Interview with Panda Bear and Sonic Boom


An album lost between strange times and the return to a land of friends.

A little over a year has passed since the publication of Reset (2022), the most recent collaborative album between Noah Benjamin and Pete Kember, better known as panda bear and Sonic Boomtwo musicians who carry a legacy of years of achieving success in the music industry, and who together have managed to create a duo of musical exquisiteness with each of their collaborations.

This coming November 4th we will be able to enjoy his proposal within the programming of the Hypnosis Festival 2023, and taking advantage of this next visit to our city, we sat down to talk with Noah and Pete about the perception and evolution that this album has enjoyed in its three different versions.

Reset It is a material that was a total product of its time, a time that we all remember, but that we also deny or even ignore due to the strangeness that flooded the world’s essence. It is worth remembering that this album was born as a response to the dark and uncertain scene that was faced in the year 2020, and that is why an optimistic and festive personality is enjoyed in each of its songs, which at the time reminded us how lucky we are to live.

In short, the album has changed in these years, but all thanks to the fact that we have played it live. At the time, the album was circumstantial, we didn’t know if we could play it live, but it’s a relief every time we present it on stage,” said Noah.

This is perception material. When it came out, I experienced it one way, but over time this has changed; Every time I hear it, it’s like doing it again for the first time,” Pete concluded.

One of the main qualities of the material is that each of its songs manages to create small atmospheres that transport the listener to different places and positive environments. Its sound explores textures that remind us of distant times and its samples of classics from the 50s, 60s and 70s, makes the time travel more evident, but all without wanting to expose and show off a retro essence.

YesWe knew that this album was going to be associated with a very specific era, but when I listen to each of the songs, I imagine little postcards of beautiful landscapes that perhaps do not exist. One of our main influences was Jamaican music, which is characterized by having a positive vibe, but with the detail that it was created in a time of great difficulty,” said Pete.

With all the mix of modern genres and retro sounds, we wanted to build a material that felt outside of time, that was not associated with the past or present, but was a hybrid that transmitted a feeling of futuristic nostalgia,” commented Noah.

It’s interesting to think, for a moment, if this album was built with the hope that it would one day be performed live, but with the end of lockdown in 2021, and the return to the world in 2022, along with the return of concerts to its maximum capacity, it is a great pleasure to know that both artists had prepared to perform a set worthy of memory, on any stage in the world. About this, the musicians comment:

I remember that our first concert after the pandemic made me very excited, I’m not saying that I’m not excited to play now, but that everything that had happened only seemed like a bad dream. We designed the set to be simple in some way and it’s actually a very pleasant experience to present it,” said Noah.

It’s great to share this album on stage live and coming back has been like medicine for me, we’ve already been to 17 different countries and we’ve even repeated some of them. “This has been a formative experience for me, because it’s like it’s the first time I’ve done it,” Pete continued.

We are now just a few days away from enjoying a new edition of the Hypnosis Festivalin which we will be part of the musical ritual commanded by panda bear and Sonic Boom, two artists with many years of experience and who know how to make the audience enjoy every second of their performances. Regarding their return to Mexico, the artists comment:

I have already been in Hypnosis before, and I feel like all the shows I’ve done in Mexico have been incredible. People are always excited and that makes our job more enjoyable and easier,” Noah said.

We have some Mexicans on our team and it is exciting to be able to travel with them to their country. We’ve been there before and it always excites us, and personally, I’ve been looking forward to playing this festival ever since I saw it on our calendar. It’s like coming back to a land full of friends,” Pete concluded.

Get your tickets here, so you won’t be left out of this great sound experience.



Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.