GoGo Penguin: GoGo Penguin (Blue Note) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, August 15th, 2020  

GoGo Penguin

GoGo Penguin

Blue Note

Jul 15, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

It has been wonderful to chart the development of UK trio Gogo Penguin over the last few years and their burgeoning partnership with the redoubtable Blue Note should bring them the worldwide audience their painstakingly crafted amalgam of the sound of the trad piano trio format with electronic textures deserves. 

This is the kind of jazz band that makes people who don’t like jazz like jazz. Take the album’s openers “1_#” and “Atomised” as prime examples. The former unfolds with a deceptively simplistic single note pattern augmented with disturbing electronics, while the latter is propelled by a powerful rhythm and some wonderful arpeggios from the piano. 

Throughout the record, the band show why this is a self-titled effort. It is the clearest artistic statement of the arsenal GoGo Penguin has at its disposal that has yet been shown to the listening public. “Kora” gives the impression that it wants to invite the listener to the crowded dance floor of a club with a powerful beat, whilst the distorted rhythms of the latter part of “Embers” shows just how broad the appeal of the band could be. Here is one of 2020s best jazz albums so far, sure, but here at the same time is one of the finest albums released this year across the board. (www.gogopenguin.co.uk)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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