Monday, February 8, 2010

Panther - How well can you swim on Gold Robot Records

Here's another one from Gold Robot, from Panther who is Charlie Salas...a weird mix of electronica and what I think is just plain soul. The sleeve is a disco ball grenade pencil drawing...which completes this picture perfectly. A handdrawn image of a discoball, an object that is the very symbol for fake to draw you in, but it's a grenade. Panther and the beat just got you.

The Portland Mercury did a piece on his guerilla style park concerts of 'R&B singing over techno', which first made me kind of reconsider this single. On one hand he's really so committed to this style I know it's not a joke, but at the same time, too much of this might be lost in just hearing it.
How well can you swim is a catchy track with a just off the rhythm beat, layers and layers of falsetto harmonies sounding a bit like TV on the Radio, there might be some slight effects, or it's all in the layering here, the emphasis is on the over-emotive vocals. Especially on the 2nd track on the A-Side, 'Burning'. It's experimental no time beat for a while singing in layered falsetto harmonies over the free form percussion and synth.

The B-Side has an 'alternate version of How well can you swim, and I have to say even with y aversion to remixes on the B-Side's from bands you're friends with, this is perfectly fine for me. You came up with an alternate version, then I gladly want to listen to it. Too many time remixes are created in an afternoon, trying to stay as far away from the original as possible. How much of myself can I jam into the recording, or how many signature sounds can I use.
This version sounds a lot more raw, the whole thing covered by there's a completely different more drawn out vocal. There's a great moment where it stops in it's tracks for a mess of guitar feedback.
Tennis Lesson, is another free form layered it might as well be a capella weirdness. There has to be at least 4 vocals all trying to pull off '...a tennis lesson of love baby' all a little off from each other. The multiple takes of trying to keep up with the last vocal.

What can I say, this is not like anything I've heard lately.

Sadly just found out (back in Dec - ed) thanks to the Portland Mercury, Panther is no longer.

Panther is Charlie Salas, and Charlie Salas is Panther. A rare talent whose brand of music is oft-described as dance, sometimes as electronic, and just as often some sort of soul. While the fame afforded by his energetic live shows often precedes him, the tracks on this single persevere on their own.

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