Derwin Schlecker (Gold Panda) has always been one for making effortless sounds from disparate sources. This album is clearly very personal to the London artist, charting heavy times, in spite of its often breezy tone. The title itself references Schlecker’s struggles with depression and his move towards healing through self-care and therapy, so it makes sense that much of the album is very soothing. It’s beautiful, a worthy successor to his 2016 studio album Good Luck and Do Your Best.
As usual, easy genres are tickled into submission. Sinewy synth sounds, soft piano and minimalist percussion mesh with otherworldly vocal samples. There’s ambient bliss to be found in ‘The Corner’, ‘The Dream’ twinkles with glitchy precision, and ‘Plastic Future’ could be a 21st-century travelling companion to Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’.
Indeed, its pulsing rhythms and contemplative melodies, along with the inherently spacious nature of the eleven tracks here, make this the perfect contemplative music to accompany train journeys and times for quiet introspection.
Ultimately, it’s the global reach of his electronic influences that keep things interesting, with enough playfulness for those into Flying Lotus, Four Tet, and Aphex Twin, while also reminiscent of the sweet melancholy of Yellow Magic Orchestra. Schlecker has one foot in the past and one in the future, and it’s a real healing balm for the psyche; warm music for cooler nights ahead.
The Work is out 11th November via City Slang