Album: Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner
As we enter what is very much the business end of the year for album releases countless music bloggers and writers are readying their generic but oh-so-personal’ Best of 2010 lists’. Those who have prematurely completed their lineups may be forced to shuffle things around when they get a hold of Gold Panda’s Lucky Shiner. The Essex born electronic musician has produced one of the years’ most engaging and rich experimental works.
Inspired by the emptiness and isolation Panda experienced when working in Japan for a year, the 11 tracks are carefully crafted and aligned. Powerful and colourful images spring from the lush soundscapes offered on Lucky Shiner. The tag ‘experimental’ is so widely abused it’s almost redundant at this stage but Gold Panda’s latest LP actually earns the label. Opener ‘You’ is a Bath-esque head bopping, glitch-hop beauty which runs into ‘Vanilla Minus’ a celebration of electronica which would fit snuggly into any four tet set. Just to eradicate any possibility of pigeon-holding track three ‘Parents’ is two minutes of beautifully understated acoustic guitar set against breezy outdoor effects.
Lucky Shiner, like so much of contemporary electronic music centres on swirling synths and varied percussion with loops and samples making their customary appearances. What separates Gold Panda from the masses is his patience. He allows the many different limbs of his songs come together at their own pace. You’ll struggle to find a more emotional and fitting curtain closer than the ghostly’ You.’ Inspired by the pain of solitude, Gold Panda has created an electronic album that makes for great company.