By: Gracie Roberts
The third day of Sasquatch! started similarly enough to the second, with the sun shining on The Gorge and the crowds of people in good spirits. With impressive, passionate performances from notable artists including Beach House, Cold War Kids, and Flogging Molly, the afternoon turned out to be positive and fun-filled.
Gold Panda got things started in the predominantly electronic Banana Shack. Born Derwin Panda and hailing from Chelmsford, Essex, Gold Panda started producing beats and collaborating a few years ago. He began working with Infinite Livez, Shuttle, and started creating his own material around the same time. That material caught the eyes and ears of various labels, blogs, and tastemakers, who quickly requested more from the Panda. He went on to re-edit the likes of Telepath, Bloc Party, Simian Mobile Disco and even some of the well-known loungetronica act, Zero 7. He drew great influence from the year he spent living in Japan. Due to his love for Japanese culture and lifestyle, Derwin attended the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) learning to read and write Japanese. The music on three of his recently released albums, Before, You, and Lucky Shiner reflect his time spent in Japan. Panda plans to return to Japan later this year to refill his creative tank.
Gold Panda’s performance shocked the audience in a pleasant way. His smooth, trancy effects put the audience in a dreamy daze. The simple, repetitive, and evocative music had such an impact on the audience. Panda switched styles with ease and regularity, with each new production best the previous in scope and grandeur. Onstage, wearing a zipped up hoodie, it seemed that Panda had been doing this for the last twenty years—distinctly at home and incontrol.
Better known as Flying Lotus or simply “FlyLo,” Steven Ellison took the Banana Shack’s stage by storm. Ellison is what can be called an experimental, “multi-genre” artist with a unique sound. He released his debut album, 1983, on Plug Research Records in 2006. After signing with Warp Records, his Reset EP and second and third albums, Los Angeles and Cosmogramma, were released in 2008 and 2010. Los Angeles, FlyLo’s musical vision of his hometown, caught and gained the respect of vaunted artists from varying genres, including Massive Attack, Portishead, and even Radiohead, who urged Ellison to remix their song “Reckoner” from In Rainbows. Flying Lotus’ non-traditional, innovative sound has elevated global recognition of L.A.’s beat scene. Touring Europe this month and releasing a new album later this year, Ellison has much to look forward to, as do his fans.
MSTRKRFT put a rock n’ roll spin on what had been a very strictly electronic Sunday evening. Stepping up to the Banana Shack stage, Jesse Keeler and Al Puodziukas played the bastard sons of punk rock and futuristic dance music. As Keeler is one half of seminal rock act Death From Above 1979, and Puodziukas its producer, these guys know a thing or two about snub-nosed, hard-edged ass kicking. They took the punk aesthetic and blended it with fresh dance beats to create a new breed of electronic music as early as 2006. MSTRKRFT’s performance at Sasquatch! revolved around their newest album, Fist of God, released back in March. Fist is unique in its embrace of the hip-hop cameo. Tracks like “Bounce,” “Word Up,” and “Heartbreaker” feature the million-dollar voices of rappers N.O.R.E., Ghostface Killah, and John Legend. The collaborations have not only exposed MSTRKRFT to an entirely new audience, it’s also broken several musical barriers in the process, further contaminating your favorite record store’s honest effort to properly categorize tunes.
Sunday’s “late-night” spot at Sasquatch! was honorably given to Ratatat, the duo comprised of Mike Stroud and Evan Mast. The New York City pair took this opportunity to explore their collection of albums, from their self-titled album released in 2001 to 2010’s LP4. Beginning by asking the crowd, “Are you guys ready to relax?” Stroud and Mast set off on a musical adventure that sought to charm rather than blast the crowd off their blankets. Noted tracks like “Wildcat” and “Lex” from the album Classics, “Shempi” from LP3, and “Drugs” from their latest release gave the crowd a good taste of Ratatat’s style. Also, the mind-bending visuals drew in the audience, keeping them interested with a multitude of images that were on the border of fascinating and disturbing. After the duo’s time slot was officially ended, they quietly exited the Bigfoot stage—only to be summoned back on by the audience’s pleas for an encore. “Seventeen Years” from Ratatat’s first, self-titled album topped off what was quite a notable performance.
After this large cluster of electronic artists performed on Sunday of Sasquatch!, the concert goers returned to the campgrounds at last. Finally, the mass of Sasquatch! folks seemed satisfied with the stockpile of quality electronic music they had stored in their minds.
Marriage - Gold Panda
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