Watch List: GoGo Penguin Create An Atmosphere of Electro-Inspired Jazz That is Entirely Their Own
If BADBADNOTGOOD were the kids in jazz band that were busy swapping Nas and Tribe tapes in the middle of class, GoGo Penguin were the ones pushing up their glasses in effort to remain fastidious in their studies on Debussy and Gershwin.
Manchester, UK’s GoGo Penguin – a jazz trio in the most classicist sense (featuring piano, double bass, and drums) – have blazed trails throughout their relatively nascent career by maintaining an admirable candor in their approach towards music, bearing an attitude that exudes the notion, “homework first, play later.” Even contemporaries like Kamasi Washington, whose devotion and erudition in jazz led him to include a beautiful variation of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” movement from the Suite bergamasque on his 2015 album The Epic, don’t come off as “textbook” as this band does, despite paying direct homage to previous icons of the genre.
These guys are more concerned with taking yesterday’s tools and using them to build a niche that is entirely their own.
“Hopopono” Live at Barclaycard Mercury Prize Awards
“We’re recreating electronic music on acoustic instruments,” says pianist Chris Illingworth, in what could best be defined as GoGo Penguin’s mission statement. Their skittish and calculatedly break-beat dynamic attack at times echoes the haywire plinking of electronic artists such as Aphex Twin and SBTRKT, while refining the imitation with the more sophisticated leanings of the jazz genre. Man Made Object, the band’s third full-length release and first for legendary record label Blue Note as of February, features their unique acumen at play within these constructs. They are continuing to tour internationally throughout 2016 in support of the LP; so if you’re on the fence about attending, here’s another live video to whet your appetite.
“All Res” Live at Union Chapel