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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 4, 2019 | Blue Note

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Released in 1982, Godfrey Reggio’s documentary Koyaanisqatsi has become a cult classic partly thanks to its famous soundtrack by Philip Glass. Both the work and the composer have hugely influenced pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner, to the point that in 2015 the British trio devised their own score for Reggio’s film, which they performed exclusively on stage around the world. That project was the starting point for Ocean In A Drop: Music For Film, a five-track EP that draws from their live compositions for Koyaanisqatsi. At the start, Illingworth had no intention of recording this soundtrack. “People kept asking if we’d release the music as an album, but that didn’t feel right to us. The film has a great score already, but we really enjoyed the project and specifically writing music for film, so that provided the inspiration for Ocean In A Drop. Performing the soundtrack live is hugely demanding, both physically and mentally, and the recording was no different. We recorded the tracks together live like we have with our previous recordings, not overdubbing and layering individual parts together.” The influences from Philip Glass, which are already an integral part of GoGo Penguin’s DNA, are multiplied tenfold here, yet they never suffocate the improvisations or the lyrical and atmospheric melodies found throughout these five beautifully stirring tracks. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 4, 2019 | Blue Note

Jazz - Released October 20, 2014 | Gondwana Records

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Jazz - Released September 2, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released November 19, 2012 | Gondwana Records

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Jazz - Released February 9, 2018 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Go Go Penguin's genre-bending, EDM-influenced brand of jazz has earned the Manchester-based trio plaudits, including being shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2014. The band's fourth studio album, and second for Blue Note, 2018's atmospheric A Humdrum Star, finds them delving even deeper into an electronic-influenced sound that favors texture and mood over standards or jazz-based elements. Once again featured are bassist Nick Blacka, pianist Chris Illingworth, and drummer Rob Turner. Working with producers Joe Reiser and Brendan Williams, the trio offers a set of original compositions rife with skittering breakbeats, roiling piano melodies, and warm acoustic bass grooves. It's a style that seems informed as much by the computer-based production of Four Tet, and Amon Tobin as the hypnotic classical compositions of Philip Glass and the '70s jazz of Keith Jarrett. To achieve this cross-pollinated aesthetic, the band purportedly balance their compositional process between writing songs on their instruments and utilizing electronic production programs that they then translate to live instrumentation. As a result, these songs have the wave-like flow of electronic dance tracks but with the expansive, acoustic atmosphere of classic ECM recordings. ~ Matt Collar

Jazz - Released March 17, 2014 | Gondwana Records

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Jazz - Released February 5, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Coming off their sophomore effort, 2014's Barclaycard Mercury Prize-shortlisted V2.0, GoGo Penguin return with their equally ambitious 2016 follow-up, Man Made Object. A jazz trio at their core, Britain's GoGo Penguin have garnered well-earned plaudits for their distinctive, genre-bending sound that combines elements of forward-thinking post-bop with stylistic elements borrowed from indie rock and electronic dance music -- all without the aid of any actual electronic instrumentation. Showcased in GoGo Penguin are the talents of pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka, and drummer Rob Turner. Together on Man Made Object, they perform wholly original compositions that straddle the line between group improvisations and well-constructed thematic compositions. Cuts like "All Res," "Branches Break," and the driving, punky "Smarra," all have the signifiers of jazz (sophisticated harmonies, kinetic rhythms, and an introverted, exploratory energy), but play out more like an adventurous Radiohead track, or the soundtrack music to a '70s heist film. The results bring to mind the work of similarly inclined artists like pianist Brad Mehldau and groups like the Bad Plus and Medeski, Martin & Wood. There's also a ruminative, impressionistic vibe running through much of the material on Man Made Object that positions GoGo Penguin at the vanguard of the new British jazz movement alongside the likes of trumpeter Matthew Halsall and bassist Jasper Hoiby's trio Phronesis. Comparisons aside, what sets GoGo Penguin apart from their contemporaries is their inventive group interplay and knack for dramatic arranging. Often, Illingworth will set up a pattern on piano, like the spritely, dancing intro to "Unspeakable Word," and Blacka and Turner will join in, answering his pattern with their own contrapuntal footwork. Just as you think the trio are going to lock up legs and topple over, they fall into a gorgeous minor-key stride and dissipate into a sweepingly ominous mid-song bass solo. Ultimately, it's these moments of dazzling group dynamics that help make Man Made Object a jazz-infused work of art on GoGo Penguin's own terms. ~ Matt Collar
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Jazz - Released December 4, 2015 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released September 2, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released February 9, 2018 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released February 5, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released December 8, 2017 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released January 12, 2018 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released February 2, 2018 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released February 5, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Coming off their sophomore effort, 2014's Barclaycard Mercury Prize-shortlisted V2.0, GoGo Penguin return with their equally ambitious 2016 follow-up, Man Made Object. A jazz trio at their core, Britain's GoGo Penguin have garnered well-earned plaudits for their distinctive, genre-bending sound that combines elements of forward-thinking post-bop with stylistic elements borrowed from indie rock and electronic dance music -- all without the aid of any actual electronic instrumentation. Showcased in GoGo Penguin are the talents of pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka, and drummer Rob Turner. Together on Man Made Object, they perform wholly original compositions that straddle the line between group improvisations and well-constructed thematic compositions. Cuts like "All Res," "Branches Break," and the driving, punky "Smarra," all have the signifiers of jazz (sophisticated harmonies, kinetic rhythms, and an introverted, exploratory energy), but play out more like an adventurous Radiohead track, or the soundtrack music to a '70s heist film. The results bring to mind the work of similarly inclined artists like pianist Brad Mehldau and groups like the Bad Plus and Medeski, Martin & Wood. There's also a ruminative, impressionistic vibe running through much of the material on Man Made Object that positions GoGo Penguin at the vanguard of the new British jazz movement alongside the likes of trumpeter Matthew Halsall and bassist Jasper Hoiby's trio Phronesis. Comparisons aside, what sets GoGo Penguin apart from their contemporaries is their inventive group interplay and knack for dramatic arranging. Often, Illingworth will set up a pattern on piano, like the spritely, dancing intro to "Unspeakable Word," and Blacka and Turner will join in, answering his pattern with their own contrapuntal footwork. Just as you think the trio are going to lock up legs and topple over, they fall into a gorgeous minor-key stride and dissipate into a sweepingly ominous mid-song bass solo. Ultimately, it's these moments of dazzling group dynamics that help make Man Made Object a jazz-infused work of art on GoGo Penguin's own terms. ~ Matt Collar
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Jazz - Released February 5, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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