Self Portrait by Gold Panda for IM//UR
The previously verbose Gold Panda answered a bunch of questions for us. Sadly, he was uncharacteristically reticent in comparison to prior interviews that I've read. Never mind though, the heartbreaking intimacy that you can feel from his music makes up for this. From all the tracks I've heard from Gold Panda, this strong silent type that answered my questions matches my image of the man behind the incredibly lush and atmospheric electronica that with it carries the grace of someone with a little more to say than whatever his press release says (which incidentally, is quite a lot in itself).
Originally an Essex boy, but having been a denizen of East London for quite a while, Gold Panda has spent some time behind the counters of both records stores and adult stores (which he found no less seedier than the other). The rest of his time he chose to create archives of electronic music into volumes of material. Choosing to then dip into remixing (cop a couple of mp3s at the end of the interview), he turned his attention to the likes of Little Boots, Telepathe, Bloc Party, Marina and the Diamonds and Simian Mobile Disco (who he's about to go on tour around the UK with) - not to even mention the beauty of Gold Panda's own tracks, which are just as, if not more, startling (grab 'Quitter's Raga' after the jump).
Full of glowing hope and a comforting static, Gold Panda tracks skip and jump on their musical journeys; reflecting a calm that belies an almost anxious frolic through a gorgeously rich landscape of sound. Very evident is Gold Panda's Japanese obsession; having spent two years studying at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies learning how to read and write Japanese. This comes through in the gentle precision in collating his extensive influences - from hip hop to minimal techno. Honestly, this is seriously glorious stuff.
I like your interviews.
Thanks. I have read them over and I am kind of embarrassed by them.
You DO talk too much. In a good way.
I think I say a lot less in real life. I will now talk less. Sorry, probably not good news for you.
How many have you given?
I think this is my 4th online/email type one. I think I've done 4 more for magazines.
Who are you then?
I am Gold Panda.
Who is Gold Panda?
Who aren't you?
Not not Gold Panda.
Reaction to Michael Jackson's death?
My friend from a Techno group called Subhead. He is dead now, maybe they should change their name to Subdead. Actually, it was more of his attitude towards doing music rather than the actual music he made. Tea, also.
How has death influenced you making music/your music making?
I like to incorporate a feeling of loss in my music. Maybe something happens just once in the song or it is too short. I don't really know. I think my album will deal a lot with it, it is a bit different to what has been released so far, it has a concept.
What is it about Japan?
The rooftops of the houses in the rain. Vending machine glow at night. Highways. Drinking with friends at an Izakaya. Buildings. The way roads look. Mountains.
Would you rather play to a room full of strangers or friends...why?
At first I thought friends but I did an instore at Puregroove and it was mainly to people I knew and it made me mad nervous. Maybe half and half. It would be good to play to people who actually want to see me play rather than people waiting for me to finish so they can dance to banging electro.
Future of Gold Panda?
Write books, make films, make comics, draw, paint, grow a cat up, drink tea, buy plants, start swimming again and make lots of music that I really want to make regardless of anyone elses opinion.