Jazzy piano brought to the dancefloor.
I struggle with remix albums a lot of the time because they often lose the reason why I enjoy the source material. So it was with curiosity that I approached ‘GGP/RMX’ – the new remix album from GoGo Penguin. I’ve adored everything the new jazz trio has put out because the trio effortlessly flow together. My worry was that removing parts of the formula when handing songs over to producers might remove that element. Thankfully, I’m proven wrong.
Each track on the album has a different remixer and they all came at it from different perspectives. Cornelius for example takes ‘Kora’ and emboldens the piano into a more aggressive synth piano that leaves a trailblaze of synth sheen behind it over time. ‘Atomised’ gets a full on techno transformation via Machinedrum that morphs the acoustic instruments into a bitcrunched chains of beats and synths over time. Elsewhere ‘Embers’ gets a stunning embellishment of Japanese bells from Yosi Horikawa in what is probably my favourite track from the album. Each version is vast and different. You’ll detect original piano lines in each remix and sometimes the double bass too but they’ve been truly transformed.
‘F Maj’ gets two very different remixes. Rone creates a celestial filter heavy piano version whereas Squarepusher brings in acoustic guitar to replace the piano and a huge glitch heavy drum and bass backdrop. A few of the other remixes also focus on being dancefloor orientated too. My favourite of those is the gritty and determined ‘Petit a’ remix by Clark. Ambient and experimental synths play a part too. ‘Totem’ gets a pitch and loop bend heavy reimagining from James Holden that is an absolute trip. Portico Quartet also remix ‘Don’t Go’ which twists into a cinematic and cathartic drone of pulsing beats, keys and harps.
Whilst I probably won’t take any of these remixes over the originals, some of them are exceptionally well done. GoGo Penguin and the 11 remixers have somehow all made an album that largely flows as an entity and feels far more creative than a simple thumpa-thumpa. Good fun and perhaps a great way for electronica lovers to delve into some of the best new jazz made in recent years. In addition to the release of ‘GGP/RMX’, GoGo Penguin have also teamed up with Manchester brewers Cloudwater to make a beer or to be precise a remix of two of Cloudwater’s most iconic IPA’s called ‘IPA/RMX’, with all profits from the beer being donated to the world-renowned Manchester Cancer Charity, NHS Christie Charity. If you are making your way to a pub, it a whirl for me please! Cheers!
Recommended track: Atomised (Machinedrum Remix)
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