JÜ: JÜ Meets Møster

An apocalyptic collision of power rock and jazz (with an unsettling cover).

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Not since Bill Laswell’s colossal late 80s outfit Last Exit have the combustible possibilities between unfettered power rock and ecstatic free jazz been so voraciously explored and feverishly ejaculated.

Hungarian trio JÜ and Norwegian saxophonist Kjetil Møster have produced a truly seismic, ceiling-cracking album. Laswell gets a mixing credit here, and this ferocious music often recalls an unholy orgy between the producer’s old band – which featured incendiary guitarist Sonny Sharrock – and thermonuclear sax legend Peter Brötzmann (Van der Graaf, Mahavishnu et al). Opener Dear Johann displays the quartet’s wild virtuosity by traversing a complex jazz-rock arrangement, and their crackling alchemy explodes in the heavyweight pyrotechnics of Bhajan and Hassassin, whose exotic but ballistic dogfights hit plateaus of rare euphoric savagery. There are lighter moments, such as Morze (For Agoston Bela) and the 14-minute One, which takes a slow-motion crawl through a post-apocalypse urban tundra with funereal drums, screaming themes and foghorn-deep Møster letting loose on a closing statement of monolithic doom.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!