Album Review: Gold Panda / ‘Half of Where You Live’ (Ghostly International)

Gold Panda Half of Where You Live


Bright eyed and bushy tailed, dieting on synth cycles streaming and straining to be first past the finishing line, it’s a rare occasion where you can find a Panda behaving with an upright, inquisitive vivacity as it commutes. The student from the School of Asian and African Studies all the while appreciates house and dance electronics that can run as a compact travelogue from a position on the couch, showing there’s no place like home.

Developing the shades of Lucky Shiner into neon colors that won’t sting your eyeballs, GP’s crafty implementing of international features turn holiday slides 3D; the chimes to “Junk City” bring a vision of Asia without plastering it in Kanji, and the new age traveller “Brazil” just loops a chant as means of sightseeing commentary. Maximalism as altruism, with a supple, soft-sided urgency, takes hustle and bustle in its stride.

From an electronic standpoint, Panda doesn’t go rustic when slipping outside of the bright lights, opting instead to detune indigenous instruments on “We Work Nights” to keep on city slicking. Off the gas, “My Father in Hong Kong 1961” and the meek tumbler “S950” see commotion lapse, stepping back to appreciate nuances and finer points of the vista at large. “Flinton” and “Enoshima” allow themselves a little homesickness with neat and precise electronic evocation continuing to show Gold Panda in a bold, assertive light that contrarily, exhibits an understated personality that just wants other to share in his sunshine.

File under: Caribou/Four Tet, Shlohmo, Joy Orbison