Essex-bred Derwin Schlecker has been an eremite of late, remaining firmly in the doldrums and dropping just a handful of EP’s and 12” cuts since his obsessively crafted debut Lucky Shiner in 2010. This week the meticulous producer known as Gold Panda digitally released Trust, another miscellany of tracks hinting at possible directions for an upcoming sophomore LP. While firmly rooted in the influence of his nostalgia-slathered debut, Trust also showcases a natural progression into live arrangements, the likes of which seen at a confidence-exuding set at last year’s Body & Soul. The EP offers an augmented sound, less overtly emotional and more stripped and spatially inclined, reflecting a newfound trust in oneself from a man who probably scraps half his weekly output. With the prudent decision to move away from the laptop comes a spacious and warmly ambient affair.
Introductory tension conjures flashbacks of Panda’s newly self-assured live presence and kicks off the body of the EP before the naturalistic amalgamation of sounds begins. Trust is a gorgeous groove, keeping the live staple while sitting atop a plethora of instrumentation. A vibrant woodwind line drives the melody, while three minutes in we notice that the arrangement changes ever so slightly with each passing bar; a master class in dynamics. An inherent penchant for imagery comes into play with Burnt out Car in a Forest as opening dog pants fall into a chime-tinged tropical vibe before a progressive movement emerges. Glitchy, lo-fi drums that felt abrasive for the tracks cosy feel work resplendently when it becomes more upbeat, before everything is stripped for the climax, revealing some sparse deep house. Closer Casyam_59#02 is the most reflective and downplayed track here. The beat is a hard hitter, but strangely aligns well with a soothing keyboard line and background flourishes as Schlecker thrives in a new confidence in his craft. While not quite something to hold dear, Trust provides snippets of a good thing in the works for the reclusive producer.