XT

Palina’tufa

[Empty Editions; 2019]

Rating: 3/5

Palina’tufa opens with sounds that make me want to laugh out loud. “A,” or, eliciting the feeling of a few drafts gleefully torn up straight away. A poke at a giggle and haunting mumbles: a wiggle. Coo to yawn and tricks of some proverbial tongue, like saxophonist Seymour Wright’s. Words like floozy and knobbly. Loose comedy. Hunches bent all the way back, like the blithe boomery of percussionist Paul Abbott. Outcroppings sent forth from the depths of moving bodies and weird, previously unheard of stresses gurgling up from within.
So, what’s the rub? The club, of course. Instruments that speak by way of technical affectation. Somewhat ironically, past XT releases have mostly been documents of live performances, and it is with this album, recorded during a two-week-long studio residency in Hong Kong, that the duo worked to tease out the potentials of the recording studio relative to their sound. I say ironically as one of my main reactions to this record was a desire to see it performed live. To tick and thrash to it. Whip and mash with it. But this desire also makes sense, seeing as it was one of their goals to explore dance music’s forms and textures as a means toward a novel form of improvisational excess. A psychic success. And I want to feel that, consumingly, in a way that can’t be captured.

The studio allows them to elicit structural silliness. Awkward humor (that insufferable squeaking that repeats throughout “A”) made to be at

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