Album Reviews

Selling – On Reflection

(City Slang) UK release date: 10 October 2018 (digital); 6 December 2018 (CD)


Selling - On ReflectionTwo years after Gold Panda’s last release Good Luck And Do Your Best and hot on the heels of Simian Mobile Disco’s Murmurations LP, the former and Jas Shaw of the latter have collaborated to form Selling. Their collective style is intricate and introspective, melding polyrhythms and analog synths with a percussive drive that is more integral to Simian Mobile Disco’s output.

On Reflection opens with Qprism, an intriguing piece of labyrinthine house where the dotted quavers don’t stop and the sequence ascends and descends like Penrose stairs. Filters rise and fall, the kickdrum is drowned out by the swirling chords, and the effect is simultaneously minimalistic and overwhelming. Other tracks are more muted, such as Phone Call From The Future with its beatless syncopation and subtle minor-key sequence, while the interlude Shimmer is a slice of Boards Of Canada-esque ambient bliss.

These tracks were apparently edited together from extended jam sessions, and this aspect shows in their structures. Many of these songs focus on central ideas, like the bustling toms of Mirror Can Only Lie, and gradually build soundscapes around them, the results of which are beguiling and entrancing.

No Reflection features a cyclical chiming loop that works well with the track’s plucky bass, playing with a three-beat loop over drums that aren’t that way inclined, and the record ends with an album highlight, You Can Have It Immediately. The main synth riff and its sparkling top notes are exquisite, the bass is deep, cerebral, and by the time the elements have built up, deconstructed and built again they take on a wistful air, as if longing for some kind of closure that never arrives.

Selling is an inspired project, and On Reflection utilises the best of both artists to produce a project that is fascinating, pretty and groovy all at once: required listening for fans of electronic music.


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