GoGo Penguin – Man Made Object

GoGo Penguin "Man Made Object"UK-based trio GoGo Penguin had a surprisingly fast start after their last album “V2.0”, touring the world’s clubs and festivals, fully using the momentum and finally landing a three-album deal with Blue Note Records. This is the first of those three albums and the jazz-meets-electronica moniker is only partly true I think. And the hype is a bit exaggerated I think. What Chris Illingworth (piano), Nick Blacka (bass), and Rob Turner (drums) come up with is a densely formatted trio music which might be based on electronic sounds, but the result of recreating electronics is two-fold. But mostly they really thrive on it, as can be heard via the drum-and-bass-like opener “All Res”.

“Many of the songs on this album started out as electronic compositions that I made on sequencing software like Logic or Ableton,” says drummer Turner. And so they tried to find a way of transforming those compositions into acoustic trio tracks. The melody which Chris is playing on “Unspeakable World” is coming across as pretty nervous and staccato-like. Actually, it would be interesting to listen to the original, electronic tracks. I can really imagine a tune like “Branches Break” getting a proper house or dub remix.

On many of the tracks, the trio works with breakbeats and offbeats and usually comes up with enjoyable melodies, even though I sometimes couldn’t help but make comparisons to some of those really odd and kitschy-sounding hybrids of classical and jazz which have flooded the market for a while and were really poor, to put it mildly. The track which probably comes closest to what I mean to say here is “Quiet Mind” which doesn’t really impress and is on that dangerous edge of becoming too syrupy and jangled. (“Initiate” comes pretty close).

I had much more fun with “Smarra” with its infectious bass line and several time changes and the kaleidoscopic, cinematic outline of the composition. I can’t listen to the album in its entirety, though. The danger is just too high of becoming too samey here but individual tracks really stand out. Except “Protest” which is getting pretty annoying towards the end with its repetitiveness.

GoGo Penguin are on an extensive European tour in support of their new album with the two shows in their hometown Manchester already sold out.

02/12 Norwich – Norwich Arts Centre

02/13 Coventry – Warwick Arts Centre

02/15 Paris – La Maroquinerie

02/16 Glasgow – Oran Mor

02/17 Aberdeen – The Lemon Tree

02/18 Gateshead – Sage

02/19 Leeds – The Wardrobe

02/20 Manchester – Band On The Wall

02/21 Manchester – Band On The Wall

02/23 Birmingham – The Glee Club

02/24 Bristol – The Lantern

02/25 London – Village Underground

03/08 Alès – Le Cratère

03/09 Boulogne Billancourt – Carre Belle Feuille

03/10 Luxemburg – Philharmonie

03/11 Rouen – Le 106

03/12 Lieusaint – Théatre-Sénart

03/15 Gap – Théatre la Passerelle

03/17 Velizy-Villacoublay – L’Onde Théatre Centre d’Art

03/18 Deauville – Théatre du Casino Barrière

03/19 Faches Thumesnil – Centre Musical les Arcades

03/22 Chalons en Champagne – La Comete Scene National

03/23 Nantes – Salle Paul Fort

03/25 Brussels – Ancienne Belgique

03/26 Utrecht – Tivoli Vredenburg

03/30 Sisli – Babylon Bomonti

04/02 Tokyo – Blue Note

04/03 Tokyo – Blue Note

04/06 Hamburg – Mojo

04/07 Berlin – Silent Green

04/08 Cologne – Clubbahnhof Ehrenfeld

04/09 Offenbach – Hafen 2

04/10 Munich – Ampere

04/21 San Francisco – Social Hall

04/24 Washington – The Hamilton

04/25 Philadelphia – Wolrd Cafe Live

04/26 Boston – Cafe 939

04/27 New York – Le Poisson Rouge

05/05 London – KOKO

05/07 Warsaw – Hybrydy







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