If you’ ve been checking out the blog for a while, you might remember Panther God’s first single Dreamatone dropping back in January. Since then the man behind the mythical mammalian moniker has been battling postponed release dates and tweaking his beats to perfection in order to bring his vision to the eager ears of the public. Blurring the lines between electronic ambience and Hip Hop instrumental, Golden Changes blends the more experimental aspects of both genres, unfurling the producer’s full potential into a collage of staggered snares, rolling hat stabs and deep, textured sounds. The album’s rich tones morph like Bruce Lee’s water in a cup analogy; perfectly assimilating the properties of whatever song-shaped receptacle Paul Gaeta slots them into, buoyed by constant inspiration from the unorthodox progressions John Coltrane played on his explosive 1960 Atlantic début, Giant Steps.
Jehovah shows the beats scaling new peaks; with a heavy electronic veil that occasionally lifts to reveal angelic vocal chops clean enough to make James Blake jealous. The celestial trajectory that Dreamatone begins to explore is fully realized with Curtain’s ethereal harp melodies; the two songs combining to create a journey so spacious not even Pharoah Sanders and Lonnie Liston Smith could astral travel it’s expansive scope. The title track dips ten bass sounds into a overflowing cauldron that fizzes with tech blips and thick, foaming synths then cools that mixture into a compound that whizzes with energy and sounds like Sun Ra’s brain, so a brief Radio Intermission is needed. Electric grooves grow into pure pop hooks on Rectify; an undeniably catchy tune that needs to be playing everywhere from Boiler Room sets to student house parties immediately, with arpeggiated computer console crescendos and fat synth stabs that soar over a low end built for big speakers.
The chunky bassline and hectic hi-hats on Pixel Lord are enough to make even the most fashion-conscious-sandal-sporter smash their Ipad over their vegan girlfriends head and wind-mill like a member of Cannibal Corpse; and when the sub bass drops the world feels like it’s going to end. It’s safe to say if you played this on repeat at a party you’d inadvertently incite everyone to strip naked, bally-up and shoot heroin into their eyes with grim excitement. Things get cleaner from there, easing back on the electronic cacophony as Gaeta and his Circuitree Records labelmate Deflon meld hip hop loops with warm fuzz as 16bit blips whizz past your peripherals on Oranges; and Majeek shows his smoother side, with a chilled, plodding, analog sound, loose shakers that settle into the wings, and goofy double bass lines slouching all over the track like stoned sloths on a sofa.
Proximal Record’s Wake gifts us a serene guest appearance on Slides, lining glowing layers of synth with strong kicks, then as the album reaches it’s apex Panther God’s ear for unorthodox percussion shines on Samson‘s stumbling breaks. Rainbells instils equilibrium with guided meditation-esque tones to centre the album after the previous song’s frenetic attack; and as this expressive slice of earthy ambience fades, its clear that Paul Gaeta is a highly creative producer with a varied, dramatic use of sound. Since the internet broke the barriers of the bedroom producer floodgates and dispersed their soundcloud seeds to all corners of the earth; the biblical proportions of wackness that plague the modern instrumental listener seem unrestrainable; so to find Panther God playing Noah as he rides the crest of this musical overflow in a craft of his own design is welcome. With Golden Changes he has created distinctive, exciting compositions that make the album an artifact to hold on to; just in case fresh, vital productions like this go the way of the Eastern Cougar.
You can grab a digital copy of Golden Changes right now at Juno Download. Physical copies are set to follow on April 14th.