Caught in the Net: Gold Panda retains his high standards


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The British electronic producer Gold Panda fashioned one of the best debuts of 2010 with his sparkling Lucky Shiner album.

There's no sign of a follow up, as yet, but next month sees the arrival of a mix he has put together for the regular DJ Kicks series – I suppose it's something of a right of passage in the electronica world to be asked to do one. The opener on the 22-track electro mix is a brand new effort by Gold Panda himself. Fancily named, An Iceberg Hurled Northwards Through Clouds, it has a suitably icy feel, but with glorious bells chiming throughout. His form remains strong almost exactly a year on from Lucky Shiner. The new track is streaming ahead of the mix release at

More wonderful tunes out of Africa

In July Damon Albarn assembled a group of producers to record an album (see review of Kinshasa One Two, left)in the Democratic Republic of Congo. During that time there were updates on their progress on the blog, and in the past month there has been several tracks leaked from the record. You could say it's a follow up of sorts to Albarn's wonderful 2002 Mali Music project. The record was made in collaboration with Oxfam and all proceeds from it go to the charity's work in the DRC. The whole album was previewed online this week on the Hype Machine at, ahead of its digital release next week. A physical release will follow on Warp in November.

Silk cuts

The LA based label 100% Silk specialises in disco and house 12-inch record releases – it's an offshoot of the well regarded experimental label Not Not Fun. You probably wouldn't find its releases in all good retailers, but helpfully 100% Silk have put together a free mixtape for the French magazine Wow. There are some fine strange sounds to be discovered. Download it from Wow's site at

A walk on the wild side?

Since news arrived of a collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica – which has been nicknamed LouTallica, in the style of a celebrity couple – I've been somewhat suspicious of the whole enterprise. Adding to said suspicion is that their album, released on 31 October, is called Lulu. I'm sure there's fine reasoning behind it all, but it still seems dubious. This week the first full track from their coupling was aired: it's streaming on Soundcloud at The song, called "The View", begins with Lou Reed singing about a magnet. His voice is his usual gravel lined drawl, while Metallica provide the background noise, chugging along in their usual manner – if a little slower than normal. I remain unconvinced.