Penguin Cafe have announced their return, with a new album, The Imperfect Sea, arriving on May 5th through Erased Tapes. Arthur Jeffes started the ensemble in 2009, reviving and honouring the legacy of his late father’s Penguin Cafe Orchestra. The album takes its title from a saying by Simon Jeffes that “we wade in a sea of imperfections…”. Arthur explains:
“If there is a narrative to the album it’s coming to the acceptance of the imperfections in all aspects of life; moreover, the recognition that these imperfections and tiny randomnesses are in fact what make up the best parts”.
On The Imperfect Sea, Penguin Cafe delve into newer territories, offering a dance record played with acoustic instruments.
“For this album I wanted to effect a departure from where we’d been up to now. The idea was to create a musical world that would feel familiar to an audience more used to dance records but stay true to our own values. So we replaced electronic layers with real instruments: pads with real string sections, synths with heavily-effected pianos, and atmospheric analogue drones with real feedback loops ringing through a stone and a piano soundboard.”
Made up of mostly originals, the album also features covers of electronic works by Simian Mobile Disco and Kraftwerk, as well as a re-working of Simon’s ‘Now Nothing’.
The wonderful news comes paired with the first taste from the album, the magnificent ‘Cantorum’. Here it is.