Panther God aka Paul Gaeta is an electronic music producer and label founder, hailing from Asheville, NC, by way of Miami, Fl. He spent his formative years playing with rattlesnakes and watching MTV, on the outskirts of a cultural wasteland where he’d stay up late to calibrate his FM radio antenna, hoping to catch snippets of the Miami Bass stations transmitting Luke and Gucci Crew. Between the fuzz of radio static, beats, and braggadocio rhymes, PG found his inspiration, his musical space to explore, although it’d be some 19 years before this inspiration would manifest.
While working towards his degree in Painting from New World School of the Arts in Miami, Gaeta more or less discovered himself to be a somewhat talented vocalist. What began as a smoke break became a ritual Gaeta and his classmates all gathered at the entrance to their campus to freestyle together in between classes. There was Carlos, the human beatbox, a smattering of angry young poets, and the random passers by, who came together each day to pay homage to the gods of poetry and rhythm. Over time it became clear that the skinny white kid they called PG13 could rap, or at least had the balls and tenacity to think he could.
This led to a long and arduous road of working as a lyricist, which meant collaborating with producers. These collaborations were often fulfilling but could be just as frustrating, and eventually Gaeta sought complete creative independence. He took up a second job and worked overtime while still in school to save up for an MPC 2000XL, so that he could make his own beats to rhyme over. When the time came, Gaeta learned how to sample and program drums and within a few years, Gaeta was producing tracks that not only worked as beds for lyrics, but also stood on their own as complete instrumentals. 7 of these were compiled and released on his own imprint Circuitree Records. To Gaeta’s complete surprise, these tracks earned him “Best of Electronica” as named by the Miami New Times in 2007.
After giving the rapper thing a serious go (even earning a #3 spot on the CMJ charts for his lyrical project with Kentsoundz as Junc Ops), Gaeta eventually became disillusioned with the spoken word, and found himself more impelled to delve deeper into instrumental music. His decision to focus on production coincided with a major shift in the underground’s collective taste as well. It seemed as if, overnight, the scenesters abandoned their lust for indie Hip Hop in favor of a Top
40 infused M.I.A and Hot Chip, circa 2003. Being an overt intellectual atop rap music just wasn’t cool anymore, and labels like Anticon and Def Jux, at least temporarily suffered for it. On the other hand producers like Push Button Objects and Prefuse 73 were blowing Gaeta’s mind along with jazz greats like Coltrane, Monk and Miles.
These experiences in Hip Hop and his love for Jazz have led him to where he is today an emerging presence on the international beat scene. And while Panther God’s sound is chameleonic, the focus is on big punchy drums and motive, soulful melodies paired with futuristic sound design and a colorful synths to create cinematic journeys that work on both the mind and body. He’s released a handful of solo EP’s and has shared the stage with everyone from Prefuse 73 to Flying Lotus.
Currently Gaeta resides in Asheville, NC and runs the Asheville Beat Tape Collective, which regularly hosts workshops and beatcentric events in the Southeast. He has worked for Moog Music, KMI, Ableton and other musical instrument makers as a product specialist and educator, and is highly sought after in the industry. He’s also been practicing Chinese Martial Arts for the last few years in an attempt to bring balance and order to his overly technological life.
This spring, Panther God is set to tour with the LA beat maestro MNDSGN in support of his first full length solo album Golden Changes, which drops March 4th on Outside Recordings.
“Imagine in the future hovercars have exhausts as remnants of a bygone era; similar to the way we still have a tailbone. Now imagine Dilla, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Ochre all shared a hovercab in that mad Jetsons utopia. If you could get up real close and listen; Panther God would be the sound gently humming from their exhaust as they cruised away on the cosmic nebulae.” www.eyeknowhiphop.com
Labels: Circuitree Records, Outside Recordings, Proximal, Abstract Logic Recordings, and more.
Circuitree Records is proud to announce the single, Dreamatone, from Panther God’s forthcoming debut LP, Golden Changes (Outside Recordings). It features two tracks, which represent the album’s overall sound and vibe- a departure from his last string of releases, deeply rooted in hip hop and the whole left field “beats” movement spearheaded by luminaries like Nosaj Thing, Flying Lotus, and Dabrye. We recently passed the advance copy to Thriftworks and got two big thumbs up and “full support.” Art by Kent Hernandez.
*Features additional production by Derrick Curtis, aka Deflon and Matt Hettich, aka Wake