Magic Panda is Norfolk’s Jamie Robson. Norfolk is labelled by The Guardian as the UK’s most peaceful, warmest and chicest cities to live in out of London in the hinterland. The nature of the artist’s geographic origin can be heard in Temple of a Thousand Lights.
Temple of a Thousand Lights (ToaTL) is Magic Panda’s first full-length album after previous soundscapes and anthem-filled EPs. This album has been released on Tigerbeat6, a label managed by Kid606, a producer known for his production values and sense of fun with electronic music. The joy of production translates readily to this album.
First track ‘Tokyo’ may be deemed to be an overly-exuberant start to a full-length album, but then after a few tracks you realise that the whole of the album is going to be tracks of a fairly similar nature.
The overlaying theme of TOaTL is uplifting. Ascending keys, ethereal and beautiful composition, elevating synths, resonating synths, multiple and harmoniously layered synths. That pretty much says it all.
This is not to say that the tracks were ordinary or repetitive, it was quite the opposite. There are more driving moments within the resonance of ToaTL with tracks like ‘Distant Places’ (remixed by techno artist Max Cooper as well) and ‘Zwolf’. There’s meandering moments of softness in tracks like ‘A Perfect Circle’ and ‘Mothlight’, but generally it’s upbeat, soul-lifting stuff.
The tracks are never bland or boring loops, and have a lot of progression and consideration contained within the compositional flows. On the whole, ToaTL is really inspired stuff for nice people who want to be reminded the world is a beautiful and magical place with music.
Released 24 June 2013.