GoGo Penguin :: A Humdrum Star live

GoGo Penguin :: A Humdrum Star live

Johanna Samuels

Tue, May 8, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

$20

This event is all ages

GoGo Penguin
GoGo Penguin
It’s been an astonishing couple of years for Manchester based trio GoGo Penguin (drummer Rob Turner, double bassist Nick Blacka and pianist Chris Illingworth). Their trademark mash-up of minimalist piano themes, deeply propulsive bass lines and electronica-inspired drums has seen them shortlisted for the Mercury Prize and fuelled their exhilarating live shows from Manchester to Montreal and Paris to London. They’ve written and performed a new score for Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi and collaborated with noted choreographer Lynn Page for a Gilles Peterson-curated night at the Barbican. And in the midst of all this they’ve signed a multi-album deal with Blue Note Records, the most famous jazz label on earth. Their new album is called Man Made Object and it’s 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. “We’re recreating electronic music on acoustic instruments. It’s like a man-made object that has become humanised 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.” And it is that ability to synthesis the seemingly disparate influences of electronica, jazz and classical music into their own unique musical DNA that gives GoGo Penguin such an instantly recognisable and compelling sound. One that is set to reach an even wider audience with the release of Man Made Object on February 5 2016.
Johanna Samuels
Johanna Samuels
26-year-old Johanna Samuels broadens the definition of pop music. The melodically and lyrically focused singer-songwriter sings about the depths and dualities of life with her unique bell-like voice. Standing on the shoulders of the great musicians of the 1960’s and 70’s she manages to create a sound and sense of musical place that is completely her own. The native New Yorker grew up in Los Angeles, where from a young age she sang in school choirs and obsessively learned to play the songs of her musical heroes by ear.

After moving back to New York at the age of 18, Samuels began writing her own songs alone in her bedroom. Soon after, she was playing solo shows at small downtown music venues like East Village’s Sidewalk Café.

In 2012 she recorded and self-released a six-track EP, Giant Fantasy Life and assembled a 4-piece backing band. With her rapidly growing audience and her delightfully authentic performing style, she is one of most promising acts to spring from the New York independent music scene.

In early spring of 2012 she set out to record her first full-length album, titled Double Bind. After recording basic tracks with the band at a quilt factory-turned-studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Samuels and drummer Fen Ikner, who produced Double Bind, finished recording wherever they could get the chance.

The songs on Double Bind were written in Johanna’s apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and all share a sentiment of necessary separation or as Samuels puts it “…attempting to own myself and stand on my two feet.” She explains, “While recording the album, a good friend had described the term Double Bind: a dynamic wherein two emotional demands are met but consequently negate each other, leaving one person to feel trapped. For some reason that struck a deep chord in me. It is from that place that many of these songs grew.”

With her feet firmly planted, Johanna plans to stick around the only ways she knows how: earnestly pouring out her heart, soul and creativity in the form of ear candy for us all. Double Bind is expected for release July 2014.
Venue Information:
The Teragram Ballroom
1234 West 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90017
http://www.teragramballroom.com/