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NEW ALBUM: GoGo Penguin - A Humdrum Star
#1
GOGO PENGUIN ~ A Humdrum Star

[Image: MI0004362039.jpg?partner=allrovi.com]

Track listing:
               
1.      Prayer
2.      Raven
3.      Bardo
4.      A Hundred Moons
5.      Strid
6.      Transient State
7.      Return to Text
8.      Reactor
9.      Window
 
Penguins again! GoGo Penguins this time – whatever they might be!! Another genre-bending offering from a young trio who I suspect have rushed in where angels (and sacred cows) fear to tread – crossing contemporary jazz with up-to-date electronica. Wiki says “Their music incorporates elements of electronica, trip-hop, jazz, rock and classical music.” So GoGo fits perfectly then – i.e. full of energy, vitality, or daring, and stylish, modern, or up-to-date – all this in strange contrast to the album title, but then how can a star be humdrum? Or is this one of those countless nameless bodies? Hmmmm. Lovely cover artwork. 

Personnel

Chris Illingworth – piano
Nick Blacka – bass
Rob Turner - drums

The album starts off with some quite heavy smooshy synthy sonics but there was something about it that said ‘keep listening, this is going to get interesting’, and it does. A nice little package IMHO, and this much I can say – the piano player is flippin’ good – reminds me of Rick Wakeman with those beautiful cascading notes, which as clichéd as it may sound, is exactly what they are. The bassist and drummer are not at all shabby either – quite the opposite. It’s an instrumental album guys – just so you know.

I’m also reminded of Giovanni Mirabassi and Eric Legnini and their trios, to a degree, except this lot have climbed right out of their boxes and are, I think, a lot more melodic than what one might expect from a traditional jazz ensemble, or even a more modern setup. There’s a little bit of repetition, in terms of the structure of their pieces, they fall in love with some of their riffs which creates some quite long looping passages, but really, it’s difficult to find fault with what they’ve put out which errs just enough on the dark side of chocolate box pretty to save it from being mundane.

I found it an uplifting listen; there’s skilled musicianship, a fair level of sophistication, texture and imagination, and I wouldn’t have been all that surprised to find them on the ECM label. I always listen and write my review before referring to any others, but I do look at others after the fact, out of curiosity. Sometimes I totally disagree with what they’ve said, which of course doesn’t necessarily make me right, but in this instance I was surprised and a little gratified that the AMG reviewer also mentioned ECM (and genre-bending – so much for originality, lol!).
 
If this was a record, I think I would have preferred side two – would be interesting to explore how the disappearance of ‘sides’ has impacted on album presentation and conceptualisation since the initial demise of vinyl, and in fact whether its resurgence has had any effect. Anyway – I digress! I like this.
 
The two tracks that are available in my country, “Bardo” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDLzlsf0McM
 
…. And “Window” – the final track and one of my favourites ….



"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
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#2
^Oooohhh – ok – this might be from whence that title was extracted … Smile
 
Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
 
- Carl Sagan
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
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#3
not really a fan of instrumental music but I listened to both tracks Ruby...
"window" wasn't too bad, but I preferred "bardo" for some reason....

I read their Wiki page, theyre often compared to Massive Attack and Brian Eno over there...
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