In December 2010 Penguin Café front-man Arthur Jeffes began to do some solo piano concerts which came alongside the continuing Penguin Cafe story. For Arthur, the solo piano was a way to explore his sometimes more post-minimalist ideas outside the framework of Penguin Cafe’s older and more established sound without endangering the balance of its delicate and unique history.
The often mathematically intricate and precise rhythms thrown against warm and emotive melody are the point. It allows for a direct intensity that can apply to any aspect of life. Taking Philip Glass, Wim Mertens and Simon Jeffes’ work into account, Arthur has been working since then on an idea of transparent music that can be both intellectually satisfying and quietly touching. This is a music which, because of its origin, can work happily under any number of names; classical, minimalist, chamber, or electronica.
The last track on the new Penguin Cafe album, Coriolis, was the first time Jeffes had recorded something in this vein. Playing violin with him was Oli Langford, who is the other half of Sundog. Sundog is a place where Arthur’s imagination can run wild – whether creating beautiful themes or playing with the old technology of the Fender Rhodes or the even older technology of the dulcitone – he takes strange routes to create gorgeous music. Sundog’s debut album, Insofar, is released on Monday 3 September. For now listen to his new EP Insofar/Side 1.
After he plays Japan later this month, Arthur takes Sundog to the Lichfield, Harrogate and Chester Festivals in July, then plays the Vortex in London before creating a special Sundog collaboration for BT River of Music with The Barons of Tang, a wild Australian band he met while playing Adelaide a few months ago.
Light on Stone, from Sundog’s Insofar/Side 1 http://soundcloud.com/seriouslive/sundog-light-on-stone
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