Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Gold Panda - Trust EP

Well haven’t we been blessed by the music gods in the last couple of days. First Four Tet releases a rarities collection and now, Gold Panda an EP. Derwin Panda hails from Chelmsford, Essex, and has released several EP's / singles and a single album on American electronic label Ghostly International. It's a label he shares with Matthew Dear, Com Truise and Dabrye. Panda is very fond of the Akai sampler, acoustic guitar loops and sharp glitch cuts of single notes. All of which makes an appearance in his new EP Trust. And It's not long before Panda hits the listener with what he does best, samples, loud bass and synth glitches. "Trust Intro" features a very hazy synthesizer pattern with glitch sounds on both the left and right speaker. It could be considered something of a noise track if it was plastered in distortion, thankfully Gold Panda hasn't gone down that route, keeping things simple and EDM, electronic dance music, welcome to Trust.

Like Panda's Lucky Shiner work, "Trust" has various instrumentals at his exposure. One of the reasons I keep coming back and listen to Gold Panda is for the variety of instruments used in his recordings. The beats are there like his London counterpart Four Tet, with all the easy listening and relaxing sounds, just with a glitch edge and an atmospheric vibe. The track really gets going at 2:30 in, where you will hear an enlarged bass beat, left sided percussion and the high pitched synth pattern that’s looped in different pitches in the background. It not long before I notice my upper body dancing while I'm sitting down listening. That's the power of Gold Panda, and if you go see him live, you won't be able to stand still.

The title track to this EP does offer moments of excitement, but it never really convinces me of an improved Panda. Lucky Shiner set the standard so high that when album two comes out, people may expect something more than, this. Nonetheless it's one of Panda's most relaxing works to date, as is the follow-up track "Burnt-Out Car In A Forest". There's a noticeable synth like sample that, like many other aspects of Panda's music, has been shift pitched down and up to create the beautiful electronic patterns. The hand claps sound very primitive and, fruity loops / 80s hip-hop-esque. There's not much to be said about the beats direction, however this track in my opinion is a livelier and stronger track than the titular track.

"Casyam_59#02" like the previous few tracks has a hazy / white noise style loop in the background. The foreground is plastered with aggressive bass patterns and odd percussion. It's sort of a lacklustre Panda track, finding itself on the back of this EP. Instead of the dance-like textures of both "Trust" and "Burnt-Out Car In A Forest", Casyam_59#02" is for the late night drive. The beat is relaxing and accompanied with reverb effects. The glitch nature of Panda returns in the slightest with the beat, but ultimately the effects are at heart on Trust's final track.

Trust is an indication that Gold Panda is edging nearer to his sophomore album. Although the material here isn't as likeable, catchy or danceable as both his previous singles and debut album Lucky Shiner. I'd welcome an album that had tracks like both "Trust" and "Burnt-Out Car In A Forest". It won't be long before Gold Panda announces a date for his second album, till then, Trust will keep us occupied.

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