It is now almost 20 years since Simon Jeffes passed away. The musical visionary and founding member of the celebrated avant-pop outfit Penguin Cafe Orchestra (PCO) died prematurely at the age of 48 on the 11th of December 1997. To mark the sad anniversary of his death the London-based independent record label Erased Tapes are about to re-issue the band’s final studio album, Union Cafe.
Speaking about the record, Arthur Jeffes, who has continued his father’s legacy under the name of Penguin Cafe, says:
“Union Cafe marked a move towards a definitive English pastoral sound combined with larger string arrangements set against longer solo piano pieces. With this last album they got even closer to the PCO idea of squaring the circle of intellectually challenging modern music that is still actually beautiful. For me this has always been a contender as my favourite PCO album, and the fact that it never ended up on vinyl was more to do with the way things were in the early 90s, and chance rather than it being deliberate. So in that sense this release is righting an old wrong. The slow development of the pieces means that you can really get lost in them and vinyl is of course the perfect way to do that.”
Union Cafe will be released on 1st December 2017 through Erased Tapes, including a vinyl edition for what will be the very first time.
Union Cafe can be pre-ordered HERE
Listen to key album track ‘Nothing Really Blue’: