Blog Archives

Νο. 15: Gold Panda – Good Luck And Do Your Best

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‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’ is Gold Panda at his most relaxed & confident. Doused in a chalky Japanese-inspired haze and underpinned with a positivity & strength of conviction founded in being created amongst familiar settings & routines, it’s a record that is explorative and expansive, yet hearteningly warm & familiar.

Video: Gold Panda – Your Good Times Are Just Beginning

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After the release of his third album ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ in May, followed by a year of worldwide live shows, a surprise EP release (June’s ‘Kingdom’ EP) and the release of a photography book in collaboration with London-based photographer Laura Lewis, Gold Panda ends 2016 with a new EP and a headline show at London’s Oval Space on December 6th.

The EP, ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning’, comes out this Friday November 18th via City Slang and features remixes by Fort Romeau, John Roberts & Daisuke Tanabe – more information below.

To accompany the EP announcement, Gold Panda has shared a new video for title-track ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning’. Filmed in Norwich Arts Centre by Robbie Knox, the video was edited by and features imagery from Gold Panda’s touring visual artist Dan Tombs, who has also worked with the likes of East India Youth, Jon Hopkins and Blanck Mass and has spent the majority of this year touring with and developing the Gold Panda live show.

Watch ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning’ here:

The ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning’ EP will be available as a 6 track collection both digitally and on CD and also as a limited edition 3 track 12″ featuring the key remixes. The digital and CD six-track collection is led by the elegiac, hopeful final track from his album ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning’, an emotional masterpiece pieced together from heart-tugging piano stabs and soulful trumpets. The song is backed up with a re-imagining of album highlight ‘Chiba Nights’ that is flipped into ‘Chiba Days’, plus three remixes of music taken from his latest LP by a talented and varied cast.

Having previously re-worked the Panda track ‘Community’, Berlin-resident Fort Romeau once again takes the reigns with a gorgeous, nine-minute pulsing, percussion driven recreation of the track ‘Time Eater’ complete with ghostly synth motifs that twirl around Japanese instrumentation culminating in a frenetic release. US producer John Roberts, who himself released one of the best deep house records of the year, remixes ‘Chiba Nights’, transforming it into a thumping, acid-tinged affair that mixes space and warped electronics beautifully.

Finally, the contemplative ‘Song For A Dead Friend’ is taken on by Japanese musician Daisuke Tanabe, whose wide ranging musical influences of electronica, folk and jazz all come to bear on this track. Radically different to the two that run prior to it on the 12”, it’s more akin to the likes of Boards of Canada and Plaid, as it slowly ebbs to a wistful conclusion over three different musical phases. The final track on the ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning ’EP is a cover of ‘Time Eater’ by the Korean-based duo Sssigghborggg that also features the talents of Luna who performing the traditional Korean stringed instrument, gayageum on the track. The gorgeous, slightly eerie take on the original is rooted in post rock but has a unique beauty all to itself, as it unfurls to a dense, math-rock psychedelic jam.

As well as this, Gold Panda has also recently released a photography book with London-based photographer Laura Lewis entitled ‘Good Look And Do Your Best’, which is the counterpart to his highly acclaimed recent album of the same name. The pair set out to capture the rich sounds, moods and colours of suburban Japan that they had fallen so in love with during a trip in 2014, which became a catalyst for the record. It is available at selected shops and online via Bandcamp.

See Gold Panda live:
Nov 26th – Neon Lights Festival, Singapore SI
Dec 6th – Oval Space, London UK

Gold Panda – Chiba Nights (John Roberts Remix)

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Following the release of new album ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ earlier this year via City Slang, Gold Panda is sharing a new remix of his album standout track ‘Chiba Nights’, reworked by US producer John Roberts.

Speaking about the remix, Gold Panda, aka, Derwin went on to say “I’m a big fan of John Roberts’ work and I have nearly all of his releases so I was very flattered to hear he liked GLADYB and agreed to do a remix. The remix uses a similar sound palette to his new album “Plum” which was just released on his own label Brunette Editions and I highly recommend. It was nice to chat to him and find out that we share a fondness for Japan and the Akai MPC2000.

Listen to ‘Chiba Nights (John Roberts Remix) here:

‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’ is Gold Panda at his most relaxed & confident. Doused in a chalky Japanese-inspired haze and underpinned with a positivity & strength of conviction founded in being created amongst familiar settings & routines, it’s a record that is explorative and expansive, yet hearteningly warm & familiar. ‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’ is out now via City Slang worldwide and is available at https://goldpanda.lnk.to/gladyb and http://smarturl.it/GoldPandaLabel.

Gold Panda – Kingdom EP

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Following the release of his new album ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ earlier this year, Gold Panda has shared his new EP ‘Kingdom’. Made up of five entirely new tracks, ‘Kingdom’ is streaming in full online now via bandcamp.

Talking about the recordings, Derwin, aka, Gold Panda said “It was made after talking to a neighbour who moved his family from Afghanistan to the UK. He ordered a phone off Amazon so he could call home, but the delivery driver signed for it and kept it. I thought this was a pretty shitty welcome. I made a couple of less happy songs that are very very loosely based around that and my brexit fears, which were sadly confirmed”

Listen to ‘Kingdom’ here:

The Kingdom EP was written and recorded by Gold Panda in early 2016, following the completion of his Good Luck And Do Your Best LP. The compilation is currently only available on his bandcamp page, although the CD version will also be available on tour.

Video: Gold Panda – Chiba Nights

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After releasing his new album ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ last week via City Slang, Gold Panda has shared new visuals for album standout track ‘Chiba Nights’.

Speaking about the ‘Chiba Nights’ video, which FACT called “a bewitching travelogue postcard from Japan”, director Dan Tombs offered a little insight into the making of the visuals:

Spending a week in Tokyo and surrounding areas of Chiba and Minowa with Derwin, searching for unusual records, video games, payphones, workwear and LaserDiscs, I captured the rich visual environment of the country and fun moments spending time with friends and family. This is sliced into a grid of sixteen squares in reference to the MPC sampler that Gold Panda creates all his music with, changing with the rhythm of the track colliding the sights, colours and shapes together and breaking out in psychedelic kaleidoscopes.”

Watch ‘Chiba Nights’ here:

Gold Panda has announced a series of live shows, including UK and European summer festival appearances with London’s Field Day on June 11th.

Video: Gold Panda – Pink & Green

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Gold Panda is set to release his new album ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ on May 27th via City Slang. Today he’s sharing new track and video ‘Pink & Green’ from the forthcoming record. Gold Panda is also set to tour Europe later this year, including a show at London’s Tufnell Park Dome on May 30th.

Filmed in Japan, the ‘Pink & Green’ video shares footage of the experiences and inspirations that led to Gold Panda’s forthcoming album. Director Laura Lewis explains “Derwin (Gold Panda) and I travelled to Japan twice in 2014 to collate photography for what would become the cover art for Derwin’s third album, ‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’, elements of Derwin’s live visuals, and a photography book (also named ‘Good Luck and Do Your Best).

It was my first time in Japan and I was keen to capture as much as humanly possible, so whilst I was shooting stills, I also filmed as many of our travels and adventures as possible. ‘Pink & Green’ is therefore a mini documentary / behind the scenes glimpse of what happened along the way. It features some of the wonderful people we met, inspiring places we visited, and beautiful friends in Japan who helped make the trips so memorable.”

Watch the ‘Pink & Green’ video:

Gold Panda has also announced a series of live shows, including a London album release show in May plus UK and European summer festival appearances including London’s Field Day. ‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’ is to be released on May 27th via City Slang worldwide and is available for pre-order at https://goldpanda.lnk.to/gladyb and http://smarturl.it/GoldPandaLabel.

Video: Gold Panda – In My Car

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After recently announcing his upcoming album ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’, due 27th May via City Slang, Gold Panda is sharing the second single from the record, ‘In My Car’, online now. Gold Panda has also announced more UK live dates, in addition to the headline London show on 30th May.

Filmed by Rob Brandon, the ‘In My Car’ video was shot in Gold Panda’s hometown of Chelmsford and portrays an intimate look into the life of the producer, starring non-other than his grandmother, Lakhi Shiner.

Gold Panda said “I asked Rob to just come and film us (my gran and I) being boring. But now, when I watch it back, it doesn’t seem mundane at all. It seems actually really nice and sweet. I was thinking about all this cool stuff we could do, slow-mo shots, what outfit I could wear, maybe an explosion and who could be in my crew. But real life is exciting enough; you just don’t see it when you’re in it.

Rob spoke about what he wanted to get across in the video when he said “I think Derwin and myself are both in an artistic place that is quite real and honest and appreciative and we wanted to shoot a film that reflects that. We both have an odd relationship with Chelmsford and we tried our best to try capture that without being contrived about it.”

Watch the ‘In My Car’ video:

Gold Panda has also announced a series of live shows, including a London album release show in May plus UK and European summer festival appearances including London’s Field Day. ‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’ is to be released on May 27th via City Slang worldwide and is available for pre-order at https://goldpanda.lnk.to/gladyb and http://smarturl.it/GoldPandaLabel.

Video: Gold Panda – Time Eater

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photo by Denisse García Photography

City Slang welcome Gold Panda to the fold for the release of his forthcoming third album. ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ is set for release on May 27th 2016 and the record’s first single “Time Eater” is online now.

The video for “Time Eater” was created by one of Gold Panda’s long time collaborators, Ronni Shendar. The Israeli visual artist and curator recorded the footage in NYC, Berlin, Cologne Hong Kong and Las Vegas. Previously Ronni has toured with Gold Panda creating live visuals, as well as the videos for previous releases “Snow & Taxis” and “Marriage”.

Gold Panda has also announced a series of live shows, including a London album release show in May plus UK and European summer festival appearances including London’s Field Day– details below.

‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ was initially planned to be something else entirely. Early in 2014 the electronic artist most comfortable with the moniker Derwin Panda set out to Japan for the first of a pair of trips – the latest of many visits to a place he holds most dear. This time a photographer, Laura Lewis, accompanied him as Derwin’s plan was to collect both audio field recordings from his trip across the country as well as accompanying visuals, with Laura tasked to capture what they saw and encountered together. The idea was to be able to put together something other than a traditional record; a sight and sound documentary of his time there, but the expedition ended up being the catalyst for a new record.

It began with an album title. “Halfway through the first trip we bought rail tickets and rode across the country and went to Hiroshima”. Derwin explains. “One afternoon we had taken a taxi, and as we got out, the Japanese taxi driver’s parting words to us as we left, were ‘good luck and do your best’.”

It was [the driver] speaking in English. He didn’t know English that well, but there’s a Japanese phrase called ‘ganbatte, kudasai’. And roughly translated, it basically means ‘do your best’, or it can also mean ‘good luck’.

As a result of that chance interaction, Derwin says, he had the title for an album as well as a starting basis for the music. “Once you have a title, for me, things come together a lot easier for what it’s going to be.” Struck by the phrase, he ended up being led by the experience to make a record that is, to him “quite motivational, quite positive.”

Sonically, Derwin characterised the record by way of the visual inspiration he took from his Japanese trips. “I went over twice. Once in April, once in October, and they’re the best times to visit, because the weather is calm – it’s not too hot or too cold.

The album was recorded at home in Chelmsford, but I had that visual inspiration or documentation from Japan. So it was a look back. If you go in those months, Japan has this light that we don’t get here. It’s hard to explain. You know how LA has this dusk feeling? – that orange light that makes the place glow, and the neon signs? Well, Japan has this… at certain times of the year, it has this filter on stuff. So when we went the first time, there were a lot of pink and green colours. Mainly the buildings and cars and the people, and I think Laura captured those colours really well.”

Those sights and colours translated to a record that differs notably from his previous album, ‘Half Of Where You Live’. Whereas that record was occasionally taut, perhaps harder and more piecing, the 11 songs that comprise ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ have a distinctly warmer palate, one that echoes ‘Lucky Shiner’ a little more, albeit with a clearer range of sounds, and also, to Derwin’s mind, one where “the tracks aren’t popping out against each other. It’s a [complete] record.”

Having finished recording his album, Derwin took the songs to fellow musician and producer Luke Abbott, wherein Luke “made it sound good, he put it into his magic smelter”, Derwin laughs. Mixing it at Luke’s studio, which similar to Gold Panda’s place of work, resides in his parent’s house in Norwich, reinforced the nature of the record in Derwin’s mind. “It has a homely feel. The tracks were made at home and they were mixed at Luke’s studio, so throughout the process, there’s always been access to family and your local surroundings. And banana bread.”

‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’ is Gold Panda at his most relaxed & confident. Doused in a chalky Japanese-inspired haze and underpinned with a positivity & strength of conviction founded in being created amongst familiar settings & routines, it’s a record that is explorative and expansive, yet hearteningly warm & familiar.

You don’t control the music you make. The tracks need to reveal themselves”, Derwin muses. “Personally I don’t think I can choose to make it how I want.” But whether the 12 tracks that make up ‘Good Luck & Do your Best’ found him, or he found them, the result is a definitive & decisive chapter in Gold Panda’s trilogy: an album of vivid imagery & colour.

‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’ is to be released on May 27th via City Slang worldwide and is available for pre-order at https://goldpanda.lnk.to/gladyb and http://smarturl.it/GoldPandaLabel. “Time Eater” will be available for instant download with all pre-orders.

‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ tracklist:
1. Metal Bird
2. In My Car
3. Chiba Nights
4. Pink And Green
5. Song For A Dead Friend
6. I Am Real Punk
7. Autumn Fall
8. Halyards
9. Time Eater
10. Unthank
11. Your Good Times Are Just Beginning

Gold Panda tour dates:
March 3 – Zeewolde NL – Where the Wild Things Are Fest
March 25 – Amsterdam, NL – DGTL Fest
May 29 – London, UK – Tufnell Park Dome
June 2 – Los Angeles, US – Echoplex
June 11 – London, UK – Field Day Festival
June 16 – Barcelona, ES – Parc Del Forum