There are many layers to Noah Lennox's Panda Bear project. Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, the Animal Collective member's 5th studio album, mines the depths of his previous releases to create something that seems to be looking back while moving forward. The dense sonic worlds of his past two full-lengths, 2007's Person Pitch and 2011's Tomboy, are eschewed in favor of the raw electronic textures more commonly found on AnCo projects. The layers are still there, but the technology is more evident. You'll still be drawing Brian Wilson connections from Panda Bear's laminous vocal harmonies, but the edges are not as soft. His compositions are characteristically lush, however there are moments where that lushness is interrupted by gritty rhythms and squelchy electronics. Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is the result of Noah Lennox further refining his sound. The rhythms owe more to hip hop than techno (Ashley's Roachclip!), the pace more languid than dance-able. Structures hang on organic-seeming loops as different pieces of the songs fold in on each other. When you put the record on, be prepared to take a psychedelic journey that seems to have found its creator hitting his sweet spot.
- deluxe edition
- 180 gram vinyl pressing
- includes bonus 12" containing 4-track Mr Noah EP
- housed in fold-out box
- full color printed inner sleeves
- digital download included
- music label: Domino 2015
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 01/2015
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