Gold Panda and photographer Laura Lewis set out on a lengthy trip to capture the sounds, moods and life in suburban Japan. It became the inspiration for his recent album Good Luck And Do Your Best, which was released earlier this year. But now, the two are releasing a new hardback book of photography from their Japanese excursion.
Shot on a number of different formats including medium format and 35mm film, the book is made up of 122 images on 150gsm paper. It will be available at selected shops and online at via Bandcamp.
In a lengthy statement, Gold Panda said the following: "Making and performing music has led to me travelling to many countries but Japan is one of the few places in the world where I feel at home. It's a place I am happy to travel to and I spend my time there free from anxiety. When I travel for work, as I am whizzed by train, plane or car past cities, towns, villages and houses, I wonder what it is like there, what people are doing. I want to get off the train and look around. Is it the same as Chelmsford, UK? My self-confidence and fear of the unknown gets the better of me and I never do.
In 2014 I was introduced to Laura through a mutual friend and we decided to see – through sound recording and photography – if we could capture what I liked about the places I visit on my trips to Japan. We didn't have a set plan but rather than find tourist spots or even places off the beaten track, we decided to explore suburbia. Places that might be considered mundane and boring by the people living there.
Laura’s photos inspired me to make another record. I pinned some images up in my studio and got to work. Happily, a couple of Laura’s photos became the artwork for the album but it became clear that in order to let each photo breathe, we would need a better medium.
So that is the way this book came together. Put simply, it is a document of our time in our favourite place. A place that inspired some music and made some memories. Seeing what we saw and how we saw it. Small things, normal things, everyday things that to us, with the time to pause and look in from the outside, showed the most beauty and gave us happiness."