Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: A Humdrum Star

Read "A Humdrum Star" reviewed by Ian Patterson

In GoGo Penguin's universe distance is a particularly relative concept. From the beginning of its voyage the trio has orbited musical worlds seemingly light-years apart; jazz, classical, dance, electronica, game soundtracks and minimalism -all fall into GoGo Penguin's gravitational pull to create a singular sonic constellation. With A Humdrum Star (Blue Note Records, 2018), Chris Illingworth, Nick Blacka and Rob Turner adopt largely the same raw material that fostered v2.0 (Godwana Records, 2014) and Man Made Object (Blue Note Records, ...

INTERVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: Just Another Band From The Small Blue Planet

Read "GoGo Penguin: Just Another Band From The Small Blue Planet" reviewed by Ian Patterson

"Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star in a lost galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people." This somewhat gloomy prognosis might sound like a line straight from Douglas Adam's surrealistic comic novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Pan Books, 1979). In actual fact, it's a quotation by American astrophysicist Carl Sagan. Curiously, it provided the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: A Humdrum Star

Read "A Humdrum Star" reviewed by Geno Thackara

“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 GoGo Penguin's snappy-yet-offbeat name is a pretty good indicator of their personality--partly inspired by an actual penguin statue that lurked in the corner of their rehearsal space in the early days--but it seems the chameleon is turning ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: A Humdrum Star

Read "A Humdrum Star" reviewed by Phil Barnes

If 2016's Man Made Object, their first for Blue Note, was an exercise in consolidating past triumphs while signposting potential ways forward, then there can be no doubt that with A Humdrum Star GoGo Penguin have stepped into a version of that future. Ostensibly the title is a self-effacing reference to a Carl Sagan TV series “Cosmos," emphasising how small and insignificant our world is and by extension our own petty concerns are. The quote reads “We find that we ...

LIVE REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin at Out To Lunch

Read "GoGo Penguin at Out To Lunch" reviewed by Ian Patterson

GoGo Penguin Black Box / Out To Lunch Arts Festival jny:Belfast, N. Ireland January 19, 2018 GoGo Penguin's first gig of 2018 saw the Manchester trio return to Belfast's Black Box for the Out To Lunch festival --a month-long celebration of comedy, documentaries and the broadest spectrum of music imaginable--from opera, rock and folk to West African funk, and from rockabilly and blues to punk and Irish trad. Trying to squeeze GoGo Penguin into such ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2016

Read "Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by Geno Thackara

I always say it when recapping every year, and it's been truer than ever for me since I was fortunate to join All About Jazz at the start of 2016: there's always too much great stuff to take in. There are always too many albums we don't get around to during the year and too little time to properly dig into everything we do. Nonetheless, here are the jazz-related standouts out of everything that's managed to cross my desk (in ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: Man Made Object

Read "Man Made Object" reviewed by Geno Thackara

They're not your parents' kind of piano trio. Regardless of your age, they're not the obvious idea of yours either. In a milieu that's based on exploration or at least adaptability, GoGo Penguin is still more restless and exploratory than most; this UK outfit's brew of what they call “acoustic electronica" owes a debt to Brian Eno or the Orb as much as Bill Evans. The grooves can be based in the digital world's traditions of house, drum-and-bass or chill--not ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

GoGo Penguin: Man Made Object

Read "GoGo Penguin: Man Made Object" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Its stick or twist for GoGo Penguin as they release this, their Blue Note debut and the first of a reputed three album deal. Do they push ahead, expanding their palette of electronica seen through the prism of acoustic jazz, or retreat a tad in deference to their new paymasters by emphasising the more traditional jazz elements of their sound. Should we be concerned that the two years since their breakthrough v2.0 album suggest a creative block or difficulty coping ...

LIVE REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin at Riverbank Arts Centre

Read "GoGo Penguin at Riverbank Arts Centre" reviewed by Ian Patterson

GoGo Penguin Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge, Ireland October 31, 2015 With the Curragh Racecourse just a few furlongs away, Newbridge is more famous for horse racing than for its bridge that spans The Liffey. However, the independent Riverbank Arts Centre--just forty minutes from Dublin--is doing its bit to broaden the town's profile as, in addition to a great place for a flutter, a home to local, national and international arts. On this Halloween night, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

GoGo Penguin: v2.0

Read "GoGo Penguin: v2.0" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Dating the emergence of a cultural phenomenon such as house music in the UK is notoriously difficult. While the tabloid furore probably reached full force in 1988, most would accept that the rise occurred the year before with the first (acid house) 'summer of love.' By any reckoning a lot of time has passed since those days and it seems remarkable how few credible crossovers between jazz and dance music there have been since then. While the looseness of hip ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: v2.0

Read "v2.0" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

So what do we have here? An album by Manchester trio GoGo Penguin. The minimalist front cover gives nothing away, no band name, no album title. The somewhat prosaic title, v2.0 is actually rather more informative--for this is the band's second album, performed by its second lineup. Pianist Chris Illingworth and drummer Rob Turner both appeared on the band's debut, Fanfares (Gondwana Records, 2012). Nick Blacka joined them at the end of 2012, replacing original bassist Grant Russell.

ALBUM REVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: Fanfares

Read "Fanfares" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Jazz musicians are some of the most musically imaginative souls on the planet, but their imaginations often desert them when it's time to choose a band name. So thanks must go to whoever decided to name this group GoGo Penguin: it's a suitably imaginative name for a trio full of imaginative music. Three young men who met at the Royal Northern College Of Music in Manchester, with a sound that combines jazz, dance music, electronica and rock: that's Gogo Penguin. ...


Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.