The south London producer celebrates his new record with an otherworldly ambient mix
For his long-awaited debut album Too, London's My Panda Shall Fly became a sonic globe-trotter, linking up with vocalists all over the world to create a melting pot of lush, hazy electronic pop songs. To celebrate its release, the producer has become an explorer on a whole different plane, crafting us what he calls "an epic, two-hour, 31-track mix of beautiful ambient, meidtation and spiritual music from another planet." Find a calm spot, hand on your heart chakra, and lock in below; or, if now's not the right time for a meditation session, have a read about how the Brazilian sunshine and Sega Mega Drive soundtracks informed the making of Too.
So, this mix is one to meditate to. Is that something you do much of?
My Panda Shall Fly: Actually I've never meditated once in my life. My last life-coach Dr. Garret warned me against it because of my unusually fragile state of mind.
Was this spiritual, ambient vibe one that influenced the making of Too?
My Panda Shall Fly: Not necessarily. There was no doubt a lot influence drawn from when I lived in Praia Sancho, Brazil as a critter. The sunshine must have sneaked into this album in some way, shape or form!
For this album you worked with singers from all over the world. What was that collaborative process like?
My Panda Shall Fly: It was beautiful. I was, and still am, blown away by the pure talent that each of my collaborators possess. For this album, the process differed slightly than usual in that most of the music and arrangements were already completed by the time I sent it to the singers. Even though they weren't a part of the initial songwriting process, they all sent me absolutely incredible recordings that they had whipped up in their own studios, ripe with their own charm and idiosyncrasies – which I really liked.
The result is an almost global sound. Did you try to consciously separate the music from any sense of place and make it universal?
My Panda Shall Fly: I'm glad it comes across like that! It is something I was aware of, having singers like Troels Abrahamsen in Denmark and Adi Ulmansky in Israel. I felt like I would have limited the scope of the album entirely had I been really strict and stuck to only collaborating with artists from London. From the beginning, I want like this album to sound like it could have been made anywhere.
Do you have any other musical influences that might surprise us?
My Panda Shall Fly: I go crazy for 16-bit video game music from consoles like the SNES and Mega Drive. I have a private Youtube playlist of around 300 hand-picked pieces of music I listen to ritually at 6am in the morning every second Monday of the month.
My Panda Shall Fly's meditation mix tracklist:
Daniel Kobialka – “Going Home Again”
Gas – “Microscopic”
Global Communication – “4:14”
Laraaji – “I Am Ocean”
Judith Tripp – “Li Sun”
Aeoliah – “Anchoring Inner Peace Through Fluid Motion”
Schawkie Roth & Joel Andrews – “Crystal Vision Dance”
The Black Dog – “Meditation No #4”
The Infinity Project – “Blue Aura”
Constance Demby – “Ave's Trance”
Brunette Models – “Tribute to Stanislaw Lem”
O Yuki Conjugate – “Cloud Cover”
Biosphere & Higher Intelligence Agency – “Meltwater (overlay)”
Alacazam – “The Folly Of Science”
Aeoliah – “Tantrika: Awakening Kundalini”
Emerald Web – “Ars Nova”
Barry Cleveland with Bob Stohl and Kat Epple – “Stones Of Precious Water”
Laraaji – “Unicorns In Paradise”
Carl Matthews – “Image II”
Constance Demby – “The Chakoor Bird”
Celestial Aeon Project – “Angel's Tear”
Kevin O'Neill – “Flutecho”
Observation Point – “Coniferous Avenue”
Marc Barreca – “Industrial Landscape (overlay)”
Susumu Yokota – “Hagoromo”
Yo La Tengo – “Hyas And Stenorhynchus”
Roedelius – “Grundlsee”
Moebius & Plank – “Solar Plexus”
Joel Andrews – “Chakra V II”
Emerald Web – “Voices Of The Sage”
Nik Tyndall – “Wasserfeder”