The Penguin Cafe Orchestra – A Brief History (2001) [Reissue 2003]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 77:12 minutes | Scans included | 3,11 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,46 GB
Genre: Electronic, Rock
The Penguin Cafe Orchestra (PCO) was a collective of performing musicians created by classically trained British guitarist, composer and arranger Simon Jeffes. The Penguin’s sound is not easily categorized, but has elements of exuberant folk music and a minimalist aesthetic occasionally reminiscent of composers such as Philip Glass. The Penguin Cafe Orchestra recorded and performed for 24 years until Jeffes died of a brain tumour in 1997.
If you are in any doubt as to who The Penguin Café Orchestra are, think back to that quirky tune on the One2One advert made up of telephone dial tones and jerky violin ? Yes, that’s them. Or more precisely, him; the Penguin Café Orchestra was founded in the mid 70s by one man, the late British composer Simon Jeffes, as a soundtrack for a fantasy café whose daily specials were the re-written laws of physics and music.
A former music student, Jeffes’ dream – which came to him during a bout of food poisoning in the early 70s – was to write and perform music which drew on styles and cultures all over the world. The PCO was the realisation of this dream, and A Brief History shows off the huge range of influences which shaped the PCO’s charmingly unique and eccentric sound. It’s all in there, chirpy Celtic folk tunes, minimalist drones, choral chants; and through it all, an almost hypnotic rhythmic repetitiveness which brings a dreamy, sleepy quality to even the livelier tunes.
Today, Jeffes’ music remains delightfully unclassifiable, whilst its accessibility makes it beloved of advertisers and Café del Mar chill-out album compilers alike. In the 70s however the PCO was radical, even revolutionary, catching the attention of Brian Eno who signed them to his Obscure label. Other evidence of Jeffes’ eclecticism; brought in as producer by Malcolm McLaren to raise Adam and the Ants from punk to pop and chart stardom; arranged the strings on Sid Vicious’ version of “My Way”. Need I say more?
A review cannot really do credit to this album. The PCO is a legend, and the music on A Brief History tells the story of an immensely creative and joyous force in music. Irrepressibly chirpy, irresistibly quirky and undeniably original, here is music to bring sunshine to a Sunday morning.
01. Bean Fields (Live)
02. Telephone And Rubber Band
03. Music For A Found Harmonium
04. Perpetuum Mobile
05. From The Colonies (Live)
06. Giles Farnaby’s Dream (Live)
07. Surface Tension
08. Air Danser
09. Yodel 1
10. Numbers 1 – 4
11. Steady State
12. Paul’s Dance
13. Prelude And Yodel (Live)
15. White Mischief