on May 30, 2012
Gold Panda's LUCKY SHINER feels like it contains every sound in the world. That's not to say it's messy though; these busy electronic soundscapes are riddled with noises, drones, and samples, but they never feel sloppy. This album travels across the world collecting influences and sounds. Even though some of these songs are retro-inspired, the album never feels dated or pretentious. The problem with LUCKY SHINER is that it's not an album that stays with the listener. These songs, while enjoyable when played (whether at the forefront or background of someone's attention), are really interesting, they don't seem to stick with you. Added with this is the album's lack of coherence as a whole. For these faults though, LUCKY SHINER makes Gold Panda a producer to really watch though.
Fans of Baths, Com Truise, and Animal Collective will probably enjoy LUCKY SHINER. Recommended highlights for sampling: "Snow & Taxi's," "You (the first one)," "Marriage," and "I'm With You buy I'm Lonely" are pretty good places to start.
on December 25, 2014
I love Gold Panda! Mainstream music is such a downer these days and Gold Panda is quietly making my life better. He is one of the artists I truly look up to. Calvin Harris, AVICII, Etc... I'm sorry, they just don't do it for me. Obviously it's a different genre, but I think electronic music like this should be more broadly heard.
on December 20, 2012
first hearing the track "You" after randomly clicking music videos on youtube, I instantly fell in love with the track. Soon discovering that lucky shiner in it's entirety is spectacular, with the beautiful alternate version of "You" and "I'm with you but I'm Lonely" Every track comes in heart breaking beats and soft drums and rain ambience, this Album will not disappoint.
on April 27, 2013
Ok, let's get this straight. This is some of the weirdest music in existence. But that doesn't mean this isn't good music. It's obviously not the kind of music that very many people will like immediately, but you can really learn to love this. I heard "You" once and there was something about it that made me keep coming back, so I finally decided to buy this. In the end, it was very well worth it. If this is your kind of music, buy it.
on December 31, 2011
This album really evokes some feelings I have never experienced with many other artists. The whole album just has a fresh sound. "You", "You.", "Snow & Taxis", & "Marriage" are surely standout tracks. Very unique.
on May 10, 2011
Companion is Essex-based electronic artist Derwin Panda's, a.k.a Gold Panda's second official album release behind Lucky Shiner. According to interviews with Gold Panda, Lucky Shiner was assembled in two to three weeks, whereas Companion is a compilation of material unused from the first album along with tracks created much earlier--the non-remix pieces that got people noticing Gold Panda a few years back. Some have called Gold Panda a "bedroom producer"--in fully fleshing out his music there is no studio, no additional producers and sound engineers beyond the artist himself. His music is created entirely by himself. Gold Panda further admits that his music is highly personal. Initially, he explains, that when creating unique tracks years ago he never meant for them to see the light of day. It was this freedom from critiquing that led him to create hundreds of pieces where he developed his art through experimentation and searching for sounds and structures to pieces that emotionally resonated within him. When asked to release tracks he was initially hesitant because of this deep personal connection with his music. This connection is evident in all of his pieces. Every track evokes emotion. In Lucky Shiner there is fluidity to these emotions from track to track, whereas in Companion this fluidity is lost to individual capsules of progression in each track.
Gold Panda's music is created primarily by digital editing of found sounds, short riffs, sampling and looping. In Companion more so than other works many small riffs from guitars, sitars, and other string instruments are used to create melody in individual tracks. Often 4-second riffs are looped throughout the entire track. From here, sometimes samples of simple drumbeats, other times samples of Eastern music are used to progress the songs. Occasionally these samples are very grainy, a quality left in the song. This graininess contrasts the qualities of a piece that makes it a digital, sampling composition as opposed to one created in the traditional sense of with instruments recorded. Some samples are edited to the point that one cannot tell what they are initially of. This is usually done in order to create a rhythm that seems as though drums, bells, and gongs are creating it but when listened to closely one can tell that is definitely not the case. Other tracks are composed of nothing but samples of non-instruments--field recordings of traffic, police sirens and so forth. In all the pieces progression are created by changing one sound in many different ways and arranging this new multitude of tracks over one another creating a surrealistic experience where one can only fleetingly identify where the sounds came from.
Overall, in Companion, as soon as you begin to think actual instruments were used in the recording of the track, or that you can pick out what sound is being looped, Gold Panda manipulates the sound in a way one can only achieve via sampling. It is this ability to mimic traditional music in order to lull someone into comfort and then manipulate it in order to expose an underlying wealth of additional sound that makes the album. Gold Panda is not really doing anything new from a technical standpoint (except for maybe fully embracing graininess in his tracks). Instead, from a musical standpoint, the novelty of his music comes from using these non-Western samples and field-recordings in such a way that the progression of his music comes from their physical manipulation within a track. Instead of musical notes and tempo, pitch-shifting, varispeed, phase vocoding, and band equalization are used. In doing this a new dearth of sound from a simple sample is uncovered and mixed in order to create a introspective, emotionally-charged piece.