blue thirty five: Suren Seneviratne


Pro-dubbed C25 with all-over onbody printing in recycled O card

Short, sweet and rather lovely. This small suite of MIDI piano sketches by Suren Seneviratne – perhaps more familiar to some as outsider house don My Panda Shall Fly – is also restless, glitchy and endearingly playful.

Sometimes the notes popping across your ears lure you into a false sense of security; you can feel yourself sinking into this delicate rain of sounds only to be unsettled by a jarring frequency, an unheimlich interval. It’s like some other intelligence is at play in this music, hiding between the notes, dragging the rug out from under you just when you start getting cosy.

“These recordings came about from experiments exploring DIY methods for unpredictable methods of composition. Using the Korg SQ1 sequencer and Yamaha MU-15 tone generator that I was circuit-bending in real-time,” Suren explains. “I was able to yield unexpected and musically interesting results - which isn’t always the case with live hacking.

“The sequences sent from the SQ1 were essentially repeating loops but it was the manipulation of the MU–15 circuit board that creates all the preset variation, noise artefacts and glitches.”

“The recordings were done in one take with no overdubs or editing.”

As you progress through blue thirty-five, the chimes, clunks and tiny hammers of the pianos seem to separate, with more negative space seeping into the tracks – ribbons of white among dots and dashes of colour and furious scribbles.

Childlike in the best possible way – not twee, but joyously released from the tyranny of formula and expectation – this music feels somehow unlearnt, explorative and instinctive and full of curiosity and enthusiasm.

Praise for Suren Seneviratne:

“As part-time model and full-time wildly colourful beatsmith, Seneviratne is a totem for all things bright, bold and fiercely experimental.” – Crack

“Suren has a serious ear for a groove and somehow manages to formulate killer tracks from seemingly inapplicable components.” – Hyponik

“Suren is a clever chap, make no mistake. You won’t have heard anything in his style before.” – Louder Than War

“Whether appearing on the bill or in the crowd, Seneviratne is a familiar face in London's eternally-vibrant underground music community, having witnessed the explosion of various movements – Night Slugs, PC Music, NTS Radio, and so on – firsthand. But My Panda Shall Fly has never been associated with any one crew or scene in particular.” – Dummy

“The Sri Lanka-born, London-based producer boasts an incredible skill set as both a producer and a visual artist.” – Truants

“Perhaps where he differs from his peers is the ability to take the listener on journey with his music, each being dreamy in the sense that they’re wordless, intangible collections of feeling manifesting themselves as beeps and smatterings of synth.” – DIY Mag