Petwo Evans' second release is an EP rooted in the pan-African rhythms that other Huntleys & Palmers artists have milled freely. Made on a remote farm in Wales with tumble dryers, water bottles and stone, the EP reconciles two distinct cultural spheres into clumpy rhythm tracks that sometimes recall a DIY take on the short-lived Congotronics series, whose contributors included Shackleton and Mark Ernestus. Petwo Evans' salvaged sounds lend x0x a sonic texture not unlike a rough wood carving: its imperfections are obvious, but they're also intrinsic to its character.
This is especially true of "St. Clear" and "x0x pt. 2." The percussion on the track hammers a thin but tough digital bassline into shape—it's a strangely compelling collision of modular high sheen and repurposed household objects. ("x0x pt. 1" adds a single-chord sequence over a similar beat.) The rhythms of "St. Clear" and the "x0x" pair are stretched out into more spacious plains elsewhere, but the mood still feels somewhat confined. The piano keys and marimba notes on "Ribbon" are bright, but they glow more like fluorescent strip lights than sunshine. "LOA" opens up a little more, but it contains another sort of ambiguity—it embosses its chilly atmospheres with call-and-response chants. The chorus sounds joyous, but it's not necessarily smiling.
TracklistA1 x0x pt. 1
B2 St. Clear
Digital Only: x0x pt. 2