Panda Bear: Buoys (Domino) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Panda Bear



Feb 04, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

What type of music has Noah Lennox not made? Between his discography with Animal Collective and a steady stream of solo work as Panda Bear, Lennox, the Lisbon, Portugal-via-Baltimore avant-gardist has covered and furthermore bolstered a patchwork of ambient, neo-psychedelia, experimental chamber-pop, and bedroom-pop, the latter not as much a formal genre but a phenomenon Lennox laboriously contributed to over the past two decades.

Lennox’s resulting discography is some of the most outlandish and disorientingly catchy pop music to enter and eventually leave the “indie” sphere: Lennox mastered sparse, guitar-heavy bedroom-pop with 2004’s Young Prayer, distant, orchestral chamber-pop on 2007’s Person Pitch, spacey electronics on 2011’s Tomboy, and pristine electro-pop on 2015’s Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. Buoys, Lennox’s latest full-length album as Panda Bear, sounds as if each predecessor of his has been boiled down into one singular, cohesive masterwork that frequently incorporates a mosaic compositional structure, utilizing the chaotic cut and paste methods Lennox popularized on Young Prayer and the otherness of Person Pitchentirely singular arrangements with a foundation that can’t help but sound catchy.

The nervous acoustics of the openers, “Dolphin” and “Cranked” are liquidy, mesmerizing artifacts of Lennox’s past, brought forth and revitalized for a stunning, modernist twistsparse details intertwined with one another to create a maximalist outcome, slipping this rhythm in this pocket, reverberating this melody with this sample, typically a goofy synthesizer noodle and a simplistic acoustic chord progression that morphs into a dizzying psychedelic composition.

Other highlights, such as the title track “Buoys” and “Inner Monologue” remain in a more distant spacedownward spirals of lightly perturbed drum patterns and cheerfully melodic acoustic guitar samples remain more hushed than anything found on Buoys, such as the bemusing repetition on “Crescendo” and “Home Free,” both songs that share and complement the other’s stylistic origins; in this case, such origins are Lennox’s primitive sense for taking the simplest guitar arrangement and building around it, transmorphing it into an infinitely playful and bemusing composition that begs and pokes and prods at once, slipping under your skin until you find yourself in a state of lethargy, dominated and collapsed by the mixing and weaving Lennox has made his name forBuoys is no exception, a fruitful addition to Lennox’s one-of-a-kind audial metamorphism. (

Author rating: 7/10

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February 6th 2019

I’ve already ordered a pre-order CD. Thank you

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