XT - Palina'tufa
"Empty Editions presents Palina'tufa, the newest work from saxophonist Seymour Wright and percussionist Paul Abbott's long-running duo XT. Wright and Abbot's respective practices have been marked by a simultaneous engagement (with) and desire to challenge the limitations (of) the British tradition of improvised music -- represented by groups such as AMM and John Stevens's Spontaneous Music Ensemble. This album charts a new trajectory for Wright and Abbott, as they draw on recent live collaborations with RP Boo and Container in developing a sound which hybridizes the spontaneous interplay and timbral experimentation of free improvisation with the recursive formal structures of dance music. The album's title is an enigmatic portmanteau of "Palina" (taken from the name of a species of butterfly sighted by the duo during recording) combined with the word "Tufa" -- a type of rock composed of ash ejected from a vent during a volcanic eruption; the bedrock of the island of Hong Kong. Compellingly, the green sheen of the Palinurus butterfly is not produced by pigments, but emanates from the microstructure of its wing scales. Similarly, XT's Palina'tufa contains a brilliant internal logic of stacked component parts all amalgamated into a singularly iridescent instrumental structure. Recorded during a two-week studio residency in Hong Kong, Palina'tufa departs from XT's previous albums -- primarily documentations of live performances -- in its embrace of the recording studio as a form of instrumentation: a tool to sculpt, overdub, and (re)assemble their chimeric sounds. The result is a striking cybernetic version of the classic sax-and-drums duo pioneered by legendary groupings such as John Coltrane and Rashied Ali, Evan Parker and Paul Lytton, and Jimmy Lyons and Andrew Cyrille. Wright's unconventional use of feedback and Abbott's heavily deconstructed electro-dance textures expand upon this simulated space, unfurling their instrumentation into an authentically liberated territory. Across four dynamic fifteen-minute cuts, the duo craft an esoteric response to the real (and imagined) landscape(s) of Hong Kong. Interpreting their experience of the island as a kind of extended metaphor, Palina'tufa translates chance encounters, pockets of cultural history, vernacular architecture, and local wildlife (among other phenomena) into organizing principles for the creation of speculative music. Palina'tufa is a brilliant showcase of Wright and Abbott's composite sound: naturally synergistic, with careful attention paid to how psycho-geographical experience is transposed into the deeply considered interplay of their respective instruments. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. Featuring artwork by Ikebana artist Kosen Ohtsubo. 180 gram vinyl; edition of 300." - Empty Editions .
- Regular price $41.00