Tamara Sneddon a.k.a. Panda Binah is an exceptional DJ. Every couple months a new mix appears in my inbox from her. Couple days ago, I received her latest mix that banged some hard and dark techno. Featuring tracks from artists such as Umek, Charlotte Dewitt, and Jay Luman, I listened to it and it was straight fire! I figured it was time we talked about Tamara on graveyardradio.net
“DJing is art and I absolutely love it. It’s not about me, it’s about how we each intpret the music and make people dance.”
The formula works. I did what I do and hit Tamara up to talked about her musical background and DJing. It was an awesome time as we discussed her passion for music and reminisced about goth and industrial from the 90s. It’s always cool to find someone, like myself, who’s roots are embedded in goth and industrial music growing up, then crossed over to dance music.
For Tamara, music started the same way it probably did for a lot of us. Sitting in her living room and spinning whatever records she could get a hold of. In most cases, it’s our parents records. Tamara soon gained an interest in the dark side when she became a regular patron at her local goth nights in her town, The Vampire Sanctuary Sex Bar and a basement club known as The Catacombs. It was not long before she took an interest in DJing and made it known. Before she knew it, she was spinning regularly at The Catacombs and moved her way to Sanctuary.
“Music is powerful and I have high standards in everything I’m passionate about because it’s too easy to be mediocre. You have to check your ego at the door though, continue to be honest, have integrity, and constantly push yourself. Be true to yourself and your audience.“
Panda Binah is a true old-schooler. She started learning her way around the decks in 1994. My jaw dropped when I realized that when I was going to see NIN for the first time, Tamara was spinning Skinny Puppy and Dead Can Dance in vampire fetish clubs. Tamara then spent some time in Boston and was wanted to do more than goth and industrial. She experimented with psytrance, however was not feeling it. Her passion for DJing was strong but was still trying to find her niche. She told me it was some peeps from Ohio that introduced her to techno and that’s where things really began to click.
Tamara then landed in Pittsburgh, where she now resides. Being in a drum and bass city, she knew she’d have to bring it with her techno mixes. She pushed herself hard when it came to her craft. This was important to her as a woman. She didn’t want it to ever be about how she looked but how she could work a dance floor. This effort earned her the respect from her peers she rightly deserved, playing as many shows as she could, small to big.
“I didn’t care if I was playing for a packed room or just 1 person, that person mattered.”
“The best thing about covid is seeing some DJs explore more musical directions because all we have been able to do is listen”
Another cool thing that has stuck out to me for the last couple years that I’ve know Panda Binah as a DJ is how eye catching the artwork to her mixes are. Well, Tamara loves to paint and uses some of her paintings as cover art for her mixes. This is so rad to me and gives an amazing layer to her already artful and articulate mixes. Below is a few of her most recent.
So dope! Post pandemic, Tamara plans on getting back out there soon as possible to make some feet move with her dark beats. Hope you guys enjoy the mixes as much as we did. Be sure to check in at Graveyard Radio on Facebook to get future updates on Panda Binah and other great underground artists.