Artist: Magic Panda
Album Title: Temple of a Thousand Lights
Catalogue Number: meow198
Release date: June 24th
Format: full length digital album
Temple of a Thousand Lights is the debut album release from 31 year old UK producer Jamie Robson aka Magic Panda. An entire year in the making, Temple is the full length follow up to the well-received "Days are Numbered" and "Tokyo" EPs, with the titular tracks of both EPs making their way onto the LP.
Having spent several years establishing his sound, down to his acute and obsessive attention to detail, Magic Panda arrived late on the electronic music scene in 2011 with his debut EP, The Glass Mountain but in this short time has attracted support from and been playlisted by the likes of Laurent Garnier, Hernan Cattaneo and Max Cooper (whose remix of Distant Places featured on the Tokyo EP and skyrocketed to the top of the Beatport electronica charts). In addition to a handful of EPs and remixes, he has developed a club orientated live set and played alongside Luke Abbott, Ricardo Tobar, Mount Kimbie, Portico Quartet and DMX Krew both in the UK and across Europe.
Temple of a Thousand Lights is an album of contrasts, from the propulsive and energetic opener Tokyo, and Zwolf, to the delicate and expansive Luna Rosa and Mothlight, it is an exploration of light and dark spaces (Chiaroscuro), euphoria and melancholia (Days are Numbered, A Perfect Circle). Despite these contrasts the tracks are unified by their powerful intensity, creative song form and by the thread of wistful melodies that runs throughout. Temple's melodies allude to far away spaces, both geographic (Tokyo, Paper Crane) and metaphysical (Distant Places, Temple of a Thousand Lights), and attempt to explore the transcendent qualities of music and its power to take the listener into the world of dreams and the unconscious.
Magic Panda offers us some insight into the production process that yielded the story telling sonics for us here, “With Temple, what I set out to achieve was a coherent and unified body of work, tracks that interplayed with each other, that make sense and become whole within the context of the album. I very much took an 'in the box' approach to production methods, utilising an array of soft synths, VSTs, effects and samples, and using the session format of Ableton Live 8 to sketch out and develop ideas. I attempted to create a multi-layered, and complex sound throughout, starting with initial melodies as the building blocks and then building up a world of sound around these, utilising multiple contrasting synths, counter melodies, processed audio samples and peppering this with dynamic, scatty percussive arrangements.”
Magic Panda's sound exists in a non restrictive manner in the peripheries of a range of sub genres spanning techno, progressive house, shoe-gaze, post-rock, electronica and ambient, reflecting and assimilating a wide range of influences from the delicate 'plinkerpop' of Morr Music's mum and Herrmann and Kleine, through the sonic experimentation of Border Community to the more cinematic progressive soundscapes of GYBE, Mono, MBV and Sigur Ros. This is a much travelled promise of a storytelling producer’s first full length achievement.
02 A perfect circle
03 Days are numbered
05 Distant places
08 Luna rosa
09 Paper crane
10 Temple of a thousand lights
11 Distant Places -Max Cooper Remix (Bonus Track)
12 Tokyo - Kid606 "Blisspump" Remix (Bonus Track)