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.
Manchester instrumental trio GoGo Penguin have shared the James Holden remix of “Totem” taken from their new remix album, GGP/RMX. Set for release on May 7, the new collection will be issued through the legendary Blue Note Records.
Of the James Holden remix of “Totem”, GoGo Penguin’s Nick Blacka said, “James Holden creates a beautiful, reflective soundscape for this track. We love it when another artist takes your music and hears something in it and a way of interpreting it that you wouldn’t necessarily have heard yourself. Totem is a great example of this because it’s pretty far from the original track’s intensity but the spirit of the original remains intact.” You can check Holden’s remix out below.
James Holden added, “”I loved the piano chords that make the core of this song and knew instantly that I wanted to try to make them into a giant monolith – austerely restating their circular melody while my synth dances around them.”
GGP/RMX is a concept that the group have fostered for years. It comes to brilliant fruition as a vivid reimagination of their fifth album, and self-defining masterwork, the eponymous GoGo Penguin, released through Decca Records France in 2020. 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’). GGP/RMX repeatedly propels the listener towards the dancefloor, but it never just ends there; the music pulses and flows, transporting them into brand new realms.
The group have personally enlisted an array of the world’s sharpest artist-producers and remixers including Squarepusher, Clark, James Holden, Nathan Fake, 808 State, Portico Quartet, Cornelius and more and conceived this work at Blue Note Lab, extending the 21st-century legacy of the legendary jazz label.
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.
1. Kora (Cornelius Remix)
2. Atomised (Machinedrum Remix)
3. Embers (Yosi Horikawa Remix)
4. F Major Pixie (Rone Remix)
5. F Major Pixie (Squarepusher Remix)
6. Open (Nathan Fake Remix)
7. Signal in the Noise (808 State Remix)
8. Totem (James Holden Remix)
9. To the Nth (Shunya Remix)
10. Petit_a (Clark Remix)
11. Don’t Go (Portico Quartet Remix)