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Thursday, Jul 18 2013 | 21:31
Image: 1581542 Nearly three years after the release of his debut album Lucky Shiner, Gold Panda
returns with his second album Half Of Where You Live, to be released on Ghostly
International and his own NOTOWN label (UK). The album is the product of a period
spent touring the world multiple times around, absorbing influences and probing
potential new avenues of creative exploration.
Half Of Where You Live represents a stylistic and thematic advancement from Gold
Panda's previous work, expanding on the ideas he presented on
2012’s Mountain/Financial District 7” and this March’s Trust EP. It reflects its creator's
nomadic existence — you can see the influence of his travels in track titles like ‘Brazil’
and "Enoshima," in the oriental textures of "My Father In Hong Kong 1961" and "We
Work Nights," and in the sounds of "Junk City II," conceived as a hypothetical
soundtrack to '90s anime and the films of controversial director Takashi Miike.
“These films depicted a post-economic boom Tokyo in the 1990s", the producer
explains, "and there was a last days feeling in them. [The feeling] still lurks [in Japan]. I
saw a return to that possible dystopia. I've seen people in Osaka walking around,
jobless, mental, stricken. I think real desperation and poverty is returning, it’s quite
The whole album, in fact, is described as a “city album” by its maker, and it’s easy to
see why — each track possesses a different aesthetic and reflects a different
environment. Gold Panda describes it as “a jump from location to location… I felt like I
was stealing a piece of each place I went to.” ‘Community’ is a house-tinged reflection
on cultural divides in London, while "Brazil" catalogs Gold Panda's arrival in Sao Paolo:
“I wanted to make a track that soundtracked my ride from the airport to downtown” he
explains. “The [vocal] sample is kind of like an excited chant, bigging up the place, then
it all gets confusing to replicate the traffic and buildings."
Taking on this loose concept has meant a more considered approach for Gold Panda,
and the music has harsher edges than his previous work, and an almost hauntological
feel at times. Crucially, though, this new approach hasn't compromised the producer's
creative freedom, and the album still flows with his trademark organic vibrancy. “I've
tried to really focus on just a few elements,” he explains. “I tried to avoid chopped up
female vocals this time around, as it’s become pretty well done, and anything that was
too solid structurally. Ultimately, though, you just you find your groove and settle into a
sound and realize you only really need to please yourself.”

A1. Junk City II
A2. An English House
B1. Brazil
B2. My Father In Hong Kong 1961
B3. Community
C1. S950
C2. We Work Nights
C3. Flinton
D1. Enoshima
D2. The Most Liveable City
D3. Reprise Available from 28.06.2013
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