It’s been 3 years since Gold Panda released his 2013 album, ‘Reprise‘ and 6 years since he blew us away with his smash-hit EP ‘You‘. In this album he combines his trademark groovy sound with eastern influences to create a solid chillstep soundtrack to accompany your summer shenanigans.
In February the UK producer announced to the world that he would soon be dropping a new album that was primarily influenced by his experience visiting Japan in 2014. In fact, the name itself was supposedly inspired by the last words a Japanese cab driver muttered to him when he was exiting the car.
The beauty about this album is that it is genre-bending; it is a concoction of different genre-specific elements carefully strewn together to tell Gold Panda‘s story through music. It warmly invites us along the adventure with ‘Metal Bird’, a serene but melodic track that teases you for what’s to come. The following track, ‘In My Car’, reminds us of why we fell in love with him in the first place: the high-pitched vocals on loop and the nostalgic synth that inspires a sense of wanderlust.
Going into the last couple of tracks of the album, we’re presented with house-infused tracks that suggest we’re nearing the climax of our adventure. ‘Halyards’ sets off with an infectious snare sample that urges us to let loose and allow the music to fully take over every inch our bodies. It sets a great precedent for one of the highlights of the album, ‘Time Eater’. This is arguably the song in which you can most noticeably identify the eastern influences – particularly through the use of an underlying sample that mimics the twangy sound of the traditional Japanese instrument, the shimsen. Another great thing about this track is how visual it is. Much like the album on a larger scale, you can actively see the song take you from point A to point B through a series of sonic explosion and sound layering. I’d go as far as saying that this would be a phenomenal track to sync to an action-packed scene in Matrix-esque film. Watch the colorfully explosive video below:
Few producers can embrace their peculiarity as well as he does – if ever something feels out of place in one of his tracks, you can find comfort in the thought that every single element of the album was carefully panned out to reflect his journey across Japan. I’m looking forward to playing this one to the point of tiring my ears out with this melodic and immersive album.
‘Good Luck and Do Your Best’ Tracklist:
01 Metal Bird
02 In My Car
03 Chiba Nights
04 Pink and Green
05 Song for a Dead Friend
06 I Am Real Punk
07 Autumn Fall
09 Time Eater
11 Your Good Times Are Just Beginning