GoGo Penguin (UK)
Chris Illingworth – piano, Nick Blacka – double bass, Rub Turner – drums
Variable broken beats and a weakness for hymn-like melodies all contribute to the irreplaceable music of GoGo Penguin, a group seen as one of the most interesting to appear on the British scene in recent years.
With their melodic links and sophisticated harmonies GoGo Penguin is reminiscent of a typical piano trio working from jazz and the classic, but their rhythms are drawn rather from electronic music. It is exactly this meeting of opposites that have earned the group the label post-jazz. While critics hold endless discussions over the very existence of post-jazz as a subgenre, at the same time they agree that the acoustic-electronic sound of GoGo Penguin is exciting and creates attractive and emotionally charged music. It draws on the intoxicating effect of the influence of artists like Brian Eno, John Cage and Squarepusher, but also from the rain-washed grey streets of Manchester. Elements of rock and minimalism can be heard in it, as well as trip hop and other club dance music.
“If this is a “fashionable boom” then thank God for it. A literally palpable fascination with musical moods. A naturally stormy reaction to frenetic passages. I have the feeling that this sharing of emotion between the stage and the audience is true jazz, whether new, post, electronic or even on the hurdy-gurdy,” was the assessment of their previous performance by the journalist Tomáš S. Polívka. In short pianist Chris Illingworth, bass guitarist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner make music for heart, head and even legs. This is also shown by their most recent album A Humdrum Star issued by the prestigious record company Blue Note Records.