DJ duo puts new spin on classic hits
THE SANTA CLARA
November 13, 2014
On Monday night, The White Panda played their version of nostalgic hits to create new memories.
Santa Clara’s Activities Programming Board brought the duo’s unique blend of electronic music to campus.
“We’ve been getting a lot of requests for something a little different at our fall show,” said APB’s music director Conrad Bernal. “While we’ve hosted a wide variety of acts, from rap to rock, having a DJ is something we haven’t yet brought to the student body.”
Although the concert was not as packed as the Chance the Rapper show last spring, the students in attendance filled roughly half of the Locatelli Activity Center. Those students were given plenty of reason and room to dance.
Rising local DJ and Santa Clara senior Stefan Hsiao, known as DJ Stefan Anthony, opened the event, rivaling the professional duo with his presence, talent and creativity. Lording over the turntable with passion, Hsiao got the party started with thunderous baselines, flawless transitions and irregular melodies that set the tone for the night.
Instead of the chilly reception often afforded to openers, Hsiao’s labor was rewarded as the compact opening crowd nodded, bounced and boogied along with his sonic creations.
After a final forceful beat modulation, Hsiao turned things over to the night’s headliners.
The White Panda stormed the stage in white suits with black shirts that matched their strategically illuminated panda masks.
Unlike Hsiao, who possessed the self-assured presence of a conductor, the duo entered with the highest energy in the building and dared the audience to match them.
They began with an indecipherable incantation over a futuristic synth, building the anticipation until slamming their listeners with bone-rattling bass and rapid blast of tribal drums.
From there, the duo continued spinning pop culture hits with their undeniably danceable club style. They pumped their fists in unison and took turns venturing to the front of the crowd, microphone in hand, to rouse the students.
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The result was an enjoyable, but increasingly stale performance that repeated the pattern of remixing favorites into a faintly recognizable buildup that flowed like a river of rhythms over a Victoria Falls drop of rollicking groove.
Attendees voiced their approval not just for the way The White Panda deconstructed classics, but for their choices in songs to recreate.
“It gave me a new perspective and a new reason to enjoy songs I already loved,” said freshman Nico Garcia.
In their mini-anthologies of American culture, the two stitched together contrasting songs into a new hybrid experience. For example, they dropped the textured molasses of the Notorious B.I.G. over the bright-eyed innocence of young Michael Jackson. This combination brought another layer to the typical electronic show as the audience danced in the present while flashing back to moments past.
“Sampling is the language spoken by the new generation,” said electronic music professor Bruno Ruviaro.
If sampling is a musical language of the future, The White Panda spoke poetically of humanity’s past.
Contact John Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4854.