Music

Gold Panda: Lucky Shiner

Lucky Shiner (the affectionate nickname for Gold Panda’s grandmother) is Gold Panda’s first full-length LP, and succeeds with an arresting and astonishing collection of sounds, imaginary places, heartache, and celebration.


Gold Panda

Lucky Shiner

Label: Ghostly International
US Release Date: 2010-10-12
Amazon
iTunes

Ever since Burial unleashed Untrue into the ears of those who knew nothing about dubstep, much less it’s many incarnations, there has been a delightful explosion of broken beauty in the electronic beats emanating from London-town. Many have attempted to imitate the musical and emotional depth achieved by Burial, but few have developed an aesthetic that reflects Burial’s but is wholly their own. Now, to say London producer Gold Panda is a direct progenitor of Burial’s UK garage inflected dubstep would be naïve, but what Gold Panda has achieved on his debut LP for Ghostly International is nearly as captivating, nuanced, and realized.

It’s been just over a year since Gold Panda stood dubstep critics and fans on their heads with his gorgeous, withholding song “Quitter’s Raga". Clocking in at just under two minutes, “Quitter’s Raga” displayed Gold Panda’s masterful sampling technique as well as his love for Japanese and Southeast Asian music and culture. Building the track around the majestic sounds of the Japanese koto, the song skips and jumps, edging closer and closer to breaking a part, but ends before it can. The beat structure in “Quitter’s Raga” recalls dubstep’s swing as it eases into a half-time progression, but Gold Panda has refrained from keeping this structure in his latest work, and to great affect.

Lucky Shiner (the affectionate nickname for Gold Panda’s grandmother) is Gold Panda’s first full-length LP, and succeeds with an arresting and astonishing collection of sounds, imaginary places, heartache, and celebration. Recorded at his Aunt and Uncle’s rural cottage in Essex, Gold Panda spent two weeks alone, walking their dogs and marinating in a vision of melody and song structure that could be both personal and inviting.

From the track’s opener “You” to the album’s closer, (also titled “You.”), the record is bookended by immediacy and intimacy, but travels through genre, place, and time through out the middle. Songs like “Same Dream China", or “I’m With You But I’m Lonely” use sounds that manage to conjure a vintage, nostalgic vibe with out being heartsick; a xylophone, a Chinese zheng, a cheap Casio from your grandmother.

The strength of the record warrants every track a thorough listen, but it’s songs like “Snow & Taxis” and “India Lately” that are the glue that holds the record together. Each song has expert structure, shimmering melodies, and enough drums and bass to put these songs in the club. It’s safe to say Gold Panda has quickly placed himself in a 2010 roster of excellent records, next to Four Tet, Caribou, and Delorean, all artists who already have a depth to their musical catalogs. I only hope Gold Panda won’t get lost in these comparisons, as his productions confidently stand on their own.

8

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

Trey Anastasio sings the new "Everything's Right" with the ladies harmonizing behind him to generate both an uplifting anthem of personal empowerment and a melodic jam vehicle that brings the entire audience into a collective groove of spirit family unity.

It's All Hallows Eve in the City of Angels, and the historic Wiltern Theater is the place to be as guitarist Trey Anastasio leads his solo band into town for a celebratory performance. The show isn't drawing fans from all over the country as when Anastasio's primary band Phish played Halloween in Las Vegas last year, where the promise of a musical costume set saw the band deliver a truly transcendent performance for the ages with David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. But this show from the Trey Anastasio Band is still the top Halloween ticket in California, drawing in fans from across the state for what remains a relatively rare visit from a musical hero whom many fans consider to possess his angelic aura.

Keep reading... Show less

"I'm proud of coming in second for my high school's alumnus of the year award to Mitt Romney. I would've liked to have beaten him, but he has lost enough for a lifetime."

So what the living heck is the gang up to now? Well, they won't tell us, but boy is it exciting.

You see, for Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott, each new phase of their career is marked by some sort of wonderful thing. Their first two albums together under the band name Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., gained a small but respectable cult following, but with 2015's self-titled re-envisioning, the guys streamlined their pop sensibilities into something that required a bigger studio budget, resulting in the biggest hit of their career with the song "Gone". They even placed in PopMatters Best Pop Album ranking for that year, which is no small feat.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image