GO GO PENGUIN - GGP/RMX - LTD 2xLP - CLEAR VINYL - BLUE NOTE
*** INDIES ONLY ***
When a musical ensemble chooses to self-title an album mid-career, it usually signifies their conviction that they've struck upon the motherlode, hit the jackpot, stepped up and generally arrived at a point they've always striven for but never quite attained before.
Coming from GoGo Penguin at this stage in the game, it's quite a bold statement: the instrumental trio from Manchester, England have fielded plaudits and rave reviews for inspiration and originality at every turn since 2013, when they settled on their dream line-up of Chris Illingworth (piano), Rob Turner (drums) and Nick Blacka (bass). Fusing jazz, classical and electronic influences (amongst others) with a thirst for innovation, they've been garlanded as makers of one of the Mercury Prize album of the year (in '14) and have enjoyed success on record and in the live arena matched by precious few vocal-free groups post-millennium.
"Often when you've made a record, you don't wanna go back and listen to it for a while," confesses Illingworth, "but with this new one we're all really excited to hear it. Speaking personally, what I've been able to do on the piano - it's the sort of thing I've been trying to get towards, in what I can physically play and what I can do to express who I am. And I know that the other guys take the same pride themselves in what they've contributed. We've all found our place, we've all got that confidence of being able to say, 'This is how I want to play my instrument, and this is how we want to play as a band - that thing we've always been aiming for.'"
Says drummer Rob, "In the past, we'd have to get in the studio and finish the album in what felt like three days. This time we had six months of writing, and two weeks of recording, so everyone had a lot more time to contribute to each track. There was more experimentation, trying things out and often throwing them away.
"As a result, the album is more sophisticated. We had quite simple lives in the past. We were younger, so there wasn't so much drama, and there hadn't been so many important events in our lives that fed into the music. This time, there's a lot more facing the realities of becoming older, and mortality, and watching people that you care about being very close to death. At the same time, Chris became a dad. The longer you live, the more complicated your reality becomes, so we felt our music had to reflect that."
- CLEAR TRANSPARENT VINYL