“A closet DJ at heart, Panda Pr1me cut his teeth by DJ’ing at his and his friends’ parties, often with sets lasting nearly 10 hours. This epic journey from a trippy deep tech mind-bending experience after sundown straight through to soaring and uplifting sunrise sets has solidified his eclectic diversity. His inherent skill in track selection might only be matched by his ability to steer a party in the direction of his choosing. From deep house, deep tech, tech house, techno, minimal, dub, to chillout, Panda is well-versed in it all.
Dan has been making his name known in the scene from gigs to productions. He released his track ‘Lost‘ with the LA-based label Wulfpack and is working on an upcoming EP. Along with his productions, festival appearances, and photography, he has held residencies at the Nixo Patio Lounge, Paper Tiger, as well as residencies with Soulestial at the Airliner, Pattern Bar, and Outfits & Oddities. On top of his solo work, he also has been collaborating with King Leard on their Binary Dreaming project” says Co-Founder of Soulestial Carnival Joe Giuliano.
Now Panda Pr1me is up for our new mix series with Soulestial Carinval, offering us his essential mix that packs a rolling vibe that won’t quit. Alongside the series’ debut mix, we got the exclusive interview where we tap into Panda Pr1me brain to discover galactic music from the heart of humanity, great creative and life insight, more about the story of the Soulestial Carnival and much more.
Wondering, who are some artists, labels, and/or particular tracks you can highlight from the set?
This set was rather unique as all of the artists featured were unknown to me. All releases were also featured on labels that weren’t familiar to me as well. That said, a couple stand out tracks that were the inspiration of the set would include John Foster’s track “Back Up” released on Worst Behavior, Daniela Alban’s track “Atmosphere” released on Platform 7even and Jc Morales’ track “Got that Groove” released on MK837.
Ah nice, thank you, those are some keepers. How did you discover some of this music?
I’ve been diggin’ for tracks from all over the web from different channels and most of which come from going down the rabbit hole of a certain vibe.
I’m constantly listening to new music every day from new releases coming out and a lot of the time from artists I’ve never heard of or from labels I’m not familiar with.
I strive to play tracks that might not be discovered from others.
Panda Pr1me – Lost (Original Mix) [Wulfpack]
Do you have any introspection, sentiments or words to share about the sound direction from your mix that kicks off the thatDROP x Soulestial Mix Series?
This mix was curated earlier in the pandemic while I was in lockdown in my studio by myself. During that time I had further developed my style and sound as an artist and DJ. I had created two new mix series during this time one being my Astral Project1ons mixes and the other being my Galaxy Trippin’ mixes.
This particular set was a combination of the two and ultimately I’d call my “essential mix.”
What was your first encounter with the Soulestial Carnival?
If you’d be referring to the people of SC I’ve known co-creator Joe Giuliano all the way back to my childhood days in Michigan and other co-creator Alejandro Luna since Lighting in a Bottle back in 2016.
More specifically with Soulestial Carnival I actually DJ’d the very first event closing out the night with an extended set and becoming a resident DJ ever since.
Panda Pr1me at The Piscearies Ball presented by Soulestial Carnival
Panda Pr1me at The Piscearies Ball
What have been some of your favorite moments while DJing?
I’d have to say some of my favorite moments have probably come from the house parties I’ve played where I’ve gotten to play extended-length sets where I could take listeners on a musical adventure. I love being able to tell a story over the course of a set taking people along for the ride.
My favorite compliment I received after a set like this was when the listener told me I took him back to multiple countries where he was at clubs/events and hearing music influenced by their cultures and he felt like he was traveling to these places all over again.
What are some of your favorite features/nobs/buttons of the DJ decks/mixer?
For everyone that has seen my DJ techniques, they all know my love for the eq knobs. I love getting creative with mixing in and out elements of my tracks, sometimes layering 3-4 tracks when I’m really feeling it. I also love an fx featured with the new Denon mixers which is the beat break. This fx was used a handful of times with this mix.
What is one philosophy or piece of insight you can share from the standpoint of a photographer?
I feel you always have to be creative with what you’re trying to do and to try new things. Even if something doesn’t work out there will always be those moments that do and create something that leaves a lasting impression.
What is one life philosophy you like to live by?
“The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.” – Roy T. Bennett
I’ve definitely tried pursuing many things in my life that have led me to my current creative pursuits. I definitely struggled originally with music but as I was so passionate about learning to produce music and to grow as a DJ. I continued to push myself to improve and learn from my failures.
Would you ever mix Gucci Mane’s ‘Photoshoot’ into one of your sets? Or what has been a more unique or surprise track you have mixed into your sets?
Haha nope I would not. I had to google this track to hear what it was. I can’t think of any surprise tracks I’ve played although I know I’ve had a few.
Only track that comes to mind was a Billie Eilish remix I played one time during a set.
I do enjoy when I find well made tracks that feature a recognizable sample from old tracks. One of my Astral mixes I played a track that was a rework of an Alice in Chains track.
What have been a few photoshoots you enjoyed doing lately?
I just finished a pet portrait session last week that I had a blast shooting. It’s always fun taking photos of animals. I also recently went on a nature trip down to Anza-Borrego and had fun shooting some landscape photos. It had been a while as I’ve been shooting more events lately than anything else.
Do you have any fun facts?
I’ve never broken a bone. I was the first out of my greater family to graduate with a college degree. I taught myself the art of DJ’ing when I was younger because I didn’t know how to dance and wanted to be involved with the music I loved so much one way or another.
Ever take the 23andMe test?
I’ve never taken the test but based on family origins I know I’ve got roots back to England and Poland. Other than that I’m not really sure.
Will AI be a net positive or negative for the evolution of humans?
This one really can go both ways when you think about it but I’m hoping for a net positive in the end. There’s already been a lot of AI functionality out there that helps to assist the creative process with work being done.
I’ve used features with this in my music productions and also some in my photography.
I feel the best AI to be created will be to help reduce the time spent normally doing meticulous tasks and allowing people to focus on more of the creative aspects.
That said, I do hope AI doesn’t replace human work altogether in the creative fields.
Do you have any theories about the future, space, science or can you share something you learned outside of school?
I’m fascinated with space and all of our technological advancements in this sector that have come in the last decade. I believe that within our lifetime civilization will have traveled to Mars and that we will have made more discoveries within our galaxy, especially with the new James Webb telescope.
photo credit NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope via facebook @NASAWebb
photo credit NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope via facebook @NASAWebb
As for the future, I’m hoping that changes are continuing to be made to save our environment so that we don’t end up living in a Mad Max world.
What inspired you to land on the moniker, Panda Pr1me?
So this one is a fun story that I’ll keep short. Essentially it involved a night of magic mushrooms with friends and my spirit animal being determined as a panda. After that I was playing under the moniker DJ Panda which as time progressed I realized there just were too many DJ’s under that name and wanted something unique.
Ultimately I decided on sort of a Highlander nod that there can only be one and that I’m the prime panda… and also why there’s a 1 in the name.
Following the launch of this mix series, Soulestial Carnival keeps progressing with the announcement of Soul2Soul Campout in partnership with SOULNOVA, June 23-25 in Apple Valley, California.
Soul2Soul presented by Soulestial & Soulnova
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