After being shortlisted for the 2014 Mercury Prize for their album v2.0, GoGo Penguin is set to make their Blue Note Records debut with the February 5 release of Man Made Object, an album that finds the band taking their mash-up of minimalist piano themes, deeply propulsive bass lines and electronica-inspired drums to new heights. While they draw on a heady brew of influences including Brian Eno, John Cage, Massive Attack and Aphex Twin, Man Made Object is the sound of a band confidently pursuing their own path.
“The title is partly inspired by my fascination with ideas of robotics, transhumanism and human augmentation,” says pianist Illingworth, a statement that begs for elaboration. “We’re recreating electronic music on acoustic instruments. It’s like a man-made object that has become humanized and it seemed like a good album title, one that also means something different to each of us, and hopefully to each listener.”
Indeed, although they're predominately an acoustic piano trio, GoGo Penguin’s music draws from many areas of contemporary electronic music, one where you can hear arcade game bleeps, glitchy breakbeats, hypnotic Aphex-style melodies, grinding bass lines and a rumbling low-end. It has been described as “acoustic electronica”, a term which perfectly sums up their modus operandi. “Many of the songs on this album started out as electronic compositions that I made on sequencing software like Logic or Ableton,” says drummer Turner. “I’ll then play it to the band and we’ll find ways of replicating it acoustically.”