Gold Panda – “In My Car” (Singles Going Steady)

Anthemic, pounding, and texturally variegated, it's a track that generates memories rather than calls them forth -- and the third-act koto ripple-breakdown is a moment of unequivocal beauty.

Pryor Stroud: “In My Car”, Gold Panda’s follow up single to “Time Eater”, begins with glitchy, stop-start orchestral pulsation that sounds like it could be extracted from some golden-era Philly soul ballad, but then the percussion lights like an engine ignited: now, you’re bulleting down a fog-shrouded highway in Derwin Schlecker’s car, but the radio doesn’t play CDs or cassettes, nor can it pick up on any satellite signal or plug into your iPhone, instead, it just converts the passing surroundings — flashes of sky, distant water, birds darting by in strange patterns — into their equivalent sonic forms. Anthemic, pounding, and texturally variegated, it’s a track that generates memories rather than calls them forth — and the third-act koto ripple-breakdown is a moment of unequivocal beauty. [8/10]

Emmanuel Elone: London producer Gold Panda really is an excellent artist, and “In My Car” proves it. The hip-hop rhythm is smooth, and the crisp snares on every other beat add just enough power to keep the song interesting. A vocal sample is cut and played over the shimmering synths as well, and it all combines into a light yet captivating hip-hop flavored electronic beat. Though fairly simple, “In My Car” is a great song, and Gold Panda continues to be one of the better UK producers out right now. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: Musically stuffed with interesting ideas, “In My Car” is a bit of sensory overload, from the dense drum programming to some inventive keyboards and effects, choirs, race cars, sudden shifts in tempo and melody, you name it. It’s a potent mix, but is ultimately exhausting. [6/10]

Adrian Janes: Blissed-out voices rise over a vaguely Eastern keyboard melody and a slow but forceful electronic beat. The Eastern element is later heightened by koto shadings, and for about three minutes it’s a seductive, rapturous ride. Incongruously, it ends with a fragment of stark electonica and what sounds like a performance poet laying down a description of a nondescript English city and the favoured Saturday night dress code of “White shirt… blue jeans… brown trousers”. I can’t fathom the connection between this and the bulk of the track, but those first three minutes are entrancing enough for you to want them to last twice as long. [8/10]

Chad Miller: I hated hearing that one percussive sound effect that felt like a mix between a noise a fish would make and the sound of shuffling a deck of cards. Luckily I really enjoyed everything else. The music was fantastic, and the song really just flew by. [8/10]

Gold Panda‘s new album, Good Luck and Do Your Best, releases 27 May via City Slang.

SCORE: 7.60