Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

16

GoGo Penguin: v2.0

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Combining strong melodies with confident, powerful rhythm playing, GoGo Penguin creates exceptionally strong performances. Gathering their influences from trip-hop, rock, classical music and jazz, the three players retain an emphasis on acoustic instrumentation, infusing their playing with an energetic joy.

"Murmuration" builds slowly from Turner's drum beats and reaches its maximum intensity through Blacka's increasingly frantic arco bass. GoGo Penguin's harder edge shines through on "Garden Dog Barbecue"—driving rhythms from all three players give it a real power. "One Percent" lacks the strong melodic line that can be found in most of the other tunes. However, it showcases the bands impressive ability with short, sharp, rhythmic twists and turns.

"Kamaloka" combines the beauty of "Murmuration" with the drive of "Garden Dog Barbecue." The result is one of the album's most immediately satisfying tunes. Illingworth's beautiful piano melody would seem to demand a laid-back and low key backing from Blacka and Turner. Mostly it gets the opposite, Turner in particular laying down a muscular, scattergun, percussion pattern. It works, the bass and drums serving to highlight rather than overwhelm the beauty of the piano. It's an approach that also bears fruit on "Fort" and "To Drown In You."

Apparently, "The Letter" was recorded "totally in the dark." Whether this was a deliberate strategy, or just a pragmatic response to a lack of coins for the electricity meter isn't made clear. Whatever the reason, the resulting tune does have a certain darkness and mystery to it. "Shock And Awe" reprises that darker emotional quality. The most spacious tune on v2.0, the most overtly classical in style, it's a standout track.

v2.0 is the sound of a band moving forward—not in leaps and bounds, but in small steps. There's really no need to jump headlong into the unknown when the foundations set down on Fanfares were so strong. v2.0 builds on those foundations with style, further establishing GoGo Penguin as one of the most exciting young bands on the contemporary scene.

Track Listing: Murmuration; Garden Dog Barbecue; Kamaloka; Fort; One Percent; Home; The Letter; To Drown In You; Shock And Awe; Hopopono.

Personnel: Chris Illingworth: piano; Nick Blacka: bass; Rob Turner: drums.

Title: v2.0 | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Gondwana Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Live Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles
A Humdrum Star

A Humdrum Star

Blue Note Records
2018

buy
Man Made Object

Man Made Object

Blue Note Records
2017

buy
Man Made Object

Man Made Object

Blue Note Records
2016

buy
GoGo Penguin: Man Made Object

GoGo Penguin: Man...

Blue Note Records
2016

buy
GoGo Penguin: v2.0

GoGo Penguin: v2.0

Gondwana Records
2014

buy
v2.0

v2.0

Gondwana Records
2014

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr5Fri
GoGo Penguin
Sono Centrum
Brno, Czechia
Apr10Wed
GoGo Penguin
Müpa Budapest
Budapest, Hungary

Related Articles

Read Our Story Album Reviews
Our Story
By Troy Dostert
March 25, 2019
Read Influences Album Reviews
Influences
By Don Phipps
March 25, 2019
Read The Transitory Poems Album Reviews
The Transitory Poems
By Mark Corroto
March 25, 2019
Read Birckhead Album Reviews
Birckhead
By Mike Jurkovic
March 25, 2019
Read Live At Moods Album Reviews
Live At Moods
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 25, 2019
Read Live at Frankie's Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at Frankie's Jazz Club
By Jack Bowers
March 24, 2019
Read Asperger Album Reviews
Asperger
By Don Phipps
March 24, 2019