Gold Panda brings the worldly rhythm to The Independent

Gold-Panda Photos by Sam Heller // Written by Kevin Quandt //

It wasn’t long ago when avant-garde beat producers, like Gold Panda, would play small basement rooms filled with small crowds of dedicated music nerds watching these off-kilter musicians cook up something unique and not palpable for the masses. However, with the rise of artists such as Flying Lotus and Araabmuzik, a whole new genre has become more widely viable to the public. Not more than 2 years ago Gold Panda struggled to fill the Independent as he was still under-the-radar, but this past weekend he sold-out his Saturday showcase and nicely filled his second Sunday performance at the Independent.

Slow Magic would be the direct support for the night, and his lively show did not go unnoticed by those present early for one last weekend romp. Said opener was essentially a masked individual beating large drums to an array of pre-recorded EDM. It was energetic in it’s delivery, but failed to have much artistic merit beyond a spectacle. Enthusiasm can only go so far when paired with a live artist like Gold Panda, as he is a marvel to behold on stage.


Gold Panda represents a vast amalgam of electronic music, borrowing influences from all over the world and sound spectrum to weave an upbeat, futuristic tapestry. His latest release Half of Where You Live has been critically hailed as his third stab at a comprehensive full-length album. Well received tracks like “Brazil” demonstrate his use of South American rhythms in a very contemporary manner while consistently maintaining a dance beat. There are no ‘drops’ or huge frills to his dance ethic, but rather a rapturing, constant beat that listeners can lose themselves in rather easily.


Watching Gold Panda onstage is like watching a mad scientist at work, as he is fully enveloped in the process while constantly thinking about his next move, or in his case next loop or sample. The fan favorite and opening track off of Companion, “Quitters Raga”, was a blistering assault of sitar and Indian vocals that got the dwindling Sunday crowd throwing their arms in the air while busting out their best half-assed Bollywood dance moves.

This UK producer may not have risen to popularity via the hype vehicle that others like Flume and Burial have enjoyed, but Gold Panda’s steady progression gives his music a more authentic, genuine feel. Years ago, acts like this would struggle to make ends meet, especially outside their home territory. But, it’s a hopeful sign that outlying music such as this can be viable for the folks who lovingly produce it.





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