GoGo Penguin Releases New EP ‘Ocean in a Drop: Music for Film’

October 5, 2019
Yvonne Schmedemann

GoGo Penguin Releases New EP  Ocean in a Drop: Music for Film
Out now via Blue Note Records
US Tour Dates This Month Include Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Austin City Limits

UK-based trio GoGo Penguin (pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner) release their new EP Ocean in a Drop: Music for Film via Blue Note Records. So far the EP has been acclaimed by BrooklynVegan, Jazziz, WBGO, and EARMILK, who praised the band’s “reputation of producing groovy, jazz-tinged music with an astounding level of creative vitality.” 

The five tracks on Ocean in a Drop: Music for Film draw inspiration from GGP’s celebrated live soundtrack for Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 cult doc Koyaanisqatsi – the band has performed their original score for the film internationally, including a run of dates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, Paris, London and back home in Manchester – they’re also playing the Austin City Limits Music Festival this month. Ocean in a Drop: Music for Film follows GoGo Penguin’s critically acclaimed 2018 album A Humdrum Star.

The Washington Post called it “the group’s most hypnotic recording yet,” while NPR brought them in to perform three songs from the full-length for a Tiny Desk Concert. Different worlds have always collided in the sound of the trio; they conjure richly atmospheric music that draws from their shared love of electronica, their grounding in classical conservatoires and jazz ensembles alongside indie bands, and a merging of acoustic and electronic techniques. The band has an affinity for poetry, too — the EP’s title nods to a quote from 13th-century Sufi scholar Rumi: “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” 

The inspiration for the recording came from the audience response to their live performances of the original score. “People kept asking if we’d release the music as an album, but that didn’t feel right to us,” Chris explains. “The film has a great score already, but we really enjoyed the project and specifically writing music for film, so that provided the inspiration for Ocean in a Drop.”

The electrifying intensity of GGP’s live performance has translated to this record too. “Performing the soundtrack live is hugely demanding, both physically and mentally, and the recording was no different,” Chris continues. “We recorded the tracks together live like we have with our previous recordings, not overdubbing and layering individual parts together.” 

There is an immersive power within the finest detail of Ocean in a Drop, and an emotional resonance that lingers, even beyond the final note or frame. 


1. Time-Lapse City

2. Control Shift

3. Four Corners

4. Ocean in a Drop

5. Nessus 

Us Tour Dates:

October 6 –Austin City Limits, Austin, TX

October 8 – Regent Theatre, Los Angeles, CA **with the film Koyaanisqatsi**

October 10 – SFJAZZ, San Francisco, CA **with the film Koyaanisqatsi**

October 11 – SFJAZZ, San Francisco, CA

October 13 –Austin City Limits, Austin, TX

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