My Panda Shall Fly My Panda Shall FlySorry I Took So Long
GROWING RECORDS (GROWING003BO, digital)
The three original tracks My Panda Shall Fly makes his debut with as a producer are highly puzzling. It’s a good thing, surely: they’re puzzling because they’re reminiscent of a lot of things without exactly fitting in one particular corner of the present bass music scene. At first, it’s hard to specify whether “Injury”, “Xerox” and “Yoyo” are closer to dubstep with zooming basslines, abstract hip-hop from the Brainfeeder school or disintegrated and warm IDM in the vein of Becoming Real. But there really is a lot more: there is the background of multicultural London –My Panda Shall Fly was born in Sri Lanka, like M.I.A., and has been living in London for quite some time (he’s 23 years old now) and is well established in the city’s underground as a DJ and remixer–, but there’s internet culture as well, the voracity and quick assimilation of sounds that allow for this sort of thing to happen: tracks that work in different contexts, without them being in one particular style.
Behind My Panda Shall Fly’s release is Dam Mantle, the boss of Growing Records and another transversal beatmaker with the same passion for breaking the boundaries between IDM with breaks, dubstep and Flying Lotus tributes. “Yoyo” features a ground-shaking bassline, “Xerox” is very melodic: the delicious thing about MPSF lies, therefore, in the intangible. The remixes on the digital release are more style-specific: DoReMi take “Injury” to 2step and Pirate SoundSystem turn it into a brutal rave revival tune with touches of funky house (both are new signings on the label); chief Dan Mantle makes “Xerox” an abstract affair and Nightwave converts “Injury” to video game music; Throwing Snow, the last name on the list, lives up to his reputation and covers “Injury” in mist and happiness like early Joy Orbison. It’s not because of the quality or quantity you should hear this record, it’s because of the newness of its sounds.
Claude T. Hill