Gold Panda: Companion

Gold Panda
(Ghostly International)

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Gold Panda’s Companion is the perfect record to spin when you find yourself juxtaposed between the present and the past, the social and the lonely, the restless and the content. The electro-pieces flow from feverish and complex on “Police” and “Mayuri” to introspective and chill with “Lonely Owl” and “Fifth Ave.” Companion as a whole fluctuates seamlessly between grainy layers of urban-influenced samples to fusions of Asian instruments and chord structures (likely hailing from his time spent studying in Japan), notably the kyoto loop on “Quitter’s Raga,” a single lauded by Pitchfork’s year-end Top 100 list.

Gold Panda defines his sound with the use of eclectic samples like pipes clanking together, and the sound of dripping water echoing against metal. Lots of white noise, frequencies and prolonged notes that seem to be looking for somewhere to settle but never quite make it there add to this album’s feeling of indifference to time. It’s like all of life’s extraneous filler sounds amassed themselves into a writhing, coherent whole that came to live on this record, and it’s ultimately just a glimpse of what lives in Gold Panda’s imagination.

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