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(78:55; Fruits de Mer Records)
According to the wonderfully zany press release, The Lost Stoned Pandas were born from a conversation between Sendelica's Pete Bingham and Kris Needs during the recording of the Sendelica/The Orb/Secret Knowledge collaboration EP 'Windmill'. This lead in July 2019 to them convening with some friends to spend a few days drinking, eating and recording (although one has to wonder, based on this, whether any mushrooms were involved in the eating part). Apparently, alongside Panda Pete was Panda Paul (violin, ex-Curved Air), Panda Chris (electronics, ex-Space Ritual), Panda Jack (drums , Sendelica), Panda Kate (cello) and Panda Glenda (bass, Sendelica). The recordings themselves were then manipulated by Panda Colin, Panda Marc (Astralasia) and Panda Pete, and the result is a double-vinyl album with one lengthy track on each side. Side One features “Track Seven”, Side Two is “Track Four”, Side Three has one number broken into three sections, “Track Six”, “Track Seven” and Track Five” respectively while Side Four contains “Track Three”. So with a band name apparently taken from a very strange gif which leads one to think the guys were on drugs when they recorded this, or at least the listener needs to be on them while listening to it, an album title, artwork and track listing which cements that feeling, perhaps it isn’t at all strange to realise that musically this is somewhat unusual. While the two extremes are probably ambient and space rock, with electronica also rearing its head, there are times when some of the instruments really cut through the curtains (such as the violin on “Track Seven”). This is not music to be played in the background, as it will lose all its presence and personality, nor is it music to play on a bright sunny day. This is music which needs to be listened to in the dark of night, when the listener may already be slightly removed from the norm (an Otago Pinot Noir should do the trick, put this on after half a bottle), as it allows the mind to move, expand, and visit the dark corners. Played on headphones this is guaranteed to take one away from humdrum reality. Layered, complex and complicated, it may not be a challenging album, but it is as far removed from the mainstream as one can imagine.
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