My album listening method seems to veer between one of two extremes. Either rinse an album for a week with repeated listens until I know every song off the top of my head, key changes and all or gradually build up over a number on months with the occasional listen. A slower burner if you will. Is the first obsessive?! Probably but it does seem to give me this annoying trait of making me rave about an album to everyone I meet. And when I find one that resonates, Gold Panda, aka London based Producer and Musician Derwin is certainly one, I do go on about it!
Dance music is a strange beast for me. When I first started listening to music it was largely Ibiza Annuals and Cream compilations that packed out my CD collection. I’m not sure what attracted me but the strings and lush female vocals caught on and I spent many afternoons with my newly acquired Technics CD player (I still don’t know how I managed to put my finger through one of the speaker cones). Tastes changed but the world of dance as diverse as it is has really started to catch up with me.
Not always the same albums of my youth I revisit but with the insurgence of another sub genre of sorts in intelligent dance music there’s always something that’ll draw me back to this arena. Gold Panda has his own take with layers upon layers of samples creating a dense, yet airy and uplifting vibe on his debut LP ‘Lucky Shiner.
The eastern influence is immediately clear. No surprise given Derwin’s time in Japan and love of the beautifully tranquil music that emanates from certain regions and its use here is sublime. Take Same Dream China with it’s music box-esque intro, hazy touches and reverb laden strings. The percussion added fits perfectly and here we have an album where the majority of tracks build on Quitters Raga, the single that started the ball rolling and featured as Pitchfork’s 72nd best song of last year.
From the strained, delayed synths of ‘Snow and Taxis’ to the jittery rhythms of ‘Before we Talked’ the middle of the albums loses no momentum at all. Marriage reminds me what it was about dance music that got me caught in the first place followed by the most touching song on the album ‘I’m with you but I’m lonely’. A tale of losing a connection with someone you’re in love with it’s a slow builder with a crushing, melancholic quality.
By time the crashing beats at the end of India Lately and the strained strings and vocals of the second version of You have finished your left with a sense of the possible. This record is uplifting, a weight from your shoulders on listening and a cohesive whole where every hook has something to it. The bonus tracks are a great addition especially ‘Casio Daisy’ with it’s glass like hits and restive melodies.
This record is incredibly accomplished and whilst the samples still have that unmistakably warm vinyl sample sound the sonic development of Gold Panda from his first EP at the start of the last year is impressive to say the least. This may well be my album of the year. And the best bit. Despite exhaustive listening it still has pride of place in my CD Player!
Thanks to everybody who bought Blackbird Blackbird on 7” and recently Seapony’s ‘Dreaming’ on 7”
Both singles are now SOLD OUT with us.
News of what’s next for us shortly!
The first list of artists playing was released today and really pleased to see some of the UK and London bands heading out there. Had some great stuff from many of these bands recently - Jonquil, Pulled Apart by Horses and Veronica Falls in particular. I think my first awareness of this festival / showcase came from Zane Lowe out there for MTV and it looked like a massive party with a great lineup. I think the Cribs were doing a set in a tree house or something! Local Natives were a big one to appear from the previous years event and they’re headlining the Forum before the years out and that goes to show how much interest is generated. Here’s the UK list so far and you can check out all of the bands here.
The Bees (Ventnor, ENGLAND)
Black Spiders (Sheffield, ENGLAND)
Bombay Bicycle Club (London ENGLAND)
Brother (Slough, ENGLAND)
Cast (Liverpool, ENGLAND)
Chapel Club (London ENGLAND)
Clock Opera (London ENGLAND)
Dam Mantle (Glasgow, SCOTLAND)
Ebony Bones(London ENGLAND)
Ed Harcourt (London ENGLAND)
Erland & The Carnival (London ENGLAND)
Frankie and the Heartstrings (Sunderland, ENGLAND)
Fujiya & Miyagi (Brighton, ENGLAND)
Get People (London ENGLAND)
High Rankin (Brighton, ENGLAND)
Jon Fratelli (Glasgow, SCOTLAND)
Jonquil (Oxford, ENGLAND)
Klaxons (London ENGLAND)
Marcus Foster (London ENGLAND)
Micachu and The Shapes (London ENGLAND)
Plan B (London ENGLAND)
Pulled Apart By Horses (Leeds, ENGLAND)
Scars On 45 (Leeds, ENGLAND)
Veronica Falls (London ENGLAND)
Young Legionnaire (London, ENGLAND)
Yuck (London ENGLAND)