Panda P.I. is a relative newcomer to the retrowave scene. He released a few EPs last year, and was even featured on the soundtrack of an indie video game, “A Half Genie Mermaid Adventure,” but “Victim of Technology” is Panda’s first effort at a full length album. Panda P.I. suffers from a relative lack of exposure; I mentioned him in my end-year list of notable newcomers for 2014, but see that he has gotten little attention otherwise. I aim to fix that with this review – this album is quite good and deserves recognition.
The overall tone of the album is shadowy, with a steady, thrumming low end and silky square waves dancing in and out of the fore. The pace varies adequately as the album plays, the first two tracks leading in energetically only to cool us off with “Can I Use Your Shower?” It gets nasty again with some wicked saw waves in “Death’s Hand,” which is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album. The next couple of tracks pick up the pace and deliver dizzying progressions; this is definitely good night driving music for those of you with darker tastes. While Panda P.I. is definitely mining dark veins with this album, there are softer and brighter sounds that break through on tracks like “Can I Use Your Shower” and “Not Knowing.” The final tracks are meandering and almost orchestral, wrapping up the journey on a cold, mystifying note.
I not only recommend this album, but I also recommend plumbing Panda P.I.’s earlier EPs afterward. It is always enjoyable to track someone’s growth as an artist, and Panda P.I. hasn’t wasted time progressing. I give “Victim of Technology” a solid 8 out of 10. It is steadily interesting to listen to, has a definite theme, and is worth exploring.