- 2 x LP
- Decca / Blue Note
A GoGo Penguin remix album feels like a natural progression, but in this group’s true spirit, it never sounds like a predictable move. Since their emergence a decade ago, the Manchester-based trio (pianist Chris Illingworth, drummer Rob Turner, and bassist Nick Blacka) have been internationally hailed as electrifying live performers, innovative soundtrack composers, and as a collective who channel electronic and club culture atmospheres as much as minimalist influences or jazz legacy.
GGP/RMX is a concept that the group have fostered for years; it comes to brilliant fruition as a vividly reimagination of their fifth album, and self-defining masterwork, GoGo Penguin. Each track from the album is reimagined as well as a mesmerising new version of the previously rare gem Petit_a (which was initially a Japan-only release before it emerged on GGP’s digital EP Live From Studio 2). The group have personally enlisted an array of the world’s sharpest artist-producers and remixers.
This is an album that extends the scope of GGP’s celebrated catalogue, which includes their Mercury Prize-nominated v2.0 (2014), Man Made Object (2016), A Humdrum Star (2018), 2019 EP Ocean In A Drop (Music For Film), and 2020’s inspirational GoGo Penguin.
GGP/RMX pays testimony to the transformative art of the remix; it also reflects GGP’s original musicianship and global scope, as well as firm bonds of friendship and respect, and glorious faith in creative adventures. The new visions on RMX feel intuitive, even symbiotic.
U.S. producer Machinedrum reconstructs the instrumental elements of Atomised into a lithe, irrepressible body music banger, which forms the first single release from GGP/RMX. French producer Rone creates a beautifully reflective new version of F Maj Pixie, before the same track is embraced and distinctly reshaped by Brit electronic/bassist maverick Squarepusher (with whose live band Shobaleader One GGP have shared festival stages), merging acoustic and tech elements to thrilling effect.
Excitingly expansive new takes also come from contemporary Brit talents Nathan Fake (on Open), James Holden (whose majestic remix of Totem has a cinematic quality), and Clark (lending a brooding, edgy energy to Petit_a). The febrile creative force of GGP’s native Manchester also remains in full effect, through mixes from original club pioneer Graham Massey (808 State) on the deliciously exhilarating Signal In The Noise, and new generation talent Shunya, who lends elegant enigmatic moods on To The Nth.
Tokyo music hero Cornelius opens the collection with his joyously invigorating take on Kora, and he pays homage to GGP’s Manchester heritage as well as his own rapport with the British city (which bore a formative influence on his own early Shibuya-kei work). Also from Japan, the innovative musician and sound designer Yosi Horikawa (acclaimed for his experimental field recordings as well as his electronic productions) presents a richly evocative mix of Embers. Finally, wide-screen minimalists Portico Quartet create an insistently evocative end-note with their poignant reconstruction of Don’t Go.
GGP/RMX repeatedly propels us towards the dancefloor, but it never just ends there; the music pulses and flows, transporting us into brand new realms.