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Song of the Day #166: Boys Latin

Panda Bear – Boys Latin

I didn’t know about Panda Bear until he was heavily featured on Doin’ It Right, the #2 single on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories from the summer of 2013. Dubbed an experimental musician specializing in “neo-psychedelia”, he is a founder of the band called Animal Collective. Very interesting music video that captures the ethereal quality of his music production style.

This Thursday we are hosting a listening party for the latest Panda Bear album, which (aside from this song) I have not heard.

Check out Panda Bear on Spotify or Wikipedia.

Published on January 27, 2015
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Song of the Day #165: Same Dream China

Gold Panda – Same Dream China

Moments ago I published the latest episode of the Chengdu Living Podcast, where we used this song, Same Dream China, as both the intro and outro. Gold Panda is outstanding, regardless of the China connection, but this was simply too good a fit to not use in the podcast. What makes it so great is that it has clear and distinct Chinese influence without being overly oriental-sounding, which would sound cliche as intro music to a China-themed podcast.

Since this song has no official music video, I used one of the several fan-made music videos for this song available on Youtube. This one’s particularly great because it features so many great shots of China.

Check out Gold Panda on Spotify.

Published on January 23, 2015
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Song of the Day #164: White Keys

Chilly Gonzalez – White Keys

You’ve probably heard Chilly Gonzalez without knowing it: he appeared as a guest artist on last years’ Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, which was awarded a Grammy for Best Album of 2014He has a band with Boyz Noise called Octave Minds (which feature some really neat music videos). And he’s a solo artist, along with other collaborations including Domogenesis and his Berlin-based hip hop group Puppetmastaz.

But recently I’ve been listening to his 2004 self-explanatory album titled Solo Piano. It’s fantastic background music that provides just enough atmosphere without getting in the way. I appreciate jazz music greatly, but it’s often a little too noisy for background music.

The song above is from the sequel to his solo piano album, logically titled Solo Piano 2. Filmed in what he calls “Pianovision”.

Check out Chilly Gonzalez on Spotify.

Published on January 20, 2015
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Song of the Day #163: Pegasus

GEMS – Pegasus

GEMS is a relatively little-known dream pop duo out of Washington D.C. that has existed since 2012. Although they have a very small catalog of material available, what they have is very good. The hallmarks of their distinctly dream-like sound are the sultry vocals of Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher. Next time I’m in D.C. I would love to catch one of their shows.

Check out GEMS on Spotify.

Published on January 16, 2015
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Song of the Day #161: Let’s Go

Stuck in the Sound – Let’s Go

Stuck in the Sound is a Paris-based indie rock band formed in 2002. The official video for this song, Let’s Go, was released as a single with their 2012 album titled Pursuit.

The concept for this video, a dedicated Chinese boy who commits himself to becoming an astronaut only to find something unexpected, is amazing. The visuals don’t just accompany the song, they elevate it to another level.

Check out Stuck in the Sound on Spotify.

Published on November 6, 2014
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Song of the Day #160: Kodama

20Syl – Kodama

Created by 20Syl, member of C2C and founder of the Hocus Pocus hip hop group. I especially love this because the Akai MPC 2000XL (a vintage drum machine that I’ve had since 2008) is featured so prominently.

Check out C2C or 20Syl on Youtube. Both of these channels have fantastic music.

Published on October 11, 2014
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Song of the Day #159: Adventure

Disasterpeace – Adventure

Fez OSTFez is an independent game released in 2012 that I never got around to playing. Now that I have, I am blown away by the soundtrack, which was entirely produced by a guy from Oakland working under the moniker “Disasterpeace”. Video game soundtracks are almost always entirely forgettable, but there are some notable exceptions like Fez and Hotline Miami.

With the game Fez featuring a colorful pixel-based art style, you would expect the soundtrack to conform to a retro game aesthetic. But it comes closer to sounding like a video game interpretation of the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis, with bright synths and heavy reverb which gives the overall sound a dream-like quality. It also sounds like Boards of Canada.

Two other songs which I really enjoyed on this soundtrack are Flow and Beacon, also on Youtube along with the full album. This is a game I have really enjoyed so I expect that I will write a review of it when I’ve completed the game.

Check out the Fez official soundtrack on Spotify or read the Wikipedia entry on the music of Fez.

Published on October 8, 2014

City Zen @ Little Bar, Chengdu

City Zen

The new band of my good friend and frequently collaborator, Kafe Hu.

Published on September 16, 2014