What started as a teenager tinkering around with pop songs on his uncle’s mixer has turned into a lucrative professional career for Essex-based DJ Gold Panda. He’s remixed tracks for Little Boots and Bloc Party, and in September 2010 he released his first studio album, Lucky Shiner,on Ghostly International/Notown Records. Gold Panda’s next studio album, Half of Where You Live, is also coming to you straight from the same label responsible for his previous success.
Before joining the music industry, Gold Panda studied at the University of London in the School of African and Oriental Studies. During this time he also lived in Japan, and these global influences are apparent on Half of Where You Live. This isn’t an album you’re going to hear thumping out of club sound systems or on the radio airwaves. It’s more of a low-key record, something to accompany relaxed nights and intimate parties, but the global vibes and beats make it rich listening.
A few tracks stand above the rest. “The Most Livable City” creates an interesting juxtaposition of natural sounds with the slightly sterile futuristic vibes inherent in electronica, but perhaps that’s the source of its charm. The track, in a sense, raises a key philosophical question facing our time—what would the most livable city be? This is a perfect example of the places this album can take you despite its lack of flash and glamour. Its repetitive tunes create a trance-like atmosphere perfect for just letting your thoughts carry you wherever they might go.
The album is best heard all together, rather than just grabbing a few songs from iTunes. Gold Panda worked hard to combine cultures into his style, and it reads beautifully throughout the entire record. Half of Where You Live is a solid record, but it isn’t so great that it leaves you wondering where Gold Panda could possibly go next. It does what any good record should do—leaves you excited for more!