Magic Panda introduces his “intense anthemic” sound and explains how Four Tet inspired him to ditch his guitar and dive head-first into electronica.
Who are you?
I’m Jamie Robson, a 31 year-old mild-mannered vegetarian from the hinterland of Norfolk. Oh, and I also make and perform electronic music under the alias of Magic Panda.
What do you sound like?
I always find this type of question tricky without getting lost in a web of contradictions. Well here goes – I guess my sound could best be described as ethereal, energetic and melancholic electronica, with intense anthemic melodies, asymmetric percussion, and elements of shoegaze, prog-house and techno. Hope that doesn’t sound too contradictory!
Why should we listen to you?
I hope people can find something different and unique in my music, in both mood and style, and that the emotions and ideas contained within it can resonate with them on some level. I know there’s a whole load of good experimental electronica out there, but I think I’ve carved out my own Magic Panda-sized niche within it.
What have you released so far? What else have you got coming out in the near future?
The first release was The Glass Mountain EP on Lanny May’s Maripoza label back in 2011. I followed this up with the Days Are Numbered EP on Kid606′s Tigerbeat6 and a free three-track EP for Belgian net label Silenced. I’ve been dabbling in the world of remixes and had the pleasure of remixing Groj, Sargasso Trio, Kid606, Ina Becker, Van Did and Karl M. Temple is my first LP and has been a year or so in the making. As for future releases, I’m working on a new EP and have a few more remixes in the pipeline. After these I’ll take a short break from production before starting work on a second album.
What song sums you up? Why?
I’d say that the Magic Panda sound is best summed up by ‘Days Are Numbered’. I think it best exemplifies where I’m at and what I’m trying to achieve musically.
What or who is your biggest influence and why?
Hard to single it down to a single influence, but if I had to, it would probably have to be Four Tet. It was listening to Four Tet’s Rounds album years ago that inspired me to ditch the guitar and delve further into electronic music production. I fell in love with the unusual, unique textures of his music, his collage-like approach to production and the overall atmosphere created by his music.
Where can we hear your music?
All my released tracks are up, mostly in full, on my SoundCloud page. Most of my tracks have made their way onto YouTube too.
Where will you be in five years’ time?
Hopefully still making and releasing music that people want to hear. I don’t know what direction my music will take in this time, I’ll just see where my ideas, emotions and life take me. In an ideal world, I’d love to be in a position where I can make a living from my music, to allow me to focus on it as a full-time pursuit, but I’m realistic and know that not many artists have that privilege.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I have long canines that look a bit like wolf fangs!