GoGo Penguin is Back With a Beautiful Album – Ocean In A Drop

I know this blog has been quite heavy on classical music recently. I’ll promise I’ll try to increase the frequency of Jazz articles!

So, here we go.

GoGo Penguin

I only discovered GoGo Penguin some years ago. I was really on board they came out with their album Man Made Object, which remains my favorite album of the group until now.

I’ve also listed Man Made Object in My Top 5 Jazz Albums of 2016. I actually had noticed them with their previous 2014 album, V 2.0, which I also really liked. I also had the pleasure of seeing them live already

Therefore, I was quite disappointed when I just really didn’t particularly like their 2018 album A Humdrum Star.

Nicely enough, when their latest album came out yesterday, I was immediately hooked.

If you want to know more about the style of GoGo Penguin, click on any of the links above, but just to quickly summarise, we’re talking about the setup of a traditional Jazz piano trio here, but with music that clearly takes cues from EST, but is equally influenced by Philipp Glass type minimal music, and probably even more by the beats of contemporary Electronica.

GoGo Penguin: Ocean In A Drop (Music For Film) (BlueNote 2019)

GoGo Penguin Ocean In A Drop Music For A Film Blue Note 2019

So here’s the genesis of this album. Apparently the thee artists of GoGo Penguin,  Chris Illingworth, Nick Blacka, and Rob Turner, really liked the Philipp Glass written soundtrack to the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi.

They liked it so much that they played their own soundtrack to the film. Everything was recorded live while watching the movie.

Yes, this may remind you of another famous movie soundtrack that was recorded in a similar manner (which is a great album and should be discussed on these pages at some point), but I digress.

Miles Davis Ascenseur pour l'échafaud  soundtrack

This music was never intended to be released. Nicely though, enough people in their immediate entourage bugged them enough, so now we have a new fantastic album.

It is quite short, EP-style, only 22 min (and one could argue, a bit expensive for the duration), but the music is just fantastic, very inspired. We’re back to the mesmerising mix of fast rhythms and beautiful minimalist melodies that I so loved on Man Made Object.

You really need to check it out.

My rating: 5 stars

You can find it here (Qobuz)

Author: Musicophile

I'm not a professional musician, I don't work in the music industry, I'm just what the name says, somebody who loves music. I've been in love with music for all of my life, took piano lessons for nearly 10 years, and played in several amateur Jazz groups. I go to concerts, both classical and Jazz, quite regularly. And I collect music previously on vinyl and CDs, now on my computer, and am slightly OCD on my music collection. You can reach me at Musicophile1(AT)gmail.com

6 thoughts on “GoGo Penguin is Back With a Beautiful Album – Ocean In A Drop”

  1. I very much hope I like this better than the Glass original. 🙂 Not one of my favorites of his.

    I have liked past GoGo Penguin albums, so will have a listen.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right, I do, very much. I think it has to do with the instrumentation. The repetitious nature of Glass’s work was overwhelming, boring, irritating on the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack. Here it’s much quieter, meditative. A definite purchase!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you love the EP! I saw them live playing the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack live together with the movie, it was such a great experience! you can see that they’re really influenced by the themes presented in the film lately… humanity reflecting on itself and its place in the grander scheme of things… already relevant in A Humdrum Star, and now this album! My favorite track on it, Control Shift, comes in this frantic part of the movie about all the busy-ness and consumerism that modern people flock to, and the whole section actually lasts more than 15 minutes… so the album version is halved – less repetition of various passages. still, it has such a crazy drive (probably not a single bar played exactly the same as the previous one by the amazing drummer Rob) and transitions extremely well (in the same tempo basically) from the first track. you can read on their newest bio on their website that they’re going to be releasing a new album next year, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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