Gold Panda In Vancouver
Fortune Sound – Vancouver, BC
Uk electronic producer/performer Gold Panda took to the stage at Vancouver’s Fortune Sound Club Thursday night and dazzled a contingent of edm lovers. Putting on display his mastery of hardware including drum machines, mpc’s and the like, Gold Panda dropped an hour plus of sample laden experimental beats running the genre gamete of house, ambient and trip hop and in doing so mesmerized the masses.
Gold Panda has been making beats since high school and in 2010 released his debut album Lucky Shiner. He just put out his fourth album called Good Luck And Do Your Best in May. His sounds on the latest record are at times dark and spacious and other times lively and crowded. Gold Panda’s low-fi, hardware based production performance stitch together a quilt of soundscapes. Many dj shows come off smooth and sweet but that smoothness comes with a sense of safety. A set that is arranged in a seamless manner with a natural ‘domino effect’ progression of tracks and interludes and breaks can be very pleasing. By contrast, a set like the one Gold Panda delivered at Fortune comes with a bit of danger. The pieces don’t fall into place. Gold Panda’s hour of dance music was less like putting together a puzzle and more like building a jenga tower. The minutes ticked by and the intensity on the dance floor grew. All the while the music, like the jenga tower, increased in size while struggling to maintain it’s balanced structure. His is certainly a peculiar form of dance music making and one that is impressive to behold in that you are very much invested in the outcome. It’s a long way from playing party records.
Those familiar with edm will tell you that there is a great divide when it comes to the type of music Gold Panda creates; specifically from a live performance perspective. Simply put, it’s a love/hate thing. There’s a crowd that appreciates the balancing act, the intricacy and the stamina involved in hardware manipulation using a multitude of self created samples and interfaces. There’s also a crowd that wants something to go down easy like comfort food. Both sides of the spectrum have merit and music like all art is subjective. After seeing the extensive work put down on the machinery and hearing the myriad of resulting sounds produced, Gold Panda if nothing else demands respect. It’s not button mashing. It’s musicianship. Whether or not that works to set the table for your favourite dance party is up to you. But skills like Gold Panda’s can’t be denied.
Check out Gold Panda at iamgoldpanda.com and if you want some youtube listening material to whet your appetite, take an earful of the ambient, down-tempo In My Car. It may just put you in the mood.
+ Gavin Reid