Author: Johnny Ragnarsson
David Panda (aka David Fredman) is one of the most up and coming producers from Sweden. His latest releases on the Swedish label Kass recordings have received great feedback from various magazines as well as from clubbers. He is also going to participate on the Pitch Adjust's Adorable compilation as well as on the 'Architectures of Ice' release which is a new compilation featuring the best Scandinavian deep house talents. Because that is really what he is, an amazing up and coming talent.
Although his first record, Velvet Monkey, was released only two years ago on Swedish label Frunk records STHLM you have to travel several years back to find out why and how he started to produce music. Actually everything started by coincidence when David was 14 years old, living in the very north of Sweden.
- A couple of friends and me started an Amiga 500 demo group. I really wanted to learn programming, but one of the guys was already a very skilled coder. As I was the only person in the group with any musical training, I had to do the music.
Alghough a bit disappointed, music wasn't a bad second choice and he continued working with computer music for many years. For a while he was a member of the same demo group as Henrik B, who we all know as being one of the rising stars on the techno scene.
Although the demo scene was a great creative playground, David felt that the 4 channels and 8bit sampling on the Amiga started becoming more limiting than challenging, and bought a sampler and a PC.
- Since this was around -95 I started to experiment with drum'n'bass but also some R&B. It went pretty good and there was some interest from a major record company. However, they were clearly focused on making radio hits while this was not the way I was thinking about music. I just wanted to produce good music without thinking too much about a presumptive audience, he explains.
Instead of trying to become a successful radiohit producer he moved to Stockholm and found his sanctuary in house music. Sharing a studio in the same building as the hiphop band Latin Kings he spent all waking hours trying to create the music he had in his mind.
- I wanted to create qualitative house music. Songs with melodies that would last a little bit longer, rather than tracks forgotten after a couple of months. It's really for the same reason I still produce today. Of course, not all songs needs to be full blown vocal arrangements though, sometimes you just search for that infectious hook and twist it to death..
His self-confidence got a little rush when the Swedish house label Frunk records managed to sneak up a few of his tracks. It got to be his first release ever and included a remix of Paper artist Martin Venetjoki, a pretty good start with other words. The release made him feel more comfortable in the studio and he knew that he was on the right way. Soon after he teamed up with Eric Erickson that helped him to improve his production skills. Since Eric has been producing music for many years, releasing albums on Dunkla (Virgin) as well as being signed to Derrick May's Fragile, he was able to
help David improve his skills even more.
- I have Eric to thank for a lot of things. He has a lot of experience studio-wise and is honest enough to let me know what I'm doing wrong, and of course what I'm doing right. He has given me a lot of self-confidence in front of the mixing desk.
Besides the music David has been studying very hard. Today he is working on his PhD in Bioinformatics and he's got a Masters degree in Biotechnology. To translate that in English… it means that David spends his daytime working with genetics and programming, a day job that you usually don't associate with house producers of today.
- I can understand if my daytime job sounds kind of mathematical and overly analytical in nature, but for me it has many parallells to art and music. In my work I have to use my creativeness to solve problems and come up with new ideas, and it's the same with producing music, even if I use another kind of creativeness.
Despite of the positive feedback regarding his releases, David doesn't release that many records. He has a few finished tunes in his studio but the fact is that he is too lazy to record a demo tape. When a track is finished he immediately starts to produce a new one. And how about the old one?
- Well, I really need a music coach that could help me organize a little. It's amazing how hard it seems for me to burn a cd and send it to some labels that might appreciate it. It's actually thanks to my friends that I have released anything. I'm also quite critical about my own work, and if I'm not 100% happy about a track I'm not gonna send it out until I am. The danger is of course that the track never gets completely finished and ends up in a drawer instead..
Hopefully his material will be released more often in a near future. Some of David's latest productions are participating on three big forthcoming compilations that will reach a big audience. In the meantime he will continue to produce more tunes and try to give some lucky labels out there the chance to release his stuff. Any other goals?
- Hm.. I really don't have any clear goals for my music except to always continue making it and always improve. Great feedback is nice, but the feeling I get when being in the studio with a talented singer or instrumentalist and everything just flows is what keeps me going. I'll continue to focus on vocal tracks and churning out a few more records per year. Perhaps try to put together a live act. That could be fun! Definitely a challenge.
David Panda - Velvet Monkey (ink. Martin Venetjoki Monkey Remix)
David Panda - Cheated (ink. Eric Erickson remixes)
David Panda - How Sweet (ink. Eric Erickson remixes)
Jukkasjärvi - Another Northbound Compilation
Adorable - Pitch Adjust Lounge Compilation 01
David also participate on a forthcoming Calle Dernulf compilation
The Icehotel - architectures of ice
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