Tuesday, September 04, 2007

362. Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Music From The Penguin Cafe (1976)

Track Listing

1. Penguin Cafe Single
2. From The Colonies (Zopf)
3. In A Sydney Motel (Zopf)
4. Surface Tension (Where The Trees Meet The Sky) (Zopf)
5. Milk (Zopf)
6. Coronation (Zopf)
7. Giles Farnaby's Dream (Zopf)
8. Pigtail (Zopf)
9. The Sound Of Someone You Love Who's Going Away And It Doesn't Matter
10. Hugebaby
11. Chartered Flight


Finally we are getting some amazing albums, after yesterday's Parliament we get today's Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Yes, it is considerably more obscure (the record labe it was first put out on was Brian Eno's Obscure) but it is in no way worse.

This is something novel, I don't really know how to categorise it, some might call it ambient music, or neo-chamber music or something. The album actually surpases categorisation, it can sound like music form the 20's, like the Paris Hot Club with Stephane Grappeli and Django Reinhardt or it can sound like classical chamber music, or like indie music, but it all comes together perfectly.

Few albums are able to be at the same time so varied and so amazingly consistent, there is a pervasive feeling of optimist melancholy throughout the whole thing and towards the end it starts getting more serious while also being more beautiful.This is truly beautiful music which deserves to be much more famous than it actually is. So spread the word! Testify brothers and sisters!

Track Highlights

1. The Sound Of Someone You Love Who's Going Away And It Doesn't Matter
2. In A Sydney Motel
3. Coronation
4. Penguin Cafe Single

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The line-up for much of the album consisted of the original Penguin Cafe Quartet: Simon Jeffes (electric guitar), Helen Leibmann (Cello), Steve Nye (electric piano), and Gavyn Wright (violin). The piece entitled "Zopf", which consists of seven individual "movements", had a slightly different line-up, which included the members of the quartet as well as Neil Rennie (ukelele), and Emily Young (vocals).

The executive producer for the album was Brian Eno, who released this album under his experimental E.G. Records label, with this particular issue coming under the "Obscure" sub-label as "Obscure 7". The cover painting was by Emily Young.

Nothing from this album on Youtube so you get Music For a Found Harmonium, it'll give you a gist of it:


Anonymous said...

A fantastic and fascinating album. I don't think there is anything even remotely like the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. However, I always feel slightly self conscious when I put it on and there are other people around, especially if I don't know them that well. A bit...well...you know...arty farty :D

Francisco Silva said...


Oh, but you have to assume your music snobbery in all its glory! If they don't like it it just means they are inferior beings to yourself, no need for self-censorship.