Back Home EP/Make Mine 7"
Byline: Essential electronica for 2009.
For: The Books + Flying Lotus + Autechre
I shy away from the equation like this: x + x + x = band. But really I shy away from any math equation. Not my thing. I tend to view the for section or most RIYL not as signifiers of an obvious sound that is easily reduced to two or three artists in a similar vein but more of a reference point or road sign. But I have to say, when I compiled the for section in my head the commas seemed too restricting. Gold Panda is much more the sum of its parts, but it is interesting to view these 6 songs as an act of bleeding together three very distinct realms of electronic music. Gold Panda hails from Essex, England and combines the beat heavy instrumental hip - hop with the mid nineties cut and paste style of IDM. This combined sonic pallate is laced with some wicked sampled instrumentation a la The Books. When I first heard the chopped up acoustic guitars, sitar scales, and cd-skipping Indian vocals on "Quitters Raga" I was totally beside myself with awe. I have had this song on repeat for the entire week and I get totally into it, head banging, feet tapping... and then it stops. Why this song is only two minutes of the best electronic music I have heard all year is beyond me. Luckily the rest of the songs prop up the entire EP/7". There isn't a wasted moment on here. Gold Panda keeps the relentless bass pumping like this is Ibiza and this is 1998. "Police" is the most obvious throw back while songs like "Back Home" and "Long Vacation" have a lot of breathing room, I love the buried vocal samples and the seemingly lost violin and guitar tracks that meander in and out of breaks. Even without "Quitters Raga" both Back Home and Make Mine would be super solid releases in 2009, but with the inclusion of that barn burner Gold Panda is essential listening.