Jazz guitarist turned producer Penji (AKA Aengus Hackett) hails from Galway, Ireland.
After spending many years honing his jazz chops in Amsterdam, Penji moved back to Ireland where he quickly established himself as one of the country’s leading jazz musicians.
Following several years of experimentation with electronica-influenced post-rock band Zinc, Penji has finally given into a lifelong passion for electronic music.
This passion is realised in Penji’s eponymous debut release. The four track EP showcases his ability not only as a guitarist but also an able beatmaker. Penji’s lush guitar playing, processed through a plethora of pedals, becomes another animal altogether. Wonky guitar melodies bend in and out of crisp beats and fat synths, to form a collage of downtempo compositions which instantly evoke the dreaminess of Boards of Canada.
Produced by Penji in his home studio, the EP was mastered by maestro engineer
Bob Macciochi of Subvert Central Mastering UK, who has worked with the likes of Lorn, Om Unit and DJ Shadow. Artwork and photos were created by long-time collaborator AMW Visual.
Press quotes on penji ep
” With Penji, you will experience feelings of calm, isolation, and hope all in a single song, but it never feels disjointed. All the instrumentation is a joy but the guitar is a particular highlight. Penji is a one-man band, and an exceptionally talented one at that. This release transcends hip hop, jazz, and more—it’s a perfect blending of all styles.
I can see this EP being sampled a lot in the future, it’s an outstanding collection of music. If you need something to help you relax, or simply want to enjoy well-crafted music, this is for you. It’s a flawless first release and one Penji should be proud of. I hope to see a lot more of him in the near future—the music scene is this man’s oyster. “
Chris Nulty, Headstuff, 12 June 2020 (read full review here)
“Adopting the name of Penji for his solo project, Hackett appears to have taken his most interesting musical digression…in the process (Penji) has created a groove-laden sound that is augmented by weighty beats, shimmering processed guitar and warm synths. These are songs to reward repeated listens as various elements seep up to the surface and reveal themselves..
With this EP, Penji has revealed a knack of merging the ecstatic with the downbeat.”
Don O’Mahony, The Journal of Music (read review here)
PRESS QUOTES on aengus hackett
” Guitarist/composer/teacher Aengus Hackett is fast becoming a pivotal figure of the
Irish jazz scene. “
Matt Micucci, Jazziz Magazine, USA 2019
(full feature here)
“ Aengus Hackett proved himself an ingenious accompanist as he weaved his licks through the complex guitar chords. When he moved into his solo his octave-licks were sharp, clear, like a featherweight’s knuckles.
…Berrill and Hackett skated tenor sax and guitar licks atop their surface. They seemed to be darting at one another rather than weaving themselves about each other, like two snakes squaring up for a battle. It was tense, different music, that turned the familiarity of Porter’s songbook into an unexplored sonic lexicon. At their best this quartet was thrilling.
…There were flashes of fire. As on “I Love You,” where he (Hackett) closed his solo with a chord run up the neck that shone like a seam of platinum. “
James Fleming, All About Jazz, 2019
(full review here)
“ The Salthouse gigs on the Saturday and Sunday of (Galway Jazz Festival) GJF ’16 were curated by guitarist Aengus Hackett, whose beautifully articulated solo on Miles Davis’ “All Blues” set the tone for the session. Ballads, blues, swing and Broadway hits from yesteryear—Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale” being a highlight—were played with an emotional nuance…“
Ian Patterson, All About Jazz, 2016
(full review here)