I generally have a complete mistrust of any music that could be described as ’funky’ or ‘smooth’. In fact even typing the words gives my fingers the wobbles. Penguin Prison is my first ever exception to the rule. He boasts elements of both, so I should really find his outpourings utter DEATH. But somehow, I’m strangely drawn to him…
The New Yorker kicked off his alterna-pop career recently with a number of sizzling, Quincy Jones-inspired remixes (taking on tracks by Marina And The Diamonds, Erik Hassle and Golden Silvers). Word spread and soon Q-Tip and Mark Ronson were claiming to be fans. But let’s not hold that against him.
What makes this musician/producer stand head and shoulders above the tired electro-tinged pop lot is that he conjures up ‘dance music’ even an emotionally literate two left foot type can enjoy. And his tracks are as cleverly constructed as they are bop-able.
Take ‘Animal Animal’ his debut single proper; the track hits the Hot Chip spot bang-on by way of Jacko phrasing and even some ‘Rudebox’-era Robbie Williams synths. And then there’s infectious bonus offering ‘A Funny Thing’ which seems to boast a bit of a banjo riff. Mentalist.