A few words from Gold Panda
UK musician Gold Panda has been gaining good notices for his glitchy take on techno with a couple of interesting EPs and some remixes to boot landing in the last few months. He will be touring with Simian Mobile Disco in the October.
I dropped him an email and asked him a few questions. Here’s what he had to say:
I hear you were based in Japan for a year, what were you doing out there? Does Japanese culture have a big influence on your music?
You know how you want to start over because your life isn’t going anywhere and you feel like a loser so you sell everything and buy a plane ticket? Well it was kind of like that and since I was so in love with all things Japanese it seemed like a good choice. I was supposed to teach English to fund my travelling around Japan but I hated teaching. There is just something about Japan that I can’t explain, especially when it rains. It sounds cheesy but it is almost spiritual. Walking around London City has a similar effect on me.
Are you in London now?
Actually right now I am in Berlin doing some improvised shows with Infinite Livez but yes, I live in London.
Do you play live much or do you mainly make tunes at home/in a studio?
I guess I’ve done about 20 or so shows now. I find being on stage really awkward, like I should apologise that I don’t have any real instruments or band members. I’ll never use a studio, I love being at home, drinking tea and making tracks, its my hobby.
How would you describe the sounds you like to make?
Was there any specific themes or arc to your EPs or were they simply a collection of your tunes?
On the Miyamae EP it was kind of a fluke. Various Production (label) picked some tracks they liked and it just worked, it has a story but maybe in reverse order, going away, meeting someone, being influenced and coming home. Quitter’s Raga and 5th Ave went together nicely. The cd-r is a bunch of old tracks but still the track order is important.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m doing a split 10″ with Banjo Or Freakout which should be out in November. I’m trying to write my own environment on my laptop for my live sets next year using some free software. Actually last night I decided to do a bunch of releases on my own, little side projects here and there because I’ve got too many ideas and I don’t want my album to sound too confused.
Any plans for a full album?
Yep. I’m working on it at the moment. It’ll be ready next year, at least that is what I keep telling myself. I know how it will look and sound. It has a theme.
Do you get approached to do remixes or do you tend to go about them yourself and see if people like them?
Usually approached. I’m not one to big myself up and say ‘hey I’m so good, I’ve done this amazing remix’. I have offered a few people though. I see my remixes as seperate to Gold Panda.
Any interesting new remixes in the pipeline?
I’m remixing HEALTH, you can’t get more interesting than that.
Is there much electro in the UK that interests you at the moment?
If we’re talking about the same thing when you say Electro, No.
What sort of music were you into growing up?
Hip Hop and whatever 45’s my Dad was playing on a saturday night.
Where are you from originally?
Peckham then I moved to Chelmsford when I was 15. That was confusing for me.
Aside from music are there other art forms that have had a big impact on you and have much of an impact on your music?
Architecture, Film and Illustration. Although I can’t tell you about any of those things, like names and stuff, I’m pretty thick.
You’re known for having something of a curmodgeonly attitude to the sensory overload of the internet – myspace, twitter, blogging etc… Is it sometimes hard to reconcile that with utilising them to get your music out to an audience? Would you prefer to just use more traditional record label routes?
I know I should embrace the future because I can see all the possibilities that these forms of communication open up but still, I’m kind of a private person and I’ve got my own world and I’d like to keep it that way. I put myself in my music. I can’t really compare the then and now within the music industry but the response I got when my music actually came out in a physical form was amazing.
What music is floating your boat at the moment?
“Atavism” by .SND, anything by Pharoah Sanders and a lot of techno.
As someone with fairly acerbic opinions on things are you tempted to put them into your music more – writing lyrics, using vocalists?
I’d rather write a book. I’m not keen on putting vocals with my music, because, for me anyway, vocals give it a reference and a meaning and when it is instrumental it can mean whatever you like.
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