So uh, I'm a total ass for missing the CD release party two weeks ago, but hey, better late than never, right?

Los Angeles based old-school hip-hoppers Giant Panda just dropped their latest Electric Laser and there's a local connection -- it was recorded here in Portland. Now, geographically speaking, where something's recorded isn't always news, but it is here. It's not so much location as process. And bunked out in NW Portland at Old Standard Sound the group--along with studio owner/engineer Justin Higgins--went deep into some pretty fresh recording techniques, many of which are rarely seen in hip-hop.

Just like it sounds, Old Standard uses vintage, real-deal shit. Tape machines (to which apparently Michael Jackson laid some tracks back in the day) and a giant mixing board from Memphis. Giant Panda got in on the action and dropped their tracks to that thick ol' 2-inch tape--so warm and inviting. Add to that a bunch of tasteful live instrumentation and you've got one of the best-produced hip-hop albums in recent memory (unfortunately one of the best, most-intricate tracks--a disco inspired number--isn't available online... and damn... all the little interludes between tracks, like little out-takes cut off, littered on the floor then spliced together... feel the studio!)

Have a listen to the single: "Speakers Pop" and head-over to Giant Panda's myspace for more.