Gold Panda

Half of Where You Live

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Berlin by way of Essex DJ/producer Gold Panda continues his exploration of soothing electronica and house beats on his second full-length album. Aside from a touch of vocal sampling (usually a single repeated phrase, for instance Sofia Kourtesis' looped voice saying "in this house" on "An English House"), the outing is quite similar to 2010's Lucky Shiner. The musical foundation tends to be built on warm, bubbly synth textures again, with the primary change being that Derwin's material tends to be a little more upbeat and world-oriented on this release. He quotes the films of Takashi Miike as the primary motivation for the Asian-styled "Enoshima," "Junk City II," "Flinton," and "My Father in Hong Kong 1961," while his travels to São Paulo provide the inspiration for "Reprise" (which borrows a sample from Sergio Mendes' "You Been Away Too Long") and "Brazil." In a few tracks, Gold Panda takes a new, ambient approach by forgoing beats and chopping bells or synthesizer blips into a skittering, pulsing percussion line that feels hypnotic and mystical. While Half of Where You Live is a slightly more streamlined electronic album than his debut, it still manages to be a transporting work that is easy to enjoy as a hip, calming background mood piece, and stands as a nice, fitting addition to the Ghostly International catalog.

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