I write for The Times and Sunday Times.
You can read my investigation revealing more than 13,000 Airbnb hosts potentially breaking the law here, my exclusive report on controversial mental health legislation here, and my investigation into abuses by parking company here.
I contribute articles to the Guardian, the Guardian Guide and the Observer New Review.
You can read my exclusives on mental health in prisons here, student counselling universities here, race hate crimes here, my data analysis of Shakespeare's legacy here, my interview with writer Simon Parkin about his debut release Death by Video Game here, my feature on Philadelphia artist Caitlin McCormack's creepy crochets here.
I write features for The Independent newspaper covering news, visual arts, film, and music.
You can read my exclusives on the rise of drone crime here, the rise of transphobic hate crime here, my report on the child refugees risking their lives to rejoin family in Britain here, my analysis on how the number of London renters becoming homeless increases 700% in five years here, my report on violence at the Greek-Macedonia border in Idomeni here, or my feature about American photographer Bob Willoughby, and how he brought documentary photography to Hollywood here.
My writing for the Financial Times' Life & Arts supplement has predominantly focused on literature, film, and visual arts, while I have also been a regular contributor to the photography feature "Snapshot".
Some of my subjects include: Belgian artist Mishka Henner, French director Claire Denis, Estonian photographer Alexander Gronsky, British film-maker Tom Petch, Dutch performance artist Berndnaut Smilde, and novelist Matthew Quick.
I have written about news, film, music, television, visual arts and more for The Telegraph.
You can read my preview of Sundance Film Festival here, my live review of folk-pop foursome Stornoway here, my live-blogging exploits at Glastonbury here, or my interview with Raymond Cauchetier, who photographed some of the most iconic moments in French cinema here, or my data feature on pollution in world cities here.
I have written features for Vice and for some of its subsidiaries: Webby-award winning music site Noisey, technology-hub Motherboard, new dance culture website Thump, and alternative arts vertical Canvas.
You can read a piece I wrote discovering some of the weirdest music records ever made here, or how I discovered that the 'deep web' is so much more than drugs and hitmen here, or a feature about David Lynch's lesser-known multidisciplinary works here.
For Dazed & Confused magazine, I have covered contemporary arts, film and fashion. In particular, I frequently write the photography feature Lightbox.
Some of my articles have covered Cecil Beaton's diaphanous photography, emerging Parisian artists beyond the peripherique, the ultimate brooding protagonists of film noir, and the glamorous Venice Film Festival.
I have written for the music, film, visual arts, and features sections of Time Out London. I am also a contributor to the popular Time Out blog, with several of my posts having featured in the 'Most Read' section.
Some of my articles have covered London-based psychedelic group Toy, noise experimentalist bEEdEEgEE, photobooks on Martin Parr and Brassai, neo-Dada sculptor Urs Fischer, and synth pop duo Coves.
You can read my review of Damon Albarn-led Africa Express' album Maison des Jeunes here, my review of Akram Zaatari's exhibition at Thomas Dane here, or my review of Iranian photography group show 'Burnt Generation' here.
I contribute to the New Statesman's 'Cultural Capital' section on a range of topical subjects.
I contribute reviews to renowned arts magazine Apollo.
I edit the film section and contribute to arts and culture publication Aesthetica magazine, who also run an arts prize, writing prize, and film festival.
I have covered events such as Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival for Aesthetica.
You can read a feature I wrote about the defining moments in Venice Film Festival's history here, or a piece about the acrobatic rise of performance art here, or a round-up of London Film Festival 2014 here.
I have written for the London Review of Books.
You can read my piece about Atlantis Books, a sublime bookstore on the Greek island of Santorini, here.
I have written for the Huffington Post on a range of topics, including features about visual arts, music, theatre, television, and travel.
You can read my data analysis about the lack of diversity at the Oscars here, or my feature on Richard Mosse's psychedelic war photography here, a round-up of the lesser-known gems at the London Film Festival here, or a travel piece I wrote about Italy's new paradigm of quality hostelling here.
I have written for a number of local newspapers in London including the Camden New Journal, Hackney Citizen, West End Extra, and the Islington Tribune.
You can read my feature on 70s French feminist films here, my chat with Thurston Moore about William S Burroughs here, my review of Tom O'Brien's race relations play No Blacks, No Dogs, No Poles here, or my review of a David Bailey photography exhibition here,
I contribute album reviews and interviews to influential music website Drowned in Sound, in-depth pieces to The Quietus, features to Loud & Quiet magazine, as well as live performance reviews and emerging talent features to the Line of Best Fit.
You can read my review of Sicilian shamanic duo Lay Llamas' Ostro here, my interview with controversial Danish quartet Iceage here, my thoughts on Cambridgeshire festival Secret Garden Party here, my report on Australian soundscaper D.D. Dumbo here, and my review of Belgian neo-psychedelic pop group Bed Rugs' 8th Cloud here.
I co-founded and ran an arts & culture magazine called Kollektivnye (February 2010 - March 2013), which pioneered an “open contribution” format, soliciting submissions from all across Europe and North America.
Kollektivnye garnered widespread praise, while it also won funding from non-profit company Baptists and Bootleggers.
I wrote reviews, interviews, and features for Kollektivnye, featuring the likes of ethereal wave group Still Corners, Birmingham scenesters Peace, French musician DJ Mehdi, renowned filmmaker Lis Rhodes, and American cult-interviewer Nardwuar.
You can read my interview with electronic musician Gold Panda below:
GOLD PANDA - THE KOLLEKTIVNYE INTERVIEW
by Peter Yeung
At the age of 31 years old, you can say that this man has already lived, yet at the same time he fears life, or at least realises the extent of his existence. Gold Panda projects a demeanour instilled with soft modesty and brutal candidness, but this serves to conceal an inner discord, a pacing discontent. Music for Gold Panda (who prefers to keep his real name anonymous) is not a luxury, neither leisure. It often functioned as evasion from grim reality; his previously monotonous working life included a foray into the stores of the adult industry. This, however, does not leave him without a sense of appreciation, perhaps a warming pessimism. A very British, chirpy humour is there. The way that people make sense of the world is multitudinous, Gold Panda does so by sharing himself with the world, because the most personal intimacies combine with the ultimate distance in a song.
It would be wrong, as many have, to herald Gold Panda as a revolutionary pioneer of an unknown sound: he is in many ways a traditionalist. Not only faithful to the scriptures of Hip-Hop, he is a man that will never forget his family, and even his songs – despite the dearth of lyrics – vividly explore age-old themes of dreams, nostalgia and love. That being said, these feelings are undoubtedly fresh. On the eve of his latest release Mountain / Financial District, and own budding label Notown, Kollektivnye caught up with this mercurial gent, who proved very forthcoming from the get-go.
Kollektivnye: Hello Gold Panda, how have you been?
Gold Panda: It’s been busy. I am feeling a bit down about making tunes right now – I’m not sure about continuing with music. I have been suffering from depression and thus low self confidence for many years, and it affects every molecule of my creativity. Sometimes it works in a positive way, though.
K: Has the fervently enthusiastic reaction from the fans helped you?
GP: Yes. It also adds pressure though, because I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to make another ’You’ (his most popular single) again.
K: What is the direction that you want to pursue then?
GP: The fact that I’m not sure is the biggest problem. I like small projects. I’m releasing a 7″ next month with two tracks that are similar, and then I want to move on. I like albums to be albums, but that takes a lot of work and concentration. The last one was very natural. My life has changed considerably since then.
K: As a consequence of the music?
GP: Yes, totally. I’ve done things I’ve never imagined possible, but I feel like I can always do better, and what I am doing is never good enough.
K: So, this depression that you speak of, comes down more to the expectations and pressure you now have, rather than making music itself?
GP: No, the depression is always there and it always will be… but, the expectation is just an added ‘depresso’ bonus level.
K: Well, you should know that the fans are understanding – not everything you make must be brilliant and transcendental. I think one of the most startling aspects of your music is its humanity, yet within such an artificial context.
GP: I push myself though. I’m sitting on two albums worth of material that I think isn’t worthy of release. Perhaps it is, but I feel I need to have control over what is released. I think too many artists give away or reveal too much these days, uploading demos etc. It’s interesting to hear, but it serves as like a milky way between meals, if you get what I mean. I want people to look at my official discography and see decent releases that are worth buying, not a bunch of Mediafire links. Although, I’m not knocking music released in this way, I just want to release something that people can own.
K: I agree how control of music is important, the imagined mystery involved can be very powerful. In some ways, a movement towards the aesthetic values of music.
GP: Aesthetics are something you have to define early on. Are you familiar with Actress? He embodies the music he makes. There is so much of him in it. Everything about how his music appears and how it is materially-packaged, is aesthetically perfect. You can’t achieve that with YouTube rips, or SoundCloud links. It wouldn’t work.
K: What do you think about the idea of “texture” in music?
GP: I would say the concept is more “texture as music”. I feel like these two tracks I’m releasing are thick enough to cut through – like a loaf of bread.
K: What about music that has a cerebral effect? It washes over you – not quite in the sort of post-punk wall-of-sound way, but the way the music aligns with your inner metronome.
GP: Well, I guess “Lucky Shiner” was doing stuff over a 4/4 beat, which is totally in time with a rhythm of walking. Or your heartbeat.
K: Was that intentional? Was much of it made on portable devices?
GP: Yes, I suppose that is why it works, [being produced and consumed on the move]. It was made on an MPC2000XL and a laptop.
K: Who do you listen to for escapism?
GP: Radio 4, BBC. There is rarely any music on them, which is perfect because I can’t get annoyed or inspired. I make music to try and diffuse the depression and escape from the bullshit.
K: What you mean by not being able to get annoyed or inspired?
GP: I just mean I would rather listen to Sandy Totsvig, or Woman’s Hour than any music. So much of my brain is taken up by it; making music, and being creative, that I need to escape and do something non-musical. Like read some news in Japanese, or listen to people talk, or go swimming. As soon as I put some music on I’ll start making music because I will either think, “oh this isn’t that good, I can do better”, or “this is great, I want to make a tune”. Also, you conjure better ideas through being inspired by non-musical things.
K: The NME described Lucky Shiner, which was recorded in the distinctly English countryside of Essex, as “the ravishing opium dream of a Victorian gentleman explorer”. Some of your songs explicitly evoke the exoticism of certain countries; China, India, and most recently, Thailand – places you’ve never been to. How do you go about imagining the sounds?
GP: Through records I’ve bought and sampled; coming from a hip hop way of making music. Records you buy can take you places. Whether it is Traditional Indian music, or Actress taking you to a basement flooded with water. My way of making music is basically working with samples I’ve found, with hardware that limits me, guided by samples. Take, “Thailand Chord Droner”; that only had Thailand in the title because I sampled a Thai record. But people read the title, listen and it kind of makes sense in their brain.
K: They do say too much freedom is limiting.
GP: For me its counterproductive. I’d never finish a tune because I would just keep changing it. On my old machine: I run out of memory – the tune is done. It’s quite nice.
K: The video for Quitters Raga is famously a fan-produced recording; a visual interpretation of your work. You yourself have taken the baton from hip-hop, in relocating disparate and diverse sounds into newly woven atmospheres. Do you think music is losing its hierarchies?
GP: In what way?
K: I noticed you posted a kid’s video of his trip to China the other day, with Same Dream China as the soundtrack. This sort of mobility to directly influence the source. Any person can now take a track and produce their interpretation on it, and this might even affect the original artist’s thoughts. This was unthinkable 20 years ago.
GP: I think it hasn’t changed. Just, you’re able to contact people more easily. Say some rapper made a tune in 1987 Harlem, some dude in LA heard it, and made some awesome t-shirt for him, or had some beat. That guy couldn’t very well jump on a plane and turn up to the rappers house and say here I’ve made this. I could be uncontactable if I wanted.
K: So why do you make yourself available?
GP: I don’t, but i’ll respond to something if it is good enough. The whole “Gold Panda” thing isn’t about trying to create a mysterious image.
K: You do have an unmistakable sort of anonymity though. At least, it appears that way. There are always question marks hovering above your real name.
GP: Haha, yeah. That’s fun.
K: On the topic of evading recognition In some ways, do you see sampling as a game? What is the strangest sample you have ever used?
GP: I sampled my aunts pipes. I mean the plumbing after you have a shower, they screech. It’s on “I’m With You But I’m Lonely”. It is a game, to an extent, I try to avoid obvious samples even if you can alter them so much. I basically look for simple sound sources that I can manipulate, usually 3 seconds maximum. I have always made music this way.
K: The rapper Curren$y freestyled over your track Beats for Pitchfork TV and requested “16 beats from Gold Panda”. Have you ever considered such collaborations?
GP: I would love to do something like that, but rappers are surrounded by less approachable people, who want to make as much money as possible. I want a rapper I can truly believe in. One that doesn’t rap about money cars and bitches. It’s boring.
K: Anyone in particular that you have in mind?
GP: Not recently, and thats a shame. In the past, maybe De La Soul or Jeru the Damaja.
K: Can you tell me anything about your time at SOAS, was the musicology department of any influence?
GP: Nope. I did a diploma there in Japanese language. Everyone thinks I graduated. But I enjoyed learning again, actually, probably for the first time. I hated school, but the course at SOAS.. I felt like I was ready to learn. I would like to go back, do another language. We’ll see. It was very inspiring though. Learning a language makes you feel like a genius. I really need to study Japanese again, really get my teeth into it again, hope i can find time for that.
K: You mentioned your release in the future, can you tell us more about it; do you see a long-term future producing under Gold Panda? When can we expect the release?
GP: Two tracks – “Mountain / Financial District”. It’s out digitally on May 14th, the vinyl will be out in June. It’s more of a nod to modern Hip-Hop beat structures. I wanted two tracks that were similar, but juxtaposed, if that makes any sense. Both can erupt at any time. They’re quite noisy and the arrangements are quite strange, but I’m happy with them, I really love vinyl so i wanted to do another 7″. I won’t give up for a while.
K: Great, we look forward to it. Thank you for your time.
GP: No worries, thanks. A chat always suits me. Tea and a chat.
Mountain / Financial District is available on Ghostly International, 14 May 2011.
If you would like to see more of my general work (e.g. I am a critic for Artlyst, and write for websites such as Culture 24, Narratively and Kids of Dada), or a specific type of content that I have written, please get in touch - I'd be happy to share my wider portfolio.
I am available for commissions of all sorts.
N.B. Some of the work displayed on this website has also featured in print, while equally, some of my print work is not shown on this website.