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PANDA BEAR

Panda Bear & Sonic Boom

Reset In Dub

    Panda Bear & Sonic Boom, the duo of Noah Lennox and Peter Kember, release Reset in Dub, a dub version of their acclaimed 2022 LP Reset, featuring reworkings of all nine tracks by the legendary British dub producer Adrian Sherwood, via Domino. Sherwood created his version of Reset at his On-U Sound Studios with a crew that included such storied musicians as Doug Wimbish and Skip McDonald of the Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, as well as Prisoner, Alex White, Horseman, Mark Bandola, “Crucial” Tony, Ras Badthings, Ivan “Celloman” Hussey, and Mathew Smythe. “One of the primary influences on Reset was

    Jamaican rocksteady and it seemed like an interesting idea to explore taking it back to that sort of tropical root,” says Kember.

    “I like big empty spaces; I like malls when there's no one there and the beach in the wintertime - visually it’s simple and uncluttered and the noise of the surf drowns out everything else, so I suppose it's no surprise I've always liked the sound of dub,” says Lennox, “and though some stuff bears its mark more than others I'd wager you can find residues of it in everything I've done. As a fan of Adrian’s I was excited when Pete suggested we ask him to do some dubs of Reset tracks, but as they started to come through it was clear what he was working on was much more than a dub. Reset in Dub feels like the thing filtered through a prism and it recontextualizes the OG.”

    “This is a complete reset of Reset from myself and the On-U Sound crew,” says Sherwood. “Being a fan of Animal Collective and Spacemen 3, when it was suggested we do this together I loved the idea and relished the challenge. We talked about influences, old records, mixing techniques and made a plan, which was to keep all the elements of trippy fun, but with added menace, groove and an ultra active mix for the ‘heads.’ Very happy and proud of the result.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A brilliant flipside to PB & SB's already superb Reset album. You just know a suite of dubs put together by the great Adrian Sherwood is going to be a great time, and with such stallar source material it's no surprise that it's turned out this well. Rich, cosmic dubby madness.

    Panda Bear

    Tomboy - 2023 Reissue

      Recorded at his studio in Lisbon, "Tomboy" sees Panda Bear, aka Noah Lennox, stepping away from the sample-based parameters of his previous record and incorporating more guitar and synthesiser. Still prevalent though, is the interest in texture that made "Person Pitch" such a dense record; crashing waves and cheering crowds bounce against the gurgling arpeggios and give the tracks an immense sense of space. Soaked in reverb and punctuated with inflections of delay, the album’s drums reveal a dub influence which gives them a visceral punch that lingers after each hit. Lennox’s lofty, self-harmonising vocals smooth out the songs, and Sonic Boom’s mixing gives the work a large dynamic range.

      Through it all, Lennox has remained resilient in following his singular vision and voice. 'I’ve definitely traversed some kind of mind field the last year or so and it hasn’t always been pleasant or easy', Lennox says. 'But it’s been more a positive irritant than anything else'. "Tomboy" proves, above all else, that he’s risen to the challenge and surpassed (as well as sidestepped) all expectations. And in following up "Person Pitch", Panda Bear has again taken to releasing the album as a batch of separate singles first, for labels like Kompakt, Fat Cat, Paw Tracks, and Domino. 'Doing the singles helps me focus on every song and also helps me move along in the process'.

      Also part of the process was moving past the gear that informed the dense sonic tapestries of "Person Pitch" and MPP: 'I got tired of the severe parameters of using samplers. Thinking about Nirvana and the White Stripes got me into the idea of doing something with a heavy focus on guitar and rhythm'. Favouring a darker, more-streamlined sound on "Tomboy", Lennox went for a more visceral and direct approach, though that rock tendency was offset by another old influence on Lennox: 'With regards to where I am with Tomboy, I’m definitely reliving middle school and all the Baltimore R&B radio we used to ingest'.

      It lends itself to the paradox of the title itself. Lennox explains: 'A lot of the songs are about something that’s in conflict with itself, so the image of a ‘tomboy’ has become the overseeing figure as far as the group of songs go'. It might even exemplify the conflict of Panda Bear himself: underground and experimental in his approach to sound, he also strives to craft gorgeous pop for the widest audience possible. With "Tomboy", he’s attained his greatest balance between the two extremes yet.

      Both as a member of Animal Collective and as solo artist, Panda Bear, Noah Lennox spent the aughts helping redefine the aesthetics and methodology of experimental and independent music. With work ranging from splayed but lyrical noise, florid acoustic arrangements, and guitar-centric psychedelia, he and his bandmates have covered a vast musical territory that blurs the line between pop and experimentalism.

      TRACK LISTING

      You Can Count On Me
      Tomboy
      Slow Motion
      Surfer's Hymn
      Last Night At The Jetty
      Drone
      Alsatian Darn
      Scheherazade
      Friendship Bracelet
      Afterburner
      Benfica

      Panda Bear

      Person Pitch - 2023 Reissue

        Quite simply, this is an astonishing album. Animal Collective member Panda Bear (a.k.a. Noah Lennox) boldly returns with his third solo record "Person Pitch". Years in the making, "Person Pitch" marks a dramatic departure from Panda Bear's previous solo record "Young Prayer". The acoustic instruments of "Young Prayer" have been replaced with samplers and electronics. Imagine if you will, a stoned out, ethereal collaboration with a young Brian Wilson, Steve Reich, My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields and Brian Eno and you might be getting half way near to the aural brilliance on show here. The songs here shimmer along combining dizzying melodies, abstract sounds and off-kilter rhythms, all coated in a super rich surround-sound that mesmerizes the listener into a state of wide-eyed bliss, like a drug induced dream of all the best bits of music from since time began rolled into one album.

        TRACK LISTING

        Comfy In Nautica
        Take Pills
        Bros
        I’m Not
        Good Girls / Carrots
        Search For Delicious
        Ponytail

        Panda Bear & Sonic Boom

        Reset

          Although Panda Bear and Sonic Boom are no strangers to each other’s music, Reset marks their first collaborative release. When SB pitched an idea to take their working relationship to the next level, he reckoned PB might reject the proposition outright—in the nine gloriously, feverishly hook-bound tracks of Reset, though, you can hear exactly how much he loved the prospect.

          SB’s notion was simple enough: After lugging his records to Portugal years ago, his fascination was renewed by old favorites and standards he had not heard in years. Something struck him, the way the ornate intros by Eddie Cochran or the Everly Brothers felt largely like stage curtains, compelling in their own right even if they had very little to do with the hits that followed. SB began crafting loops from these preambles, twisting and bending the parts like scrap metal before sending them onto PB.

          The kernel of Reset emerged not long after international lockdowns began. If making it supplied temporary medicine for the duo, it is now permanently so for the rest of us, a reminder that sometimes playing and singing along to old favorites with friends can be enough to make the world feel a bit better.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Darryl says: Noah Lennox AKA Panda Bear and Pete Kember AKA Sonic Boom are longtime collaborators so it seemed only a matter of time before they’d team up together on an album. Reset is a 60s concept record built around intros to rock’n’roll 45s, before being reshaped with harmony overloads, repetitive loops, and psychedelic heavy samples. A perfect sonic melding of their previous bands, Animal Collective and Spacemen 3.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Gettin’ To The Point
          2. Go On
          3. Everyday
          4. Edge Of The Edge
          5. In My Body
          6. Whirlpool
          7. Danger
          8. Livin’ In The After
          9. Everything’s Been Leading To This

          Noah Lennox's sixth solo album as Panda Bear is Buoys. The first song to be released from Buoys is “Dolphin”: Lennox’s bright, sincere voice front and center, with miles of space surrounding it, a guitar and some textured samples fleshing out the dubby sparseness and undercurrent of speaker-limit-pushing sub-bass low-end. Buoys was co-produced and co-mixed by collaborator Rusty Santos in Lennox’s adopted home of Lisbon, Portugal. Lennox and Santos last collaborated on the landmark Panda Bear album Person Pitch, which had its 10-year anniversary last year.

          Animated by their ongoing interest in contemporary music production techniques, Lennox and Santos envisioned something that would “feel familiar to a young person’s ears.” However, Buoys retains a deep layer of experimentation coursing through the hyper-modern production – a hallmark of Panda Bear releases that will feel intimately familiar to fans of Lennox’s decade-plus body of work.

          Alongside Santos, Buoys also features collaborators in Chilean DJ/vocalist Lizz and Portuguese musician Dino D'Santiago, both artists who came to Lennox via Santos’ recent trap and reggaeton production work; the former contributes arrangements throughout the album including “Dolphin,” and both lend their vocals to “Inner Monologue."

          Buoys is the first Panda Bear release since 2018's vinyl-only EP A Day With the Homies, and the follow-up to 2015's kaleidoscopic full-length Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. "The last three records felt like a chapter to me, and this feels like the beginning of something new," says Lennox whilst surveying how Buoys relates to the estimable Panda Bear catalogue. Indeed, the forthcoming Buoys is full of fresh ideas from one of modern music's most fascinating, innovative, and emotionally generous artists.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Having always been the more electronic side of the musical monolith that is Animal Collective, Panda Bear clearly brings the off-kilter melodies and syncopated Books-esque loop manipulation, with 'Buoys' proving to be every bit the staggered and echo-laden monolith we'd expect. Comfortingly avant-garde without stepping too far into art-rock or ostracising the listener, buoys takes a while to reel you in but when it does, you're stuck for good.

          TRACK LISTING

          01. Dolphin
          02. Cranked
          03. Token
          04. I Know I Don’t Know
          05. Master
          06. Buoys
          07. Inner Monologue
          08. Crescendo
          09. Home Free 

          Panda Bear

          Young Prayer

            Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear, a.k.a. one-fourth of the founding members of Animal Collective, has had a far-from-quiet few years since the release of his fourth solo record, 2011’s Tomboy. Since the breakout success of 2007’s universally-adored Person Pitch, each new Panda Bear release is a highly anticipated event, and with a high-profile Daft Punk collaboration later, that’s more the case than ever. But if the title of his fifth solo album as Panda Bear seems to portend certain doom, think again.

            Taking his inspiration from 70s dub duo albums like King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown and Augustus Pablo Meets Lee Perry & the Wailers Band, Panda Bear prefers to frame his latest work as less of a battle and more a collaboration. “I see it [as] more comicbooky, a little more lighthearted” he says. “Like Alien Vs. Predator”. Young Prayer is the second full length solo album by Panda Bear. It was recorded in Panda Bear’s childhood home in 2002 by Deakin and further produced by the mysterious Animal Collective brothers known as Come Winter. It was originally released in 2004 on Paw Tracks as PAW2.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side 1
            1. Untitled 1
            2. Untitled 2
            3. Untitled 3
            4. Untitled 4
            5. Untitled 5
            Side 2
            1. Untitled 6
            2. Untitled 7
            3. Untitled 8
            4. Untitled 9

            Panda Bear

            Crosswords

              On his ‘Crosswords’ EP, Noah Lennox bequeaths five fresh and finely observed body-pop wonders.

              Three new songs: ‘No Mans Land’, ‘Jabberwocky’ and ‘Cosplay’ and two re-castings of previous ore -‘The Preakness’ (previously heard in spirited demo form on 2012’s ‘Tomboy’ boxset) and the whole shebang treasure-topped with a fresh take on his ‘PBVSGR’ soul tour de force ‘Crosswords’.

              Aided on studio production duties by Sonic Boom.

              Eye-popping artwork by Swiss artist Marco Papiro with custom typefaces by Black Dice’s Bjorn Copeland.

              TRACK LISTING

              Crosswords (EP Mix)
              No Mans Land
              Jabberwocky
              The Preakness
              Cosplay

              Panda Bear

              Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

              Panda Bear aka Noah Lennox has had a far-from-quiet few years since the release of his fourth solo record, 2011’s ‘Tomboy’. Since the breakout success of 2007’s universally-adored ‘Person Pitch’, each new Panda Bear release is a highly anticipated event and, one high profile Daft Punk collaboration later (‘Doin’ It Right’ from ‘Random Access Memories’), this is more the case than ever.

              Old school hip hop textures and production techniques meld with the intuitive, cyclical melodies he has become known for, a sound that is at once both dense and playful.

              Recording for the album came together everywhere from El Paso, Texas, to a garage by the beach near his home in Lisbon, Portugal. In a relationship that already proved fruitful on ‘Tomboy’, Noah partnered again with Pete ‘Sonic Boom’ Kember (Spacemen 3, Spectrum), this time in a more top-to-bottom production role.

              TRACK LISTING

              Sequential Circuits
              Mr Noah
              Davy Jones’ Locker
              Crosswords
              Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker
              Boys Latin
              Come To Your Senses
              Tropic Of Cancer
              Shadow Of The Colossus
              Lonely Wanderer
              Principe Real
              Selfish Gene
              Acid Wash

              Panda Bear

              Surfer's Hymn - Actress Remix

                Following the 7” release of Panda Bear’s final single in the series that lead up to the release of his new album "Tomboy", Kompakt now present the Actress remix from the 45's flipside the way it was intended - as a 12 minute epic for the dancefloor.

                If you found Actress's "Splazsh" album a little too opaque, or perhaps a bit dense and mind-consuming in its leftfield electronica production, then you having nothing to fear from this rework as, for this remix, Cunningham ties his obvious talent to an accessible 4/4 house framework. Similar to the work on recent albums by Four Tet or Caribou, this rework of "Surfer's Hymn" features percussive, poly-rhythms opening out into a dry, post-dubstep / house riddim, plus the organ drones and sun-dappled chillwave shards of sound from Panda Bear's original. A house-meets-electronica essential!



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