UK-based electronic producer Gold Panda’s second album Half Of Where You Live was easily one of 2013’s biggest leftfield dance highlights, its eleven tracks seeing Derwin Schlecker taking his predominantly vocal-less productions to even greater levels of depth and detail. Six months on, this six track download-only EP offers up a companion piece, collecting together remixes of both album tracks Community and Reprise. As a remix companion exercise, it can’t help but come across as a bit of a missed opportunity, given that it focuses on just two tracks, and it doesn’t take long before repetition begins to set in. Indeed, this feels more like a DJ tool than anything else, and thankfully the quality of the remixes here is fairly strong.
Fort Romeau’s remix of Community takes things off into eight minutes of lithe tech-house in a reworking that throws the emphasis on hypnotically rolling basslines and crisp snare syncopation, whilst still allowing the spectacularly detailed floaty melodic layers of the original to shine through. While it’s easily one of the more inspired moments here, the same unfortunately can’t be said of the demo version of the same track, which while adding some satisfying grittiness doesn’t really differ much from the (also included) original album version much at all. Thankfully it’s Schlecker himself who provides another of this EP’s standout highlights with If U Knew, a reworking of Reprise that throws the focus on airy space, allowing the original’s ghostly female soul vocal loops plenty of room to trail like smoke against slow jazzy snares, vinyl crackle and fragments of Asian instrumentation, before tight woodblock rhythms power things to a moody close. While there’s some decent stuff here, this EP feels like one aimed at the hardcore Gold Panda fanbase more than anything else.