Penguin Cafe – The Red Book
The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, has been reborn and reformed under the leadership of Arthur Jeffes (son of their founder) in a new incarnation, and dropped the Orchestra bit.
It was primarily due to an overwhelming demand to hear some more from them, and this is just as fascinating as anything they produced in their 30 year history. The over arching philosophy is still one of mixing diverse musical styles to create something unusual, while all the time playing in a modern classical framework. Their appeal is broad, and encompasses fans of folk, modern classical and what, for want of a better term is widely referred to as ‘world music’. There are some gems here, and, like most good albums, with repeated listens, my favourite track changes the more I listen. There is a vague space theme here, with a couple of tracks evolving from a NASA sponsored project where music was ultimately beamed into space for anyone listening to pick up! Quite what they’ll think of this is anyone’s guess, but if it was me I’d soon reach the conclusion that the creatures of earth know how to produce music of endless fascination, and which should be heard by anyone with ears to listen (assuming aliens have ears, that is).
7/10 Mark Perkins