I declared an interest with Gold Panda's 2010 album 'Lucky Shiner'
and with the release of his new project 'Hall Of Where You Live' see
no good reason, as yet, to abandon him. Derwin Schlecker has turned
in another intriguing set here. There's an tantalizingly exotic quality
to Mr Panda's music. The beats, though solid and clearly intended to
make us dance, are dressed up in sparkling synth arrangements which
unite simple but effective melodic elements with cut-and-paste vocal
fragments to intriguing and absorbing effect. It's a right rich mix.
Although complex and densely-structured there is a light and airy quality
to many of the eleven compositions in the collection. (Imagine a warm breeze
blowing between palm trees on a tropical white sand beach and you're
somewhere close). Opening track 'Junk City II' and 'My Father In Hong Kong
1961' both contain sonorities suggestive of an Indonesian gamelan orchestra,
while 'Brazil' (an especially addictive invention) demonstrates an innate
understanding of the passionate physical energy underpinning Latin rhythms.
'The Most Liveable City', however, is in many ways the most enchanting piece;
a bubbling, chattering dreamscape touched gently by the spirit of drum-and-bass.
Mr Panda's fine album fully deserves our appreciation and applause.