AU59: Gold Panda breaking act piece

October 12, 2009

Gold Panda 500


REAL NAME: Unknown.
FROM: East London.
FOR FANS OF: Boards Of Canada, Mount Kimbie, Four Tet.
CHECK OUT: The single ‘Quitter’s Raga’, out now on Make Mine.
WEBSITE: www.iamgoldpanda.com

Dontcha just love backstories? At least, you do when they are an entertaining as this guy’s. Mr Panda (his real name is a well-kept secret) is from Essex but lives in East London. So far, so mundane. More interesting, however, is the fact that he used to work in a sex shop, and is obsessed with Japan to the point that he used to infuriate his art teacher by drawing manga in class, then went on to study the language, spend a year there and make plans to go back. At this point, it would lovely and neat to talk about how Panda’s Japanese fixation and experiences of the brown paper bag business have influenced his work so far, but it doesn’t really work like that. At least, not overtly.

In fact, pinning down his sound to any kind of neat soundbite is nigh-on impossible, so varied are the morsels we’ve heard so far. Aside from a raft of high-profile remixes for the likes of Bloc Party, Simian Mobile Disco, Little Boots and Telepathe, his own material is an eclectic stew of dream-like electronica, dusted with hip-hop, techno and pop. It often sounds organic and welcoming like Boards of Canada or Mount Kimbie, but there’s an energy and a sense of exuberance there as well, especially on the new three-track single ‘Quitter’s Raga’. The title track is, as the name suggests, a joyous but tantalisingly brief foray into Bollywood, while ‘Fifth Ave’ is a slow, glitchy head-nodder and ‘Police’ is positively frantic, a nagging synth line going round and round in your head like a siren. Pigeonholes be damned, celebrate the individualism.



  1. Thank you for this, I read it a few weeks ago and am in looove with his tunes!

    • He’s brilliant isn’t he! Looking forward to hearing that album.

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