After the release of Gold Panda’s much acclaimed debut album, Lucky Shiner, interest in the now Berlin-based English electronic producer has been steadily rising. Having spent time in Japan, as well as studying Oriental and African studies at London University, Derwin Panda’s music has a distinctly Eastern sound, which sets him apart from his peers. This niche style of his has clearly worked well, as he is greeted with a sold out Dublin show.
Before Gold Panda, the crowd was treated with some tasty little appetisers from Cork’s very own Toby Kaar. Very much in a similar style, Kaar delivered a barrage of simple loops and drum patterns that did teeter on the hectic side of things at times, but ultimately was very entertaining.
This being Panda’s first ever tour in Ireland, there was a notable stench of eagerness about the club. The dark musty old ballroom vibe of The Workman’s Club, is actually the perfect venue for Gold Panda. Any of the larger venues would detract from some of the more intimate qualities featured in his live performance. His limited setup: a rudimentary sampler, laptop, and mixer works and is at home in the safety of a small club.
Fans of his recorded material will no doubt be pleased with the live show. While he plays with untold amounts of energy his tunes still retain a layer of innocence that’s refreshing to witness. With all the verve of a full band, complimented with the intricate qualities of a Four Tet gig, this live set delighted at every turn.
There isn’t much deviation from his recorded material, save for a slightly more minimal take on ‘Back Home’, and an overly manic outro to ‘You’. Seeing as it’s almost synonymous with Gold Panda, ‘You’ was truly one of the highlights of the evening. It even seemed to linger around for a while after it was finished. The set later reached its denouement with a surprisingly obscure tune titled ‘Win-San Western’, from his Before EP in 2009. It capped off the gig nicely with its frantically exuberant style and modest elements of drum & bass.
One striking thing about Panda’s live set is the level of sub sonic frequencies at work. Listening to his records at home doesn’t reveal the hidden layers of bassy goodness that are embedded in his tracks. If you want to absorb Gold Panda’s songs to their full effect then you need to catch him live.
Photos: Loreana Rushe.