Album review: Selling – On Reflection

Selling, the artistic combination of Gold Panda and Jas Shaw, have released a 9 track album titled: On Reflection.

Having known each other for a decade the two decided to release a project together. In the past Shaw (one half of Simian Mobile Disco) mixed two of Gold Panda’s albums, including his debut album Lucky Shiner. Shaw has been diagnosed with AL Amyloidosis, which led to the Simian Roller Discos U.S Tour being cancelled. On Reflection is the second album he’s produced during his chemotherapy treatment.

According to Shaw, On Reflection started as an excuse to get Gold Panda round his house to drink tea, and that the album was made, ultimately, for fun. This can definitely be heard in the music. The two have experimented with modulated synths and samples to create a mixed bag of techno patterns, ambient, and spacey beats.

Opening the album with Qprism we’re greeted with some discordant synths that layer and expand above a tight bass line. Soon the synths begin to swell and warp around the ears. The bulk of the track starts to drift off with the synths as they echo and fade, the main pattern rolls back in but this time subdued. It slowly fades out and rolls into the next track.

Dickers Dream keeps the beat going, lethargically building up into a sea of electronic waves. The ocean twists and bends for the first few minutes before reaching a soft breakdown. A punchy synth pattern gets repeated, sub-bass starts to roll in, the subtle drum beats materialise in the mix. We’re now riding the wave out to the end of the track, which slowly calms into a gentle ambient swell of angelic digital frequencies that slowly cast off into silence.

No Reflection, an almost-title track, brings us some repetitive melodic chiming sounds. This definitely sounds like Gold Panda’s influence here. Chatty cymbal dashes join to add a neat dance element. The chimes stop, a sweet pattern of synthy mid bass plays and turns into sub-bass kicking the track into gear. The chimes come back to fill the track, a lovely plethora of sounds. Just over midway through the track we take a step down into the depths of the sub-bass, the chimes and other high frequencies now sounding distant and distorted, only to pull us back into the deliciously happy tune.

Keeping Txme appears a few tracks later in the album, presenting us with glistening rising and falling notes. This has to be my favourite track from the album. The way it flows is very captivating. A soft beat keeps the track running while the same pattern of notes stretches on throughout the duration of the track. The way the drums drift from the left to the right channel, the ethereal tones that sail around the top of the track. I find myself coming back to this track a few times during my listen.

Shimmer is the shortest track on the album, coming in at a minute twelve. A short and sweet ambient taster to cleanse our palate before the final tracks. Ascending tones take us soaring through this brief yet beautiful track.

This is a great selection of works from the two producers. It can be placed somewhere between the thirst for a pulsing bass line during a night out, and the introspective ambience that follows with the morning after. As with most albums, you may not find yourself coming back for every single track, but On Reflection has some solid gems that you’ll look forward to experiencing again.





Author: Jack, Bristol store