Penguin Cafe are back with a lovingly produced 10th anniversary reissue of their debut album, titled A Matter of Life… 2021. Besides being completely remastered and pressed on vinyl for the very first time, the record also features a brand new 2021 recording of lead single Harry Piers, a song commemorating Arthur Jeffes’ late father and Penguin Cafe Orchestra founder Simon Jeffes.
A Matter of Life… 2021 is a chance for a classic example of the beauty that’s found in collaboration to reach fresh ears, and an opportunity to breathe new life into fan favourites. The album, performed by a mix of personalities — including Neil Codling of Suede and, on percussion, Cass Browne of Gorillaz — incorporates the aesthetics of the original PCO, seasoned into a confident and redefined style, maintaining that quintessentially English sound, but adding a fresh direction and a sense that they are evolving into something new and very much their own.
The cover artwork also received an update in the shape of a beautiful photograph taken by the UK photographer and long-time collaborator Alex Kozobolis, who was sent to visit Arthur in his second home in Tuscany. Raths’ concept for this was to not only reenact the original painting by Emily Young, but to express the generational change by putting Arthur and his daughter in place of the little boy and the emperor penguin figure that suggest father and son.
The remastered 10th anniversary edition of A Matter of Life… 2021 will be available digitally, on 12” vinyl and on CD from April 29, 2022.
Artwork by Studio Torsten Posselt
Portrait by Alex Kozobolis