No one expected British chillwave programmer Gold Panda to sell out a show in Brooklyn, but he did. That show was on Saturday at Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg. The crowd began filling in around the small stage late in the chilly night. There was a certain mood about the room that boasted energy while remaining cool and calm. As the house DJs mixed together a danceable soundtrack to the night, the people on the floor swayed in anticipation.
When the music faded two guys who go by the moniker Bikini stepped onstage. The New York programmers, who released their RIPJDS EP late last year on Lefse, presented Glasslands with a dizzying mix of spacey synths, haunting vocals and reverbed beats. Dam Mantle played next, and his experimental sporadic beats and glitch-y synths were enough to make your head spin pleasantly. The music the Scottish artist produced was enough to hold the full attention of the audience, while keeping things noisy and strange. Witnessing Dam Mantle perform his entrancing style paired with his energetic and quirky stage presence was, indeed, a true find for those unfamiliar with his music.
London producer Derwin Panda, aka Gold Panda, modestly stepped up to his equipment later on in the evening. Gold Panda’s music is known as a perfect mix of glitching beats and chilled-out samples with a laid-back but danceable rhythm. Saturday night, however, the London-native wanted to be heard. The music was more aggressive than in his recordings, making it impossible not to move to the beats.
Though the programming of Gold Panda was moving, especially during crowd favorite “You,” the producer seemed to experiment a lot between songs. This is a move admirable to many electronic music enthusiasts (including myself), but the room seemed to lose focus during the set. Crowd conversation picked up more and more as the night went on, mostly during ad-libbed transitions.
Gold Panda definitely knows how to put together a solid recording (just check out his new album, Companion, on Ghostly International). Hearing the material programmed live, though, was a genuinely hypnotizing experience.