One of the most complex and exciting avant-garde rock groups from the Netherlands, Palinckx, the creature of brothers Jacques and Bert Palinckx, is also very frustrating to follow. The group has gone from a post-psychedelic Zappa-fied ensemble to an avant-punk quartet, puzzling fans on every album or tour, especially since the mid-'90s.
Bert and Jacques Palinckx formed the group Palinckx & Palinckx circa 1983 in Tillburg, Netherlands. Their activities remained sparse and chaotic until the early '90s. At that time, they formed the label Vonk and started to record their projects. The name of the band was reduced to Palinckx and the lineup stabilized around Jacques Palinckx (guitar), Bert Palinckx (double bass), Joost Buis (trombone), and Jim Meneses (drums, ex-Stick Men and Zero Pop). Keyboardist Cor Fuhler joined in 1994 and the group's vision crystallized and was exposed in three key albums: The Naked Girls From Tilburg (1994), The Psychedelic Years (1996), and Border: Live in Zürich (1996). Built on quotations, the group's compositions are a patchwork of good and bad music, drawing from soul, disco, psychedelic rock, German electronic, and TV themes (Star Trek being a favorite); all this is tied together by a rock frame both highly complex and free, at the crossroads of Frank Zappa and Henry Cow.
In late 1996, both Buis and Fuhler left the group to pursue careers in free improv. Singer Han Buhrs, who appeared as a guest on The Psychedelic Years, became a full-time member and Palinckx took a turn toward avant-punk song, now closer to the Ex than the Mothers of Invention. This lineup recorded It's Frontal Dog, the band's first release out of Europe, in 1998. Meneses also left shortly after and the group was put on hiatus.
In 2000, the Palinckx brothers recruited classic pianist Daan Vandewall, DJ Do Not Ask, and the ubiquitous drummer Chris Cutler to form the project Pa.linck.xl (as in Palinckx extra-large). ~ François Couture