Championed by DJs from Mike Chadwick to Gilles Peterson and Jamie Cullum, it is GoGo Penguin’s skittering break-beats, telepathic interplay and a penchant for anthemic melody that contribute to a sound that’s wholly their own. Pianist Chris Illingworth’s yearning classical influenced melodies are filtered through the dance music energy of bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner. But there is no leader, no global set of rules. Each member receives inspiration, ideas and information from each other. Their instrumentation might be the archetypal piano trio but while the melodic, harmonic and structural ideas are influenced by both classical and jazz the rhythms are drawn from left field electronica and it’s this meeting of opposites that makes their unique acoustic-electronica sound so exciting and creates such an interesting and emotionally rich palate for the listener.
v2.0 is the opening salvo from the new GoGo Penguin. Nick Blacka (who played in an earlier trio with pianist Chris Illingworth) joined the band in late 2012 after founder member Grant Russell left to pursue other projects. He brought a new cohesiveness to the band’s sound and if their earlier breakthrough debut hit Fanfares offered a band prototype, then v2.0 is the wildly successful reboot. It’s the sound of a band increasingly comfortable in the sonic world they have created and a gloriously vibrant technicolor snap-shot of a band finding their own voice – as drawing on a heady brew of influences from Brian Eno, John Cage and Squarepusher to Manchester’s grey rain-streaked urban streets they create a brave new sound all their own.
|GoGo Penguin||Fanfares (CD, Album)||GONDCD008||2012|
|GoGo Penguin||v2.0 (CD, Album)||GONDCD009||2014|
|GoGo Penguin||v2.0 (LP, Album)||GONDLP009||2014|
“It’s obvious why the Manchester clubs are jumping to this band.” The Guardian
“A beautiful mixture of cyclical piano sounds and motifs with great grooves and great bass playing” Jamie Cullum BBC Radio 2
“Adventurous, accessible and melodic, further evidence of a burgeoning northern jazz scene” The Times
“On this showing, GoGo Penguin seem destined for great things” BBC Music
“Brilliant young piano trio” The Daily Telegraph
“Gogo Penguin create harmonically ambitious music that’s both immediately exciting and cerebrally led.” Mercury Prize