remastered with new liner notes. a unique and strange record, even by the standards of the pan-musical penguin cafe orchesta, 'music from the penguin cafe' was originally released on brian eno's 'obscure' record label in the mid-seventies, by mail order only. the album is hard to describe, and very few retrospectives of the group's career (sadly, leader simon jeffes died in 1997) give this more than a passing mention, as it's almost beyond criticism - a totally self-contained universe of music, mixing primitive electronics, brian eno-style ambient, classical and folk to form a side-step into a timeless, alien environment. surreal and dreamlike, it has a very distinctive 'live' sound, with birdsong faintly audible in the background of some of the tracks. imagine michael nyman's wiggiest moments, as produced by brian eno's second assistant tape operator, and you're half-way there. after this (and the similar follow-up, 'penguin cafe orchestra') the penguin cafe orchestra settled down and become much more conservative - their later work is tuneful, folky, and much less experimental.