This year’s first release from the new Sonic Router imprint is an offering from My Panda Shall Fly, aka South-London based Sri Lankan Suren Seneviratne. Suren’s idiosyncratic releases have caught our eye before (and we interviewed him back when his music career was just hitting its stride a couple of years ago), but on this six track EP, entitled Higher, he’s distilled a sound that is drum-tight, securely fastened with an assured sense of individuality.
Stream: My Panda Shall Fly – crac
There are ghostly echoes of MPSF’s garage influences in Higher’s opening track, but even though its drums are frantic, ‘haus/transferring sorrow’ is emotively fragile, the disjointed calibrations of its percussive elements exposing a tenderness beneath. Although you can glimpse brief revelations of fragility throughout the twenty-odd minutes of the EP, there are textures which fight off the softness of sorrow for the defiance of anger – the machinations of ‘crac’, for example, where MPSF makes glowing synths boom with pure menace.
Sonically, Higher eludes pigeonholing more successfully than a lot of the genre-bending releases of the last couple of years. The melodies of ‘ark (spirit servant)’ calls to mind some of Mount Kimbie’s; heated up and then allowed to harden and fracture, whilst ‘fish r friends’, the closing track and one of the EP’s highlights, is beautifully, jaggedly melancholic. Re-locating the organic downtempo beats of artists like Teebs and the Brainfeeder crew to the foggy gloom of a London landscape, Higher seems made for early morning living room congregations, perfectly arranged to soothe the spirits of those paying penance for the sins of the night before.
Higher is out on pea green cassette and digital on 27th January 2014.