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Baker's Dozen

Bear Necessities: Gold Panda's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , June 1st, 2016 08:29

Following the release of his third album, Good Luck And Do Your Best, Derwin talks to John Freeman about the 13 albums, from Michael Jackson to the Akira soundtrack, that helped shape his Gold Panda project


Snap! – World Power
One of my original choices is actually just a 12", so I have an alternative album. It's going to be Snap! with World Power. I actually bought the video of this album, which I think had the same name. It was about Turbo B trying to be a fake Public Enemy dude – like a fake Chuck D – without having anything remotely important to say. I think Snap! were Belgian or German and I didn't really care. I liked their songs and I loved 'The Power'. That was a really good track. This album also contained 'Cult Of Snap' and 'Ooops Up' as well as 'The Power'.

World Power also had another song called 'I'm Gonna Get You (To Whom It May Concern)'. It was about a woman who keeps picking the wrong guys and Turbo B wants to be the guy that she picks – but she never does. There is nothing cool about that song, in a hip-hop sense. There are no beats; it has terrible MIDI keyboards and a cheesy, sampled acoustic guitar and him just speaking over the top. It doesn't even rhyme – it's just him telling a story. That song has stuck with me for years and I still play it now and really enjoy it.

World Power was another album that had a theme, which worked for me at that time of my life. Also, a bit like Rhythm Nation 1814, it had an abrasive sound that then became the nicest melodies in the chorus. The album had the juxtaposition of sounds that would jar and then the sunshine would come through in the chorus. You would hear something that would be really rewarding and then it would be taken away again. I liked that. I try to have that jarring aspect, but I think I am a bit more obviously melodic. Maybe I have that jarring thing in some of the repetition, where it will begin to get a bit annoying and then it changes so the listener gets that release.

I just remember listening to World Power and watching the video and thinking how cool they were. They were not cool at all. They were the least cool band. And remember, it is Snap! with an exclamation mark.