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Zukanican

Zukanican were formed in Liverpool in 2003. Their sound has been likened to an unholy hardcore collision between Can, ESG, Cluster, The Soft Machine and Art Ensemble of Chicago, with gigs building to an audience/group symbiotic groove crescendo. The band also shares musical membership with Loka (Ninja Tune) and Melodie Du Kronk (The Great Pop Supplement).

The current line-up is:

Tom Sumnall – electric bass
James Pagella – drums & percussion
Harry Sumnall – electronics, percussion
Phil Lucking – trumpets & flugelhorn

Zukanican have some live shows coming up. Check the live page for details.

Discography

'The Stumbling Block' CD
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 73)

The Stumbling Block is Zukanican’s second album and third release on Pickled Egg Records. Recorded in 2007-8 at The Kif in Liverpool the 8 track album mirrors the band’s live performances perhaps more than their other releases. The album was recorded and mixed by Zukanican and studio trickery has been kept to a minimum; what you hear ‘is was’.

"Like its predecessors it blends krautrock moves with jazz grooves and dub influences, but this one might very well be their best one yet. The opening “Scaling Wax” sets the standard with trumpet hovering over pulsating basslines and keyboard sounds aiming for the sun. It’s never fun to mention the same reference points as the press kit does but this disc does actually sound like it’s influenced by Can as much as Soft Machine and Art Ensemble of Chicago so what can you do?" Mats Gustafsson, The Broken Face

"These eight tracks invite comparisons with everyone from Can and Miles Davis to Soft Machine and Sun Ra, so there’s a lot of musical territory housed within these grooves. Opener, ‘Sealing Wax’ throbs into the room on the back of Tom Sumnall’s pulsating bassline, beckoning, “Come one, come all…partake of our rhythmic feast.” Brother Harry’s twinkling keyboards and furtive blasts from trumpeter Phil Lucking complete the delectable package. The musique concrète of ‘Inca Hoots’ is as playful as its punny title (say it three times fast) and the hypnotic rush of the jazzy ‘Koanish’ and the bubbly ‘Penny Dance Test’ expand the lads’ oeuvre into Hi-NRG, Eurodance floorfillers" [Ptolemaic Terrascope]


Listen to The Stumbling Block on Last.fm


UK: £10.00


EU: €15.00


US: $18.00

'Horse Republic' CD
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 60)

"Among the many influences declared by the last generation of rock musicians, no one is quoted as preposterously as Sun Ra, who inherited a record that was Stockhausen's own in the 70's. This preamble is to say that the joyful Zukanican commune is conversely the legitimate daughter of the bandleader from Saturn, with their rhythmic exuberance, the tone colours of the woodwind, the spacey and ancestral essence of their music. Add to this a little subterranean Can-school kraut pulse, a tip of jazz-rock with early '70s Miles Davis' harmonies and the enthusiasm of some bantering psyche-heads, and you'll get a hint of the lifeblood flowing through the grooves of Horse Republic, excellent follow-up to E 5Number. Why should you do without? [Rockerilla]

"A sprawling and dynamic work that builds on the atmosphere created by their "E 5number" EP, taking it one step further to produce a wholly satisfying and genre-defying collection of music that takes in elements of Sun Ra, Rollerball, Funkadelic, and early Gong, mixing all together in an exhilarating musical stew, full of goodness and incredibly tasty. Just as you start thinking "Can it get any Better?", it does: the outstanding "Where Are The Casualties?" distilling the perfect blend of Zukanican magic" [Ptolemaic Terrascope]

"Areas of free form ectoplasm within shifting structures. Ghostly phosphorescent footsteps lead through darkened corridors of atomized attic space and hoot owl operatics. They want to be trippy; they liquefy the arboretum in return for gracious snakes and apparitions. The opening Bug Hunter is a moody free jazzy thing like an aroused Tower Recordings. Thingyo is tight woozy prog-pop with giddy female vocals sounding like a wailing outtake from latter day Slapp Happy. Trawling for Horses feels like an old Ken Nordine backing band tuning up in a haunted swamp with Moondog until dervishes start to dance generating large dust devils that develop into small tornadoes. Shake Hands is like noir jazz boiled down to pure steam and vaporous mystery" [George Parsons, Dream Magazine]

"Their experimentally-minded music has a smoother shoe-gaze vibe than you might expect, but with plenty twists to inspire the imagination. For example: ‘Bug Hunter’ gives me, an aeroplane engine in peril; an alarm in the mist; a snake in tiring spasm; an elastic band in constant fluctuation. ‘Thingyo’has a hobby-horse pitter-patter with a Lick Decals weave and skwitch as well as some petrified brass. ‘Trawling For Horses’ has a bean can-rattle, a native ritual shakedown getting closer from the middle distance. ‘Ringa Roga’ projects a scritty-wubble psych submarinal darter, while ‘Vague & Nebulous’ has a metallic, prismic swash. A fascinating band" [The Vanity Project]

'Thingyo' (MP3)
'Leak winks' (MP3)

Download Horse Republic from eMusic
Listen to Horse Republic on Last.fm


UK: £10.00


EU: €15.00


US: $18.00

'E 5number' 10" mini LP
(Pickled Egg Records Egg 51)

"Theremin battery, skippy keys, s-bending bass, drill pattern drums, siren organ in continuum, other pulses muscling in on the action, a diversion into free-funk with sci-fi white noise cutting across. This is merely track one. Sax skronks, flights of intense fancy, you can imagine Acid Mothers’ Cotton Casino wanting to collaborate with this lot, but would be hard pressed to make it more dynamic than it already is, or cram much more in than is already there. This is a jammed door-way of sound" [Vanity Project]

"Lively and spirited instrumental music from these UK madcaps. One might almost call it a typical Pickled Egg release, and if you've heard Bablicon you'll know what I mean. The band comprise two percussionists, a bass player, a trumpeter, plus electronics and a keyboard - mostly what they do is swooping electronic effects, backed up by a very clever rhythm section who can execute complex time signatures and funky, danceable bass riffs. Really jolly stuff. They come from Liverpool, where last time I looked, Frank Zappa continues to be held in some high esteem; if you like the late-period Zappa big bands, who played every note perfectly in high-sheen drop-forge precision arrangements and at very high speeds, then chances are you'll enjoy this also. I'd certainly take this kind of musical funnery over Stereolab" [Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector]

"This 6-song 10" mini LP features only a bit over 26 minutes worth of music, but these Liverpool lads make the most of their time. The first track, 'SOMB', is a progressive collision between Allen Ravenstein keyboards and rubbery space funk that becomes quite insistent as it burns up in the atmosphere. The second one, 'Medallion', is a slinky dub-jazz with a rhythmic core that would have pleased Van Vliet himself. 'Lack of Signage' is a jazz combo scattered on shifting tonal tidal effects, as time signatures slide and then coalesce around a nearly Sun Ra groove. Side two kicks off with the multifaceted time signature skitter and bump of 'Pay Never'. Soon we are floating out of out seats and a slow intensification shifts the light as free jazz fragments flutter by like psychedelic moths attracted by the fire on 'Moonstew', before it's time to go. 'Dust from a Goose' ends things with bongo fury and beatnik mayhem as saxophones are strangled and bass fingerprints are left on the cooling corpse" [George Parsons, Dream Magazine]

"Somewhere in the hazy fog up yonder, a strange brew is taking shape... in this veiled but crafted modern day exposition of 'Trout Mask Replica', as we go flip yer wig time across 6 tracks of head-melting frenetic gamesmanship from Scouse space cadets Zukanican, who by our reckoning exist in a different dimension than normal folk. Highly lysergic stuff, ostensibly out there and out of sight and running, like Bablicon doing a Coltrane / Reich crossover appreciation, with a thoroughly out-of-it Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band adding the backing, and the space dub aesthetic of Bill Laswell floating perilously in the ether. Alarming stuff, across six tracks, Zukanican take you to places you've only briefly visited in nightmares, so unreal and warping that you are forced to keep checking out of the window for re-assurance that you're still within pinching distance of reality. Daunting but delightfully deranged" [Mark Barton, Losing Today]

'S.O.M.B.' (MP3)
'Medallion' (MP3)
'Pay Never' (MP3)

Download E5number from eMusic
Listen to E5number on Last.fm

UK: £6.50


EU: €10.75


US: $14.00

Reviews

Ptolemaic Terrascope
Vanity Project
Fakejazz
Splendid Ezine
Dream Magazine
Losing Today

Links

Zukanican's own website
Peripheral Anomaly (live photos)



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