Magic Panda :: Temple of a Thousand Lights (Tigerbeat6)

Swirling arpeggios provide backbone to a number of the tracks and there’s no holding back when it comes to deploying a big melodic lead line or deft chord shift. The overall feeling is one of uplifting melancholia.

There is definitely something in the water in Norfolk. This beautifully rural big sky county in the East of England is fast becoming a home for some of the best electronic music coming out of the UK. Not content with producing purveyors of pastoral techno such as Luke Abbott and Nathan Fake, Norfolk now offers us Jamie Robson (aka Magic Panda) whose debut album is released on Kid606’s Tigerbeat6 imprint.

Temple of a Thousand Lights focuses on the marriage of overt melody to techno—taking in a gently distorted shoegaze influence along the way and creating a highly accessible sound that feels like it will work both at home and in a club.

Swirling arpeggios provide backbone to a number of the tracks and there’s no holding back when it comes to deploying a big melodic lead line or deft chord shift. The overall feeling is one of uplifting melancholia—if such a state is possible. Just take a listen to “A Perfect Circle” where the marriage of music box chimes to a driving arp progression and choir like melodies capture this state perfectly. There’s a magisterially epic air to tracks like “Distant Places” and “Paper Crane” where further use of choir adds an ethereal quality throughout. Percussion is subtly programmed without aggressively overtaking things in the mix plus there’s much use of slight distortion leaving a warm hazy fuzz throughout. It’s very pretty music with just a mere hint, yet not an overdose, of saccharine used to great effect in more pensive pieces “Chiaroscoru” and “Luna Rosa”.

Robson has that uncanny knack of creating melodies that you feel you’ve heard somewhere before whilst enshrining them in an entirely new context—resulting in an album both exciting and enduring.

It always feels a bit remiss to compare artists to others but for the purposes of guiding you towards this album, the following are reference points alone: Traum style techno / electronica, Max Cooper, Ryan Davies, Border Community, Ulrich Schnauss and more obscurely hidden nods to MBV and Sigur Ros. With excellent remixes from Max Cooper and Kid606 as bonus tracks this comes as a thoroughly recommended release.

Temple of a Thousand Lights is available on Tigerbeat6.

TAGS: , , , , , ,

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.