If Sofia Coppola’s woozy Lost in Translation painted an intoxicating, melancholic picture of loneliness in a bustling metropolis then Gold Panda has now recreated that same vibe on record. This is about as emotional, timeless and narrative-driven as electronic music, or any music for that matter, gets.
The Essex-raised remix workhorse for the likes of Telepathe and HEALTH has created an absorbing paean to solitude, the idea gestating during a year he spent living in Japan. From head-noddingly tender opener ‘You’, with its Eastern flavour and analogue river-flow, to the found sound Tunng-esque vibe of ‘Parents’ or the late-night, neon-lit homeward stride of ‘Marriage’, this is a thick slice of gooey brilliance.
Bookending the album with ‘You’ informs the album’s tale of sorts, as one witnesses Panda sorting his head out amongst the blossoming skitters, exhalations and typewriter punctuation of the intervening tracks. As with Kieran Hebden’s finest work, while lyrics aren’t present, it is difficult not to attach pathos, nostalgia and heart to practically every sound and note sampled, looped, distorted and slathered on Lucky Shiner. Never has introspection sounded so vibrant.