Gold Panda (or Derwin to mama and papa ‘Panda) has long since been slogging it out in the heavyweight arenas of electronica, provided that perhaps most understated and slight of genres could ever be weighed in in such a way. A perfunctory roll of the eyes over our review of his astounding input at last year’s Field Day ought to attest to that, though having released his only full-length to date – Lucky Shiner – long, long ago in 2010 there’s something of a chasmic discrepancy between the impression he’s now more than capable of making live, and that which has previously been laid down. Every now and then in this somewhat grim interim, he’s lobbed a sketchy aural slive down from his SoundCloud (for which go for Thailand Chord Droner, or the more fully formed Mountain / Financial District flipsider) though not until this afternoon has the gap been bridged.
And genuinely? With the Trust EP, he couldn’t have done so in a more emphatic fashion: opening with a somehow ominous Intro comprising the sounds of what seem burning synths bemoaning imminent dysfunction, we’re soon daubed in the gloopy, aqueous bloopery of the four-track’s title track – a laid-back ‘n’ lounge-y, Thievery Corporation-cum-Caribbean dream that’s as though the enduring soundtrack to the Elysian beach where all that departed machinery aforesaid quite contentedly washes up.
From here it’s back to the static-addled crackling of Burnt Out Car In A Forest – an at times almost overwhelming swell of quintessentially Asiatic tones suffused throughout with scuffed clacks and fuelled by an insistent, and with that persistently premonitory chord progression it is electronica utilised to a most devastating effect. Equivalent, incidentally, to kindling amid shrouds of rickety timberland.
Though it’s the extended-play’s fourth, final, and indeed most emblematically entitled track, Casyam_59#02, which emerges out, up, and above the spindly outstretched fingers of proverbial sonic forestry: among his most accomplished compositions to date, the rhythms sound organic; the samples warm and scrupulously fuzzed; the tune irrefutably melodious. It’s unmistakably Gold Panda, and with that the greatest creative height he’s yet to scale whether on record, or revising live and is but one of four more reasons to unwaveringly place your trust in Derwin.