Festival Review)

John Butcher joins the throng for the London date, saxophone explorer extraordinaire and sound alchemist who takes the manipulation of multiphonics (split tones and false notes) in new directions; focusing on creating rich, slowly-changing strata of sounds (layers of hums, buzzes and brittle metallic noises). His work ranges across improvisation, his own compositions, multi-tracked pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics.
Building on the storming success of the Sublime Frequencies tour that featured Omar Souleyman and Group Doueh, Sound and Music is delighted to be working in partnership with Bristol producers Qu Junktions for another unmissable project.