Panda Interview

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Triple M

VIP Junglist
After Dnbforum's recent news feature with Dutch new boy - Panda, we took time out to ask him a few questions about the influences behind his new album "Retake Manhattan"...


1. How old are you?


2. Where are you from?

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

3. Do you think your location has affected your success in Drum & Bass?

Probably, yes. This is where I experienced Drum & Bass for the first time, went to my first parties, played out for the first time. The scene is great here and I probably wouldn’t have experienced Drum & Bass if I did not live here.

4. What is your first name?


5. Where did the name Panda come from?

I had a Panda as an avatar on a forum once and someone supposed I should change my name on the board to it. It stuck! They are funny animals. They sleep most of the day, when they wake up they have sex and eat and fall asleep again. Good life!

6. What is the Drum & Bass scene like in your area?

It is really healthy and great. I think it is one of the best countries in the world to be in. I think we can be proud. Many Dutch people who’re not in the scene, have still heard of drum & bass and often even like it. The only problem is that they don’t know where the parties are or where to get the music. As a scene, we should focus more on them. So broaden our scope to them.

7. 2008 looks to be a good year for Drum & Bass, where do you see it heading?

I am really very positive about it. I am loving how a new breed of artists like Culture Shock and Brookes Brothers are in some way taking the torch over from Subfocus, like he took it from Pendulum. That sound is really going new places now. And then you have Matrix & Futurebound moving that area of sound forward as well.

I don’t see us heading in to a minimal sound at all like Dubstep is doing. I actually see the sound going more and more mainstream but in a qualitative way. I am certain that Drum & Bass can still become a more regular part of the mainstream (dance) charts and I am getting more certain of that every day. I would love to hear it regularly on MTV while still remaining to be quality music.

In addition, we have to make sure we are not isolated from the other genres in dance music as we kind of are right now. We are the ugly duckling. That shouldn’t be the case. I feel the fans of general dance music are starting to converge with the drum & bass fans.

8. Do you have a web site?

Yes, you can learn more about me and my music on

9. How long have you been producing Drum & Bass?

Since January 2004, that is almost 4 years now. I started when I was 17 years old and still in high school. I actually got kicked off school because I considered making music and going out a higher priority. I simply didn’t have time anymore for school. I managed to get back in to school later and am now at university. But yes, Drum & Bass did that to me, ha-ha.

10. Do you DJ, and how long have you been mixing for?

I started mixing in 2005 and have been doing it extensively in clubs since 2006. So that’s about 2 years now. In the end I will always consider myself a producer/musician first of all.

11. What are your Drum & Bass influences?

They are definitely all across the board. I really love the whole modern musical jump up camp like Pendulum, Subfocus, Brookes Brothers, Culture Shock. But I also love the new sound Commix is bringing, very deep and experimental but still very upfront and not boring at all. Also Nu:Tone, Logistics and the new High Contrast stuff. I also really like what Raiden is doing, he is really focused on bridging the gap between Techno and Drum & Bass. Very interesting to hear.

12. Do you have any other musical interests?

Yes, like most people I have listen to electro house a lot lately, especially the dirty stuff. I have also been following trance music a bit lately and I still love funk music and punk rock.

13. How did you become involved in the Drum & Bass scene?

Well, I saw some electronic musicians play at a music festival, making live music behind laptops. I had never made music before but really wanted to try it. All they used was computers, so I started downloading software and trying it at home. My brothers used to go to a local Drum & Bass night called “Jungle Galaxy” which was really popular back then. So, while making music I also started listening to Drum & Bass and it evolved from there. I started to go to more nights and met lots of people in the Dutch scene.

14. What did you do before Drum & Bass?

I started with Drum & Bass when I was 17. Before that aside from school I was really fond of visual arts. I made it myself as well. A lot of my works were published in online and offline design magazines and one piece even made it to a sister magazine of Vogue in France. It is hard though, as getting attention from your visual artwork is much harder than music. We are a culture that market and idolize artists in music and not so much artists in other arts. I still had a great time doing it and learned a lot things that I also applied on learning to produce music. Like discipline to learn for example.

15. What do you do when you’re not playing out or in the studio?

I sit in class at university, swimming in the local pool or hanging out with friends, getting drunk and partying.
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Triple M

VIP Junglist
Part 2:

DJ / Producer

1. Hardware or software?

100% software. I am a very big believer the digital revolution we’re in now, can only help us. I am all about having a precise idea of how I want things to sound or look, before I make them and with software that is possible. Hardware has too much random properties to it, which ofcourse many people love it for, but it’s just not for me. That and (open source) software making it possible for millions of people around the world to create music or other things with their computer. That is brilliant.

2. What hardware/software (use as applicable) do you use to produce?

Propellerhead Reason. Propellerhead Recycle. A Behringer BCF2000 midi controller that I use a virtual mixer. An M-Audio Oxygen keyboard. And lots and lots of external hard drives to prevent me from losing my data. Essential if all your data is digital! Actually today my drive crashed and I had it up and running in 3 hours again because I had backups.

3. CD / MP3 or vinyl?

I’m all for CDs and MP3s now. The distribution of these formats make it possible for so much more people to experience Drum & Bass music. For a long time we have been in a vinyl-monopoly in Drum & Bass and a lot of fans could simply not get the music they wanted without having to buy turntables and crazy prices for 2 singles on a vinyl disc. Luckily, this is changing and the demand for Drum & Bass music in CD or MP3 formats is overwhelming.

4. Can you describe your sound?

I try to make really intense energetic and emotional music.

5. What projects are you currently working on?

My album entitled “Retake Manahttan” is out now. The album is called ‘Retake Manhattan”. It is themed around Dutch colonial history in New York. 400 years ago, the Netherlands founded the city New Amsterdam on Manhattan. Half a century later the British invaded the city, renaming it New York. The album is an epic voyage around the world, ending in New York, where the battle of the city is fought. It can be ordered from and other stores such as, Dogs On Acid and Intense Records. All members of get a discount when they use coupon code DNBFORUM.

6. What future projects are in the pipe line?

I hope to bring more great music on my label Wildlife. We now have deals with all major MP3 stores and will release a lot of digital music. But also getting more physical music products out like this CD. The next project is a collaborative release with DOA Recordings’ Wayz and a new producer called Mark G.

7. Do you plan to tour soon? If so, where?

I am planning on touring everywhere in the Netherlands and at some places in Germany and Belgium. I have been receiving lots of e-mails requesting me to play in the UK. I’d love to do a tour there, promoters go ahead! ;)

8. Are you working on any other genres other than Drum & Bass?

Yes, most of my tracks start out as weird experimental melodies at tempos different than Drum & Bass that then turn evolve in to it. Like most producers I also write hip hop beats sometimes. I am also busy creating trance and house music. I would love to play in a funk band at some point. Just for the live experience of that which is completely different from electronic music.

9. Are there any Drum & Bass artists you would like to work with?

Pendulum, Subfocus, Cause 4 Concern, Black Sun Empire and lots more.

10. Is there a certain tune you would like to remix?

My favorite track of all time is E-Sassin’s remix of Quadrant 6 by Dom & Optical. I would love to remix the remix itself. It’s such an insane track. Its production is pretty outdated though because it was produced years ago. It could receive a freshing up.

11. Are there any non Drum & Bass artists you would like to work with?
I would love to write a track with MC Bang Bang. He is a British MC that lives in the Netherlands. And also Typhoon, another Dutch MC.

12. What Drum & Bass tunes are currently at the front of your record box?

Right now, the music from my album is at the front! I love Culture Shock’s “Vice Chase”. Also, a still untitled dubplate from Mutated Forms that you can hear in a lot of my mixes is tearing it up. Finally, the Matrix & Futurebound remix of Nu Tone’s System is really great. Of my tracks, it’s “Transylvania” and the title track “Retake Manhattan” that are really doing well.

13. How did it feel when you first heard someone drop one of your tunes at a club?

Well, my tracks were dropped before but the first time I heard it real life was when I played out myself for the first time. I was really nervous and then the track dropped and the whole club went mad and started to dance, all my nerves were gone. I was actually so surprised that they actually started to dance on it, really!

14. Do you have a favourite 'all time' tune?

Yes again that would be E-Sassin’s remix of Quadrant 6 by Dom & Optical.

15. Turntables.. Technics or Vestax?

I don’t have them but obviously Technics. For CDJs I always use Pioneer.

16. MCs.. yes, no, or depends?

Yes. If it’s an experienced one. I love how they can stand in front of you and really connect with the audience. If it goes right, it can make your performance ten times as great.

17. Dubplates. 10 or 12 inch?

On CD!

18. Computer format.. PC, MAC, or both?


19. Bootlegs.. yes, no, or depends?

The bootleg Drum & Bass remixes of mainstream tunes…yes, why not?

Off Topic

1. What is your favourite colour?


2. If you could move, where would you move to?

California, Miami, Dubai or Tokyo.

3. Do you drive, and what do you drive?

I haven’t got my driver’s license yet, and my bicycle just got stolen, so I move around by tram, sad me…ha-ha.

4. What is your favourite film?

The Big Lebowski


....Any shouts or final words?

Shouts out to Wayz, Gerone, Rick, Mark G, Timo and my family. Thanks to everyone who helped out with the production of the album and a big thanks all my fans that support me every day! Learn more about the album at and visit my website and leave a message if you want. Let’s keep the music

Original feature:
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