Track: GoGo Penguin – ‘Totem’ (James Holden remix): expansive, swirling and hypnotic rerub paves the way for what’s sure to be the remixes album of the year

GoGoPenguin, photographed by Jon Shard and remixed by Chris Illingworth

WITH their deliciously tempting new remix album GGP/RMX out in a month’s time, GoGo Penguin are just keeping them comin’; following the deeply energised MachineDrum retake on “Atomised” and Squarepusher’s stealthily head-melting inversion of “F Major Pixie”, the Mancunian trio have just dropped the blissful dream of “Totem”, as overseen by James Holden. Come listen within.

GGP’s Nick Blacka says: “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.” 

James himself adds: “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.” 

You know, this is a beautiful meshing of aesthetics; James bringing his trademark scented exoticism to swirl and garland around the chordal core of the original, sending it off into expansive bliss.

GGP/RMX promises – and so delivers – on an idea the Manchester combo have been nurturing for years – to allow their songs out into the world and then into the hands of a selected roster of remixers to emerge anew.

And it’s their self-titled fifth that they’ve opened up for a diverse host of producers and musicians to spiral out into multifarious new forms.

As well the trio of artists mentioned above, Clark lends his trademark brooding complexity to “Petit_a”; hometown techno legend Graham Massey of 808 State brings his styles to “Signal In The Noise”, and new generation North-West talent Shunya lends elegant enigmatic moods on “To The Nth”;  wide-screen minimalists Portico Quartet bring down the curtain with an evocative, closing deconstruction of “Don’t Go”.

French producer Rone creates a beautifully reflective new version of that selfsame track Squarepusher wreaks his mighty work on; Tokyo’s spacey indie excursionist Cornelius brings the joy on his invigorating take on “Kora”; and Portico Quartet create an evocative closer with their poignant reconstruction of “Don’t Go”.  

There’s more, much more; looks like it’s so gonna be electric music for mind and body. My money’s on it being the remixes set of the year.

GoGo Penguin’s GGP/RMX will be released by Blue Note digitally, on CD and on vinyl on May 7th; pre-orders are being taken now.

Connect with GoGo Penguin at their website and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

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