So before I make some ridiculous link to the sneezing panda, or some sort of pathetic panda-related joke, I'll get to the point.
Before I went to serve coffee in some downtrodden, back-water town this morning, I had a chance to chat with Shoreditch based producer Gold Panda. It went a little bit like this...
What's the thought process behind Gold Panda?
Um. I don't know if I really think about it too much, when I do it never works out. It's just sort of happening at the moment. I guess I get really depressed and frustrated and then make a song... and I hate it.
Maybe I'll listen again a year later and think 'oops, that was actually good'. Only Quitters Raga was made recently...and I hate it. Is that the musical process? Who knows. I am a disaster continually happening!
What's the musical process behind Gold Panda?
Basically I'll listen to loads of gangster rap and get really excited. Then I'll make some crappy twinkly sounding track instead. All my tracks are samples from old records so I basically sift through stuff into a sampler and mess with it till I make my own song. Sometimes I'll pluck some instruments and sample them, pitch them up and down.
I can't actually play any properly though. I try to avoid all preset sounds and definitely no sample CD's!! If I think of a drum sound I want then I will try and make it with paper or bubble wrap or some other junk if I can't find it on an old record. I like it to rain when I make songs.
When did you first start making music? Has your style changed much since then?
I just grew up on hip-hop and made stuff with samplers when I was younger. That is how I started. I think I've made most types of music since then, mainly for a laugh. I guess all my influences have come together for Gold Panda so my style hasn't really changed, just matured, maybe. I always have ideas about other projects and styles though. Too many.
Who were your musical heroes growing up, and have they influenced your sound?
I went through my dad's records, they were all crackly 7" rock n roll and doo-wop tracks etc so I guess maybe that's where the Gold Panda sound comes from.
I loved Michael Jackson and used to dress up as him and dance to it, but hey, who didn't? Mobb Deep, Snoop, Onyx and Gravediggaz. My mate Phil but he's dead!
Whilst there's definitely an underpinning style in your work, all of the tracks are quite different in terms of sound, where or whom do you take inspiration from?
The tracks are all made in the same way so they get a certain style. I want every track to be different but so you know it's a Gold Panda track. (Does that make sense?) Sometimes I'll hear one sound on a record, sample it, loop it for hours, drink some tea and be inspired by that.
You've done remixes for Tin Can Telephone and Stricken City (both of which are excellent!), are there any more in the pipeline?
Thank you very much! Yes there are more on the way (shhhh). Anyone want a remix, let me know. It'll sound like a Gold Panda track though.
What does the future hold?
Hopefully a live set and some releases. A tape. 7". Do an album. More remixing and more tea. Write a book. Grow a cat up. Buy a plant. That kind of thing.
Gold Panda - Quitters Raga (YSI)
Gold Panda - Back Home (YSI)
Gold Panda - I Suppose I Should Say Thanks Or Some Shit (YSI)
Somehow, I don't think this will be the last you'll hear from Gold Panda on this blog.