My Panda Shall Fly – ‘Tape Tekkno’ (Gang of Ducks)

This review couldn’t have started much better really: ‘My Panda Shall Fly out on A Gang of Ducks…’. I could just leave it there couldn’t I? But I shan’t…

A run of collaborations with the likes of Benjamin Jackson, Microburst, Will Ward and most recently with Adventure Elephant for the excellent ‘Maccron Accent’ EP, has seen Mr. Suren Seneviratne appropriately apply his colourful steez to a number of different avenues. Now, ‘Tape Tekkno’ showcases the South Londoners solo efforts in a 8 track vehement venture, flaunting a warm tape overlay throughout, ticking the box for that element of the title. Overall, perhaps a more concentrated measure of My Panda Shall Fly than we’ve previously been subject to?

Opening shop with ‘—+ Beat’ (the name of which I hope, in part, represents a sword), we are welcomed by a swirling mass of everything you’d expect to hear off the bat, from the Panda; arpeggio patterns, impactful chords, a rhythmic baseline and a solid drum sequence scattered with skips and glitches. ‘Fast=G’ ups the tempo and increases the hustle, exposing a darker tone to the prior track. This piece sounds a lot like a data transmission of satellite signals, bouncing back and forth, possibly indicating an imminent alien appearance? Considering Suren’s interest in the other wordily (namely the Sanskrit texts found in India), this presumption is far from far-out…

And the techno hits. ‘Dark No’ exhibits a powerful, rumbling flat 4/4 rhythmic component that, again, utilises the ‘tape glaze’ overlay to full effect, adding an extra grit to an already beefy number. The satellite signals remain present somewhat, a notion I’m probably reading too much into, but it now sounds like they’ve landed. Deep vibes. I had hoped to hear some of Suren’s garage influence ride-out on this release and indeed, ‘0_’ fills the need. A definite favourite on the LP, ‘0_’ combines warm, soulful rhodes with a broken beat backbone – top stuff.

Next up’s an archetype of MPSF, in the form of ‘Trance ###’. A real rambler, the trance track progresses in a captivating manner, acquiring a collection of exotic elements as it passes through the motions. Suren has a serious ear for a groove and somehow manages to formulate killer tracks from seemingly inapplicable components. ‘P1 Techno’ soothes, intrigues  and assures a continued engagement with the LP. It sounds as if the core melody was recorded in a church or similar, conveying a real nice resonation to the piece which is once again accentuated by that ever present tape effect overlay. Following on, we’re back to the crunch with ‘Slow T’. Hitting hard with a bass drum that’s destined for club life, this is another I’m looking forward to hearing on a system.

And finally, ‘@ Tune’. A lively groove, peppered with curious components, this time with a bit of boogie to it. Suren’s flair with controlling the chaos shines through once more and indeed the more I listen to ‘@ Tune’, the more I like it.

Having looked forward to a solo piece from the man Suren, I’m left satisfied and happy. Top release.

My Panda Shall Fly – with the aid of a Gang of Ducks (I had to say it) – ‘Tape Tekkno’ available from the 31st of October, available on vinyl and digital formats.

Will Edge 

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