Release Date: Nov 8, 2011
Record label: !K7
Genre(s): Electronica, Techno, Club/Dance, Experimental Techno
Fans of cuddly, home-listening indie electronica (like Four Tet or the bells-loving Pantha du Prince) will want to hear this lovely DJ set of headphone beat candy. The rising U.K. producer's grooves tease beguilingly (see Muslimgauze's dry-textured "Uzi Mahmood 8"), as do his instrumental touches: the pretty gliches of Melchior and Prosato's "Puerto Rican Girls," the danceing electric piano of Closer Musik's "Maria" and the blissed-out video-game noises of Zomby's "Godzilla." Kicking it all off is Gold Panda himself, with "An Iceberg Hurled Northward Through Clouds." It's got bells – or maybe a metallophone.
Review Summary: Gold Panda manages to capture perhaps the most honest snapshot of the underground music scene, as truthful and explosive as lightning in a bottleI could argue for hours on end regarding the fact that Gold Panda had it coming, that super stardom (perhaps relegated to the endless confines of the internet, but super stardom none the less) was an assured thing for him. But let’s be realistic here; he kinda came out of nowhere, popping up with his own take on open field electronic panorama’s that even made a tourist like Four Tet seem somewhat toothless by comparison. And while he might be on the tip of everyone’s tongue (or dancing on the edge of blogger's fingertips) he still has that shadowy elusiveness that makes it feel as if he’s still your artist, and not just another electronic producer to be cut up and divided amongst the masses.
DJ'ing has not been the usual gig of Derwin Panda (aka Gold Panda) -- by day, he's a producer. But he responded to the opportunity to put together a DJ mix for the !K7 label's venerable DJ-Kicks series, and in the process, he says, gained "more respect for people that do DJ now." But although he may technically be an amateur on the decks, his rich experience in electronic music is fully on display here on a set that is clearly designed at least as much for the ears and brain as the feet. Consider, for example, the subtle textures brought to the table by L.V.
The English electronic music producer Derwin Panda, aka Gold Panda, has made quite an impression in quite a short time. Since his first self-released single in 2009, he has delivered several EPs and become a blogsphere sensation. His 2010 debut album, Lucky Shiner, was very well received by critics and electronica fans alike. Now, before starting work on the follow-up, Gold Panda has had time to put together a DJ Kicks mix.
Gold Panda's 2010 debut, Lucky Shiner, asked you to accept a number of seeming contradictions, echoing some of the great contradictory artists of electronic music as it went along. Like the work of Boards of Canada, its emotion-loaded melodies were both whimsical and mournful. Like the collage-funk productions of Matthew Herbert, it built tracks from a myriad of tiny samples, but warped them so that even field recordings and snippets of analog instruments felt denatured, computerized, alien.
Gold Panda (aka electronica musician and producer Derwin, er, Panda) is the hippest of the hip right now. His praises are sung by the music press, the hipsters, trance loving hippies, dance music fans and indie kids alike. He seems to be lauded universally, and in the tradition of genre-blurrers who have played their part in the zeitgeist (Hot Chip, Chromeo, Tiga to name but a few) he is the latest name to play DJ for !K7 Records' 16-year-old DJ-Kicks compilation series.
The music of Gold Panda got lumped in with the American chillwave posse early on, likely because of the twee nature of his moniker and the patchy, homemade aspect of his first album's artwork. 2010's Lucky Shiner, however, showcased frank leanings for subdued techno and Plaid-informed IDM, and naturally felt at home on Ghostly International. His first foray in the mix CD domain is under the patronage of the prestigious !K7 imprint and its legendary DJ-Kicks series.If you've been one whose faith in the format has been shaken in recent years, this latest installment will do little to fully restore it.
For his contribution to label !K7’s 16-year-long series DJ-Kicks, UK producer Gold Panda has a lot to live up to. Featuring DJs, remixers, and producers as diverse and accomplished as Carl Craig, Hot Chip, and Thievery Corporation, each DJ-Kicks installation is hand-mixed by a different curator. Gold Panda’s selections, including fellow UK-based avant garde composer Autistici and dubstep deviant Ramadanman, all reflect Gold Panda’s stylistic synesthesic burps and crackles.