Hailing from Manchester in the United Kingdom, acoustic-electronica trio GoGo Penguin consists of pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka, and drummer Rob Turner. Drawing on a heady brew of influences from Brian Eno, John Cage, Massive Attack, and Aphex Twin to Manchester’s gray rain-streaked urban streets, they create a brave new sound that is wholly their own.
Defined by skittering breakbeats, powerful sub-bass, telepathic interplay, and a penchant for anthemic melody, they create an emotionally rich palate for the listener that has seen them hailed as the most exciting new band to emerge from the UK in years.
Their album v2.0 was named as Mercury Prize Album of the Year in 2014 and has won them a legion of fans across the world.
The GoGo Penguin sound draws on everything from dance-floor beats to discursive, improvisational arrangements that fit more readily under the jazz rubric. The mark of Esbjörn Svennson is in there, but so too Aphex Twin, Massive Attack, the Bad Plus, and Claude Debussy.
The piano-bass-drums trio GoGo Penguin bridges jazz, Minimalism and (even with acoustic instruments) the strategies of dance music, stacking up elaborate ostinatos and seeing how, with a little guidance, they can evolve.
—New York Times